Thornburg, R. (2011) Editing News for Searchers and Scanners (Chapter 5 p103 – 133). Producing Online News. CQ Press Washington

–          People don’t read the same way online as they do print

–          2007 Poynter Study showed print readers are twice as likely to read a story methodically

–          Online news producers need to “get ‘em and get ‘em what they want”, fast

–          For all the webs demands, concise and precise writing is still key

–          The headline is the most important thing for online writing

–          Search engines put extra emphasis on headlines when using algorithms

–          Headline must do three things: stand on its own; integrate as many keywords as possible; work well not only when published, but months after

–          Keep headlines brief as they have to travel all over the web and fit into tiny spaces (only 60 characters will display on Google News)

–          The headline is not what you think the story is about, but what the reader is likely to type into a search engine

–          However, don’t trick search engines as they are clever and you will lose the trust of your readers

–          Keywords should go at the left

–          Famous names do well as keywords

–          Timeliness is import online as although it is instant, people will still search it for weeks to come

–          Try to steer clear of verbs if the piece might last, people don’t tend to search them

–          Today’s biggest constraint is time, so make what you write short

–          Omit needless words

–          You can always leave quotes and extra information out

–          Be concise and precise in order to serve your audience as best as possible

–          Subhead should provide extra information that cannot be found in the headline

–          Readers may read the subhead and nothing more

–          The lead (first paragraph) should begin with one or two active sentences

–          The lead is extra import with online as it may be reprinted on search engines

–          It should emphasise the news values

–          Paragraphs should be short, but one paragraph to one topic

–          Page length is important

–          A journalist should tell the truth fully and fairly, but with online, you also have to include SEO data high up in the story

–          Metadata – data about data


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