Seminar reading summary 1

Hill and Lashmar (2014), pp. 47-64

This is a review of a section from the 2014 book by Hill and Lashmar, in which they talk about ‘online’ readers and ‘offline’ readers and the differences between them, such as reading speed and attention span. It also covers  the steps that journalists should take into consideration when covering a news story.

Journalism writing is different to academic writing, some students find it difficult to switch between the two of these styles with any relative ease.

Online readers use vastly different sections of their brains compared to offline readers. “The brain is conditioned to skip around when online reading, as clicking on a link, for example, will reward the brain with new images and content”. (Dave Copeland,, 2012, as quoted by Hill and Lashmar, 2014, pp 48)

Online users are highly unlikely to read the entirety of an extremely long news story, unless they’re intrigued in its content and desire to know more, thus reading it. The lead paragraph is highly important for a news story. It should contain key/buzz words so that it shows up as one of the first results of a search engine inquiry, most readers are unlikely to search anywhere past the first results page which is why this is important.

When covering breaking news online, reporters should make contact with key sources, monitor social media sites, promote the story on social media sites, preferably in a short, easy to read format, among other points. Reporters should attempt to keep their opinions to themselves and remain unbiased, no one wants to read a heavily biased story, they want to hear from both sides.

Dave Copeland of, 2012, as quoted by Hill and Lashmar, 2014, page 48


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