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Excellence in Online Journalism

Excellence in Online Journalism
Exploring Current Practices in an Evolving Environment

Other Titles in:
Journalism | Newswriting/reporting

November 2010 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
For today's students and journalists, knowing how to build a website is not enough - knowing how to craft a news story for maximum impact via the web is a must in today's media-saturated world. Drawing on interviews from more than 30 award-winning online journalists, editors, and producers (from the likes of,, and, author David Craig helps students understand the meaning, importance, and elements of journalistic excellence in today's online environment.

Organized around four elements of online excellence - comprehensiveness, speed and accuracy, open-endedness in story development, and conversation with users - the book provides detailed discussions of multimedia projects, blogs, user-generated content, and breaking news. In addition, it examines the connection between ethics and excellence in order to more critically evaluate the work and practices of online journalism.

1. Excellence Online: A Work in Progress
Excellence in Old and New Media

Excellence Online: Four Developing Standards

2. An Ethical Lens for Looking at Excellence
A Practice: The Social Context

Telos: The Big-Picture Goal

Internal Goods: Distinctive Achievements of the Practice

Standards of Excellence: Setting the Bar for the Field

Virtues: The Qualities of Good Character

External Goods and Institutions: Danger Lurking

3. Speed and Accuracy With Depth in Breaking News
The Battle to Be Fast and Right: An Old Challenge With New Pressures

Insights from Online Journalists: Giving Voice to a Standard

Breaking News Through an Ethical Lens

Online Excellence in Development: The Hudson River Jet Landing

Challenges to Maintaining and Enhancing Excellence

Overcoming the Challenges: Virtues in Action

On-the-Job Profile: Mark Stevenson Facing the Daily Challenges

4. Comprehensiveness in Content
Insights From Online Journalists: What Comprehensiveness Means

Challenges to Comprehensiveness

Overcoming the Challenges: Virtues in Action

On-the-Job Profile: Jenni Pinkley Facing the Daily Challenges

5. Open-endedness in Story Development
Excellence in Story Development Online

The Dynamic of Excellence

Challenges to Excellence in Story Development: External Goods Lurking

Attitude Check: Virtues for 21st-Century Journalists

On-the-Job Profile: Robert Quigley Facing the Daily Challenges

6. The Centrality of Conversation
A Longtime Value Takes Center Stage

Standards of Excellence in Online Conversation

The Dynamic of Excellence in Conversation

Now for the Challenges: Stumbling Blocks in the "Conversational Commons"

Virtue and Conversation

On-the-Job Profile: Eric Zorn Facing the Daily Challenges

7. Beyond the Big Guys: Independent and Community Journalism Online
Perspectives from Three Smaller Organizations

Citizen Journalism, Social Media, and Journalism as a Practice

8. The Future of Excellence in Online Journalism: Living in the World of Both-And
The World of Both-And

What It Takes to Work in the World of Both-And

About the Author

The text is an excellent example for students to use as a barometer of industry standards within multimedia journalism and writing online. There are certainly many aspects of online journalism that are evolving, and further research by academics will explore these further, but it opens this arena to many students as they develop as trainee and working journalists in a deadline driven and demanding industry.

Mr Kristian Low
Journalism, Southampton Solent University
February 15, 2011