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 a dose of 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. Unfortunately, however, many publications are still clinging to outdated ways of doing things. Old habits die hard.
For newspapers (and news platforms) to survive they need to attract young and diverse readers. Fortunately, the internet is a way of life for Millennials. However, those young and diverse readers are turning to digital-native offerings like Buzzfeed, Vox and PolicyMic to consume content. Why? Because those websites were quick to understand that today’s readers dictate the importance of news. With the smart use of web analytics editors and reporters can find the answers to the kinds of content readers crave.
It’s not all about click-bait journalism
I’m not suggesting legacy media chase the viral dragon. What legacy properties can do is give readers important, engaging and interesting information in ways that enlighten, engage and enthuse users. 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 remember 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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