Reflection three

The main difference I’ve noticed between printed content and online content is that online articles are so much shorter. This actually surprised me. I always figured that you would use the same article you had for print and just adapt it to online, for example by adding multimedia content and more cross headings to break up the text. Something else that surprised me is that you treat the language differently as well; when writing for online you use shorter sentences and simpler words. However it does make sense when I think about it, since people are more easily distracted when reading online.

Web users simply scan content, more than actually read it. Instead of reading the page from top to bottom, they use it as they use social media: scroll quickly and look for something to catch their interest. That is why we need to adapt our content to online: we need to add pictures, break up paragraphs and try to add as many elements as possible that will catch the readers interest while scanning and make them stay and read.

It does leave me with a question: if more and more people get their news from online sources, and journalists adapting their writing to online publishing – will the “traditional” way of writing completely cease to exist?

 

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More young people are choosing to stay sober, study finds

More and more young people in the UK are choosing not to drink, new research shows. Rebecca Haselhoff is one of them.

By Alice Nordevik

A recent study from University College London shows that an increased amount of young people in the UK are giving up alcohol. 22-year old Rebecca Haselhoff made the decision to stay sober early.

“I realised quickly that I did not feel good after drinking, psychically or mentally. So I did not want to force it on myself”, she said.

The study, based on the annual Health Survey for England, involved nearly 10.000 people aged 16-24 in England. The results showed that non-drinking increased from 18 percent in 2005 to 29 percent in 2015.

Dr Linda Ng Fat, lead author of the study, said that it is becoming more accepted not to drink.

“Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups,” she said to The Telegraph.

“A culture shift”

Aaron Whittaker has worked as a bartender for the past two years and he recognises the trend.

“On Tuesday nights we have cheap drinks, but we are seeing a big decline in the amount of people coming here. However that might just be a shift in business here, not in general”, he said.

“I think there is a culture shift. People go more towards nightclubs than pubs and bars, and towards doing drugs than drinking”, he continued.

But even thought not drinking is becoming mainstream, Rebecca Haselhoff said it can still be hard sometimes.

“I have definitely felt pressured a lot of times. People often ask me if I do not like having fun, but I can have fun without alcohol.”

Reflection two

I did not have any major difficulties setting up my site. Probably because I have worked both with WordPress and other blog sites before, so I am used to it. However I found it tricky to add my introduction page to the navigation bar at first, but with a bit of googling and help from Karls handy guide I managed to solve it. Other than that I think that WordPress is fairly easy to work with once you have gotten used to it, it is clearly structured and logically organised.

Regarding the appearance of my site, I will admit it could be better. It would be more fun if I would add a picture for example, but after working at a few bigger newspapers and getting a lot of less friendly emails I am very careful about what i post online. I realised how easy it is for people to track you down and therefore I don’t want to post any pictures or too personal information. So my site is pretty anonymous, but since that is what I want I am happy with it. To improve it I have changed the theme, the colour of the background and the font.

Reflection one

My view of the journalism industry has been confirmed over the last week. I knew that printed newspapers are dying and that digital is growing, and I also knew that niched magazines and sites are growing since the readers are becoming more fragmented. However, since I’m mostly familiar with the Swedish journalism industry, it was still somewhat of an eyeopener that the situation is so similar in the different countries. For example: the fact that The MailOnline is the most popular website in the world. That was both surprising to me, as I didn’t expect it to be THAT big, but at the same time I knew that Swedish tabloids are doing very well online. So that was both the most surprising information I learned this week, but at the same time it confirmed what I already knew.

In the next 10 weeks I look forward to the lectures and workshops about curation, since it’s a concept I’m not familiar with. But most importantly I’m looking forward to the assignments and actually writing the articles. Both because that’s what I enjoy doing the most, and also because I’m eager to practice and learn how to do it well in English.

What kind of journalist are you?

What topics are you most interested in as a journalist? Pick two or three. Explain your choices.

Someone once told me: “Journalists know a little about a lot”. When your job is to explain the world and its events to other people you get really good at learning things. You wake up every day not knowing what you’re going to know at the end of the day. And that is something I really enjoy: the small stuff, writing the normal everyday news articles. It might not be an interest, but it could give you new interests. For example: your boss tells you to write an article about the new super-mosquito that is tormenting people in a certain part of the city. So, you read about it, you interview a scientist and you speak to someone who got bitten by it. It is a small article, only an hours work or so, but suddenly you know everything there is to know about the feared subway-mosquito, and when your friends discuss it a few days later you can impress them with your knowledge.

My second interest is to travel, to learn new languages and meet new cultures. I haven’t been very good at it so far (need to freshen up that Spanish vocabulary from high school), but I’m slowly getting there. It is actually the reason why I’m writing this. I left Sweden to do a semester abroad here in Leeds and one of the main reasons I’m doing it is to learn how to do my job in English. Speaking good English means I could travel and be a correspondent overseas for Swedish newspapers.

Which blogs, news sites, apps and forums cover these topics best? Try to come up with five or six examples. Google them if you can’t think of any off the top of your head. Write down the URL and a sentence or two about why you like them.

www.dn.se

One of Sweden’s best newspapers and the one I enjoy reading the most. This is one of Sweden’s biggest newspapers, but they still manage to cover the small stuff which I really like.

www.magasinetfilter.se

Their slogan is “Everything you didn’t know that you wanted to know”. They focus on longer, in depth articles, but they have a lot of smaller, more fun, extra material as well.

www.gp.se

The local newspaper in my city at home. I enjoy reading local newspapers since they often write about the little things.

Travel:

www.nytimes.com/travel

The New York Times travel section is very inspiring, they write about the stuff you didn’t know you wanted to learn about and the places you didn’t know you wanted to visit.

www.lonelyplanet.com

World known travel site that even us Swedes follow.

Do you have any hobbies or interests in addition to the topics you chose above?

Does sleeping count as an interest? Other than that, I’m interested in literature and read a lot. I’m also a vegetarian and care a lot about the environment and animals.

Which blogs, news sites, apps and forums cover those topics best. Again five or six examples will do. Give me the URL and a sentence or two about why you like them.

www.bokhora.se

A Swedish site (again), with long detailed reviews and book recommendations.

www.facebook.com

There is a lot of groups on Facebook devoted to specific interests, and I’m in a bunch of them about everything from literature to writing, plants, skincare, veganism and beer. It sounds strange but I’ve learned more from these groups than from any other site.

www.dn.se/kultur

The cultures section of the newspaper I mentioned above. They often have a lot of book reviews which I like.