Knight Center
Knight Center

JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Knight Center offers updated version of popular webinar, "How to Write for the Web"



Registrations for How to Write for the Web closed Tuesday, July 12 at 10 a.m. (CDT)

This week the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas is offering the third edition of one of its most popular online courses, the webinar “How to Write for the Web.” Taught by veteran journalist Guillermo Franco, this newest version of the course, offered in Spanish, has been expanded from two to four hours, and will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, July 12-13.

The instructor also will offer webinar participants the updates he is adding to the second edition of his book "How to Write for the Web," which has been one of the most popular books in the Knight Center's digital library, having been downloaded more than 50,000 times in Spanish and English.

Franco, with 24 years of journalism experience and a decade spent dedicated to online journalism, said that the new version of this week's course will include themes such as the relationship between writing and search engine optimization (SEO) versus the experience of an average Internet user.

For example, many sites are using bold and italic letters without any clear criteria, based on the false belief that such styles will result in better positioning in search engines, Franco said.

In the new edition of his book, Franco uses the expression "izquierdofrenia," or "leftophrenia" to refer to legion of research highlighting the importance of the left side of the screen to grab readers' attention, the first words of headlines, etc., and how that affects writing and the presentation of content.

Additionally, the course will touch on basic theories of writing and how to capitalize on research findings in order to optimize the presentation of text on the web: readers who scan versus those who read each word, length of texts, alternative models of presenting content that eliminates repetition of information (inherited from a print world), the layering of information, and the horizontal and vertical inverted pyramid.

This webinar, presented in two sessions, presents basic information about how to write for the Internet and optimize content for a digital platform. About 100 journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean completed the second edition of the course, held in November 2010.

To register for the webinar, click here, or go to http://utdirect.utexas.edu/txshop/item_details.WBX?application_name=JOKNIGHT&component=0&dept_prefix=JO&item_id=31&cat_seq_chosen=05&subcategory_seq_chosen=000. Space in the course is limited.

Currently Franco is a consultant, writer and professor. During his career he worked for the Casa Editorial El Tiempo (CEET), owner of the newspaper El Tiempo and eltiempo.com, the most-visited domestic sites in Colombia. From 2000 to 2008, Franco served as manager of new media content for CEET and managing editor of eltiempo.com.



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