We’re trying to do something different with tech news: no rumors, no reprinted press releases, no minor software update notices, and nothing based solely on a third-hand report. We take our tech news seriously.
We need to be selective. An OS X or iOS update is newsworthy. So it a security bug in Android. Some company leaving the PC world, as Sony did, is news. Dell or HP introducing a slightly faster version of the same old computer isn’t news. A minor point upgrade to an app, game, or utility isn’t news. And rumors are never news.
Step 1: Get to the Source
When you find a newsworthy story on Ars Technica,PCMag, ZDNet, or some other site, follow the trail of links to the original source. For instance, in the article about the Android security flaw, we traced it back to a slideshow and an article by the IBM researcher who reported the bug.
If you can’t go back to the original source, it may not be real news. And if that’s the case, we need to be careful how we cover it – if we cover it at all.
At the end of every article there should be a list of the primary source(s) for the news with links. You can also include a Further Reading section with links to the articles that brought this news to your attention or informed your analysis of the news.
Step 2: Write It, Don’t Just Quote It
Anyone can cut and paste a news release or Apple tech bulletin into a template and call it news, but that’s certainly not journalism. Journalism involves thinking about the news: Why is this story significant? What does this mean for our readers?
For instance, in covering the Android security flaw, we noted that it only impacts Android 4.3, commenting that this is just one more reason to buy an Android device that makes it easy to upgrade the OS,
Step 3: A Catchy Title
I have to admit that writers have a horrible tendency toward puns, and nowhere does this seem more true than in headlines. I’m a writer, I understand. Just try to make the puns you do use good ones instead of groaners.
A good article title is relatively brief and provides enough information to get the headline reader ready to click on the link. Most of all, we don’t want to get a reputation for sensationalism in our headlines. Let’s leave that to Mac cult sites.
Step 4: An Image
This isn’t always possible, but when it is, each news article should have an image to accompany it and also have a featured image. We’ll be developing generic featured images for each news category in the days ahead.
Step 5: Publish and Spread the News
Once you’ve finished writing the story, add keywords and a searchword (which may be a phrase with no spaces – see the end of this article for an example), double check your spelling, and click on the Publish button.
Then click on View Post with the right mouse button or a Control-click to open it in a new tab. Switch to that tab, select and copy the entire URL, open goo.gl, and paste it in, and then have Google create a short link for your article.
Now go back to the edit window, paste this new link in near the bottom of the page, and click Update. Now anyone reading that article has a short link they can use when sharing it.
And then it’s time to share the news in the appropriate forum. Mac and iOS news get posted to our Facebook page and Facebook group page, as well as our Google Plus page and Google Plus community page. If you’re on Twitter, post it there as well. I also post new content from my LinkedIn account; if you used LinkedIn, you should do so as well. Use the hastags #macnewstoday and #inewstoday.
Short link: http://goo.gl/OiPtvX