Tight writing is one of the basic rules of news writing, and the same rule applies when you are working on a story for the internet.
It simply means to keep your sentences to a minimum. Like this. However, don’t lose the depth of your story. Be careful not to get your mind lockedBreaking news in this rule because you might end up with a dull and boring story. The key to making short sentences work is in using an active writing voice. By doing so you are writing in motion. You also have to make sure that you choose strong action words.
Take this example:
“The suspect in the stabbing of a homeless man in a cemetery on Wednesday was caught by police authorities yesterday. ” (Passive Writing) “Police authorities yesterday caught the suspect in the stabbing of a homeless man in a cemetery on Wednesday. ” (Active Writing)
Active writing is punchier, direct to the point, and clearer on who is doing what.
Use broadcast writing techniques when delivering news online. Writing tight for the broadcast medium means exploring one idea per sentence which would read logically by the end of the paragraph. Your story will be easier to comprehend and you will be able to retain your readers attention. However, be wary of sounding robotic.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of writing in your personal style. This would bring a unique voice to your stories, differentiating it from the varied content available online. Conversational writing styles are acceptable in online news writing. Engaging readers work well mainly because the internet thrives on interactive communication. Discover what unique conversational tone you are comfortable with and work on developing that writing voice. *