This module gives you hands-on experience in writing for a publication as a feature writer. You are assigned a mentor (member of our academic staff) who will oversee your role as a feature writer for an online publication, for one edition of that publication.
Write feature articles for a publication
How the Module Works
1st You become familiar with a current edition of the publication
2nd You learn to use an online management system for a publication
3rd You plan content for a publication
4th You write content for an online edition of the publication
5th You submit the product to your mentor for comment
6th You make adjustments as needed
7th Your work is authorized to go live on the internet.
Value of this Module
It is not easy to get your work into print, yet many publishers will only consider a journalist or freelance writer who has already been published. This module gives you a unique opportunity to demonstrate your ability to write well, and to tailor your writing to the particular needs and requirements of a prospective employer.
You will also learn first-hand what it takes to get a publication from original inception to print. There is more involved than many writers realize, and a successful publication requires the cooperation and expertise of a team of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal. On graduation from this module, you will not only be a published writer, but you will have gained valuable experience as part of a publishing team. This is a marvelous opportunity for kick-starting a career in journalism, freelance writing, or in the publishing industry.
While there are many similarities between writing for print and electronic media, there are also some significant differences.
The most obvious difference is the need for a good working computer, a modem, and a dependable service provider. Less obvious is the need for writers to compete with an already saturated market of web-surfing readers, and a enormous amount of written material, a market in which the brightest and easiest-to-access, or those that come up first (are ranked highest by search engines) are likely to catch the readers’ attention. To compete in such a market, a writer must continually keep abreast of trends, changes, innovations – anything that will keep his or her writing topical, catchy, and at the forefront of new information.
Writing ability alone might be enough to get some writers published online, but writers with good computer skills will have more opportunities. HTML coding experience, knowledge of webpage design, expertise with a browser, skill with using different software, and other IT skills are valuable tools in the online writer’s repertoire.
Another factor affecting online writers is the difficulty of maintaining a presence and developing loyalty among readers who have so much material at their fingertips competing for their attention, and with publishers who generally can invest less time and effort into selecting and supporting writers. Online publishing is a very fluid, fast-paced industry, and writers must establish relations with many different publishers.
Also consider the readers’ needs and interests. Reading online can be tiring, and ties the reader to a particular place and chair. The reader may quickly lose interest in articles that are more difficult to read, or too long, especially given the plethora of items available online. Writers for online publications report that must not only consider the quality and content of their submissions, but also how readers might respond to them. To counteract the boredom and discomfort of reading on screen, writers tend to write more for ‘punch’ than quality than for print media, with shorter paragraphs and sentences (more like those used in advertising). Their articles tend to include more stimulating variations on straight text, with colour, sidebars, interactive elements, links, animation, images and audio.
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