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How to master online journalism

A new book and website have been launched to unravel the mysteries of journalism on the Internet.

The site was designed by Mike Ward to complement his newly-published book Journalism Online.

Mike, a former BBC journalist, is principal lecturer in the Department of Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire.

He has worked there 15 years and is also the course leader of one of the UK’s first Masters programmes in Online Journalism.

His in-depth work and involvement with the concept of online journalism gave him the inspiration for the book, allowing him to develop and expand ideas into readable – and useful – chapters.

He stresses that this book is not just for use as a study aid. It is meant to be used in everyday practical situations by working journalists.

He said there were three main reason why writing the book was so appealing: he felt there was a need for a source that explained online journalism from beginning to end. And he also wanted to connect the best of the ‘old media’ with the new. Finally, he wanted to create what he calls a ‘one stop shop’ – a complete package from where people can gather all the information they need.

The website was meant to be used as a springboard for the book but Mike hopes it will develop to become an individual resource in its own right. It has already attracted attention from around mainland Europe and even as far out as India.

It contains links to further resources involved in the world of online journalism.

The introductory chapter explains the basic principles on which the book has been written and provides definitions of key terms such as ‘online’, ‘digital’, ‘Internet’, ‘Web’ and even ‘Journalism’.

Chapter 2 starts with an explanation of the core journalistic process of identifying, collecting, selecting and presenting news and information.

The following chapter looks in detail at how to apply online skills and techniques to the research and reporting elements of those disciplines.

Writing is seen as so important that it gets space of its own in Chapter 5, and the rest of the book takes the reader through story construction, HTML programming and website design/presentation.

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