In the digital age, we are all consumers and producers, readers and publishers
alike. The Internet has made it possible for anyone to publish his or her writing
online almost instantaneously for all the world to read.
The evolution of digital media has introduced both unprecedented challenges
and opportunities for media corporations and organizations. The unique
way that digital media tools and technologies combine (or converge) skill sets—
such as written, visual, and interactive storytelling—has also posed a new
challenge for journalism and mass communication schools and departments
training future media professionals.
This book guides students through the landscape of new media convergence,
pointing them toward the best practices and techniques of writing and editing
for an online audience, and helping them to take full advantage of the new
opportunities offered by digital media.
Understanding our increasingly fragmented online audiences and exploring
how different media behave—their unique limits and possibilities—will help
students develop content that is ideally suited for digital formats and environments.
Students will analyze the technical and rhetorical possibilities of online
environments, including interactivity, hyperlinking, spatial orientation and
non-linear storytelling. Students will also learn practical skills to help them
succeed in writing and editing for specifically online environments.
First and foremost, this book is about writing—clearly, precisely, accurately,
with energy and voice, and for specific audiences. Fortunately, good writing
is valued online, and unfortunately it is still just as hard to find good
writing online as it is in print. Specifically, this book is about writing in and
for digital environments and about communicating effectively in those online
environments, which often are populated with graphical content, multimedia
and hypertextual, interactive elements. Learning how to achieve a
careful, deliberate balance of these elements is a primary goal of this book,
and accomplishing it will require new skills, intuitions and sensitivities. The
premium on good writing has not changed, but the process or activity of
reading has; people accessing information online are not reading as much as
they are scanning, surfing, moving and navigating. Web writers, therefore, are
engineers of spaces and places in addition to being communicators with and