Online Journalism

By Mindy McAdams
University of Florida

> Online Media Types
> Interactivity
> Writing for the Web
> Scholarship
> Teaching Online Journalism (blog)
* Books for online news designers


I used to provide a long list of examples in this space. Links to examples are now available at the site for my book Flash Journalism: How to Create Multimedia News Packages (Focal Press, 2005). If you would like to buy the book, here it is on

Other great examples can be found at Andrew DeVigal's site

If you want to see a really excellent all-around news Web site, the best of the lot is BBC News. Why? Because the writing is so clear, so sparse, so straight shooting. Because the layout is clear and helpful and easy to use. BBC News is not a great site for multimedia or photojournalism, but it is a great site for news.

I also like the DW-World site (available in English and other languages) from Deutsche Welle.

Writing & Storytelling

Web users do read, but they do not read giant scrolling blocks of text.

To capture and keep the attention of a Web reader, the content and the format of text must be optimized for the online environment.

Tips for Writing for the Web: A compact list of guidelines for writing and formatting text and links.

Thinking Outside the Linear Box: Rusty Foster wrote an excellent article about information architecture for the Online Journalism Review in January 2003. When OJR executed a redesign a couple of years ago, the archives were apparently trashed. The article still stands as good stuff in my book, and I have Furled it.

The Elements of Digital Storytelling: Examples and a framework for analyzing online stories according to five "elements": media, action, relationship, context and communication.

Online Storytelling Forms: Examples and definitions from Jon Dube of


At bare minimum, an online journalist should know how to produce a simple Web page and put it online.

Resources for Web Workers: Advice and links to Web production resources.


TypeCulture: All about typography.

Color Theory: Overview: All about how to use color.

Graphics: How to create images for the Web. Learn when to choose GIF or JPG. It does make a difference!


The Radio College site provides instructions for recording sound. The Gear Zone and Mastering Our Craft sections are especially useful.

The BBC's Free Online Courses provide great instructions, especially for digital video and for editing audio.

Macromedia Flash

Flash tutorials at the Kirupa site.

Flash samples and tutorials at Adobe's Flash Developer Center.

Free tips and tutorials at my site.


UC-Berkeley has a great collection of tutorials and resources for journalists online.

Video in Flash

Since the debut of Flash 8 in fall 2005, this is the way to go. Free tutorials here (scroll to bottom of list for the first tutorial in the sequence).

Media Types

Planning a story may be easier if you stop thinking about software and begin thinking about media.

Online Media Types provides definitions.

Using Online Media Types gives you some "tools for thinking" as you approach a multimedia story.

Start here: How many types or formats do we have? Which one is best for each part of the story you have to tell?

  • Text
  • Photos
  • Graphics
  • Audio
  • Video
  • User interaction

Why use one instead of another? What treatment most increases the chances that the audience will understand and pay attention?

Teaching Online Journalism

The latest entries in my TOJ blog:

Publication date: 10 March 2003
Updated: 19 November 2006