#FLcommunityjourno 3

Week 3 is on building an engaged community, choosing a platform inc intro to WordPress and writing a good news story, all pretty thin. This has to be the lightest MOOC I have audited. It has also coincided with my being busy elsewhere, meaning that I am now two weeks behind, so weeks 3 and 4 will be rather skated over.


Changing approaches to public engagement – the communications model has shifted from deference to reference – no more transmission and passive acceptance of opinion and information. Share of voice has to be earned, not claimed, in a ‘noisy’ and competitive environment. Authenticity is the key to connecting with and engaging your community (come in, Visit Copenhagen).

Discussion: think about a local issue, or a service (for example health, education or council services) that is undergoing change. Are the decision makers inviting engagement? How could you help shape this?


Article on understanding the use of hyperlocal content through consumer search – ie how audiences use search engines to find hyperlocal content.

Four tools for analysing how your community is responding to your content:

Essentials: what makes a good story? 

Article on the art of writing news and some tips. See also the BBC Academy.

How to write a story:

  • the inverted pyramid
  • the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why – and one H – the How!
  • write it in a way you would want to read – does it grab attention? Is it interesting? Is it fair? Is it too long? many people over write when they start
  • in most forms of journalism less is more – if you can cut a word out and it still makes sense – you probably should
  • think about building your story, incorporating quotes etc

No quiz – instead the opportunity to write and share a 300-500 word piece for peer review:

Write 300 – 500 words on a local or community-focused news story of your choice following the guidelines we’ve set out. Try to make sure that it engages the audience, follows the basic news principles that we’ve learned about and is easy to understand. You should aim to spend around 30 minutes on researching and writing your assignment.

Reviewers are asked to give feedback on the following aspects:

  1. Does the first line attract the audience? Explain why.
  2. Illustrate how the author deals with basic news principles ie who, what, why, when, where, how…
  3. Highlight examples of how the news story is written in a way that is simple and easy to understand. Alternatively, if you think it isn’t easy to understand, explain why.

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