Online journalism

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Elaine Ford from ABC Online spoke to QUT Online Journalism students about online news.

Ford says the trick with online journalism is juggling the balance between being right and being first.

Ford says while the platforms are always changing, it’s all about how you write, get the story and get good sources.

When you’re out on a story, you have to file for everybody.

Radio is king in the morning, TV is king at night, online is king during the day.

However, there are times when certain platforms have to be updated more than others.

Court reporting

The radio cycle is now too slow for court reporting.

Most court stories, for online news, are being written from tweets.

Live blogging

Ford says journalists can prepare for some live blogs but cannot for all.

E.g. Scottish Independence Election


Skilling in video journalism is increasingly important.

Elaine says,

Don’t pigeon yourself too tightly with your skill set.

E.g. of multiskilling: When Penny met Yasi

‘Citizen journalists’ vs professionally trained

Unlike ‘citizen journalists’, journalists need to think of things objectively.

Above all… think about the audience!

If the story isn’t packaged up with a multimedia approach, don’t use it.

What are people interested in?

How do the jigsaw puzzle pieces fit together?

What is the story worth?

The next step for online news

Speed and it’s getting faster.

The technology is great, but there’s still times when the technology has failed.

Every body makes mistakes but it’s important to be transparent about them.


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