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Writing for Digital Media

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Writing for Digital Media, 9780415992008 (0415992001), Routledge, 2010
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 through words.
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