I’m an ambitious, motivated and snarky internet native who enjoys writing, reading and a healthy dose of indie rock. And, when I’m feeling really creative, I’ll take to the stage for improv comedy or community theater.
The people who seek out news are changing and journalism needs to catch up. According to the United Nations, the internet took four years to reach 50 million users. That’s good news for journalism! Thanks to the internet news has an unlimited-growth platform. But unfortunately many publications are still clinging to outdated ways of doing things. Old habits die hard.
In order for newspapers to survive they need to broaden their audience by attracting young and diverse readers. Fortunately, the internet is the perfect place to do that. However, those young and diverse readers are turning to digital-native offerings like Buzzfeed and Mashable to consume content, why? Because those content providers were quick to understand that web analytics and social sharing help inform editors and reporters about the content readers crave.
It’s not all about click-bait journalism
I’m not suggesting newspapers chase the viral dragon. But what newspapers can do is give readers important, engaging and interesting information in ways that readers can enjoy. Galleries, videos, slide shows, interactive maps, audio, infographics and other multimedia helps drive engagement. We can still do hard-hitting and impactful journalism, but we need to keep in mind that some readers only want the cliff notes. Readers have a limited amount of time so let’s show them we understand that their time is valuable.
Digital-only content should:
- Be engaging
- Provide context
- Explain WHY something is important
- Be shareable
- Impact change
- Generation Y
- New Media
- Creative nonfiction
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