Much like their professional counterparts, many online student publications take a “print” approach to their copy. That is, information is gathered, quotes are compiled and static copy is written and posted to the web. By taking a cue from the blogosphere and utilizing the interactivity of the web, however, student journalists can create copy that is much more in-depth and engaging to their readers.
Student journalists regularly cull the web for background research for their stories. This information can often be difficult to paraphrase, not to mention unwieldy to attribute in print. Adding links to original source material in web copy can not only help the flow of the story, but it can also provide the reader an opportunity to look even deeper into certain details if interested. As Columbia University Graduate Student Vadim Lavrusik writes for Mashable, journalists can help “curate and contextualize information” for their readers by linking to outside sources. All web text editors include a link button that easily turns any text into a hyperlink to a related site.
Providing links in web copy allows student journalists to instantly take their readers right to a source to take actiion. Reviewing the new Arctic Monkeys CD? Let your readers sample it while they are reading. Providing recommendations for a romantic pre-Homecoming dinner? Help your readers make reservations. The more interactive the story, the more useful it will be to the reader.