Write for the web

Becoming a master of style is just as important as collecting great content.  Print, broadcast and web all require great writing that is similar.  AP Style is still king.  Accuracy is a requirement and great grammar is imperative.

The least understood medium is the web.  We are still learning how people consume content and what type of content is most effective on which type of device whether it be a desktop computer, laptop, reader, iPad or smart phone.

Here are some helpful thoughts for developing your own skill as a web content creator.

Building Powerful Landing Pages

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Photoshop Ethics

Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.  That pretty well sums up Photoshop ethics.  Your job as a photojournalist is not to create the moment or the story but to capture it.  To that extent there really isn’t a lot required if you have captured a great image to begin with.  My general rule of thumb is that minor cropping, color correction and dodging are about all that is necessary.  The photo should accurately and truthfully tell the story by itself.

Steve Elliot from Cronkite News Service created this great presentation for the Reynolds Institute that illustrates some of the ethical challenges confronted by our media.

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Photo Elements

I am often asked what is the best camera.  Naturally I have my own personal preferences.  After a lot of thought I think the best camera is the one you have with you at the moment.  No amount of discussion of lenses, F-stops, sensors and mega pixels will do any good if you don’t have a camera with you that will allow you to manage all the tech stuff.  You can however capture quality images using even a cell phone if you become a master of its capabilities and learn to manage light and composition.  Here are a few helpful tips and tricks.

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Photo Composition

When and Why to Use Twitter

Some time ago I found this post from David Pogue. His Twittering Tips for Beginners is  helpful in discovering what is possible using this very ubiquitous tool. Continue reading

Social Media Guidelines for Student Journalists

The Cronkite School encourages participants in its professional programs to make use of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which are valuable reporting tools and promotional and distribution channels for our content. To ensure the highest journalistic standards in these programs, participants must abide by the following standards for social media use drawn from The Poynter Institute for Media Studies and the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics. Continue reading

Golden Rules of Social Media

Social media has become a free form means of delivering personal messages that take many forms. Posts range from useful to vitriolic. It would seem there should be some generally accepted Rules for Social Media. OK so it’s a bit presumptuous of me, but here are some suggestions I picked up from Social Media Consultant Aliza Sherman. Take them for what they are worth.

Respect the Spirit of the Net. It was meant for communication and connection to people and information.
Listen. It will give you a sense of what people are saying and feeling. It will also help you map your social media footprint.
Add Value. Always ask yourself: How is this providing value to the conversation? To the community?
Respond. A quick response is more important than ever. Don’t be a dam in a conversation flow.
Do Good Things. Perpetuate social responsibility in all you do.
Share the Wealth. If you’ve got it, share it, spread it around. Sharing is the rule of a conversation engine.
Give Kudos. Nothing is wrong with self promotion but things really take off when you give others their moment in the spotlight.
Don’t Spam. I just don’t have the time, tolerance or bandwidth to deal with it.
Be Real. Be yourself. You’ll have far better and more long-lasting positive results than if you try to be something you are not.
Collaborate. Social media tools are just that….tools. The real power is people. We are the media.