NPR.org weekend web editor Melisa Goh explains how to convert radio scripts for web and passes on some other helpful web writing tips.
Writing for the Web:
- Text is king on the Web.
- Your goal for everything you write on the Web is to get the user to stick around.
- Your Web text needs to hook people in early and get them to keep reading.
Melisa Goh’s Ten tips for writing web text:
- Think about how to tell the web story before you start reporting.
- Report for the web while you’re reporting for broadcast.
- Keep your writing tight and compelling.
- Think visually: what parts of the story can you tell with images?
- Use nut graf.
- Manage your quotes and transitions.
- Always attribute.
- Watch your spelling, style and grammar.
- Consider how the user will get to your story.
- After your story posts, promote it.
We’re fortunate to have Melissa Goh, one of NPR.org’s homepage editors, do a little training for us later this morning on turning your broadcast copy into web scripts. Here are some general tips for you to consider, whether you’re primary broadcast, digital, or something in between:
1. Think Before You Start
- At the inception of the story idea, ask yourself: What’s the smartest way to tell this story on the Web? Story text? Q-and-A? Reporter’s notebook? Photos? Photo gallery? Audio slideshow? Video? Blog item? Social media?
- Talk it over with your assignment editor, photo editor and Web producer — before you start reporting.
2. Report For The Web While You’re Reporting for Broadcast
- Some storytelling elements that can’t fit into a broadcast piece might be great to include in the Web story instead.
- Conversely, some elements may be better suited for broadcast or otherwise unnecessary to the Web version.
- As you report, ask questions and gather detail for the Web version – descriptions of scene/setting, details of characters (age, occupation, background), a map, documents, links, pdfs or photos.