Resource Guide for Local and Niche Sites: Editorial

One of the goals of the New Business Models for News Project is to help local sites grow into sustainable operations. Toward that end, we’ve identified some of the best sources of information about a variety of editorial topics relevant to running a small website.

MORE: Business, Technology, Legal sections. Back to Resource Guide Home Page.

The resource guide was compiled by Jordan Shakeshaft and Alex Abad-Santos. Funded under grants from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

Journalism Skills
Crowdsourcing, Social Media & Partnerships
Multimedia Skills

Journalism Skills

The Essentials: Who? What? When? Where? Why?

• The inverted pyramid and more basics on how to craft a news story.

Web writing advice from Debra Murphy at Social Media Today.

• How to write compelling headlines. Tips from NetChunks and ProBlogger.

• The Art of Interviewing is covered in the this Knight Community News Network tutorial.

• The AP Stylebook is never out of style. The 2011 edition of the journalists “Bible” is available here.

• Credibility counts. How to build trust with an online audience.

• Turn the local coffee shop into your newsroom.

• Learn to love the link.

• Forums, feedback, comments and other tools for interactivity are essential elements for local sites. An overview here and some suggestions on how to improve the quality of discussion in comments section.

• The Knight Digital Media Center at the Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism has a wealth of tutorials and multimedia presentations for digital journalists.

• More training modules for journalists from the Knight Community News Network.

• Links to other sites that offer journalism training.

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Crowdsourcing, Social Media & Partnerships

• Two good pieces from Poynter on successful, sustainable, and quality crowdsourcing practices. Here and here.

• The pros and cons of gathering information through crowdsourcing from the Knight Community News Network.

• How to use polls and e-mail surveys to gather community data.

• “Leveraging Social Media for News Sites” is a practical guide to using social mediaFacebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Tumblr, and Foursquare – or both editorial and marketing purposes. The learning module was put together for the Knight Community News Network by Susan Mernit, Editor of the Oakland Local, along with colleagues Kwan Booth, Senior Community Manager, and Amy Gahran, Senior Editor.

Twitter for Newsrooms (#TfN ) provides resources to help journalists more effectively use its tools.

• A round-up of successful citizen journalism models and projects from sites across the country.

• Look into partnering with a local university.

• How to identify and develop partnerships.

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Multimedia Skills


• Learn how to add multimedia storytelling to your site.

• A complete guide to putting photos and graphics on your site from the J-Lab.

• Want to add slideshows to your site? Soundslides and Photo Peach are good places to start. And here’s a Soundslides tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center.

• NetChunks lists the five best online tools for easy image optimization.

Free tools for organizing, editing, cropping, and optimizing photos.

• HyperLocalBlogger explains creative commons licenses and how to find free photos to accompany your stories.

• A picture may be worth a thousand words, but you still need a good caption. Kenneth Irby, founder of Poynter’s photojournalism program, provides some good advice.

• Links to free or low-cost Flash and interactive tools.


• Here’s how to add audio to your site.

• Record and edit audio with Audacity – free, open source software. Learn how to get the most out of Audacity from this Knight Digital Media Center tutorial.

• You can check out more audio editing tools here.

• Start your own online talk show with BlogTalkRadio.

• A number of sites offer royalty-free music and sound effects.

• How to shoot, edit, and put video onto your site from J –Learning.

• Excellent tutorials for Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere and iMovie.

• Here are some options for storing, streaming, and sharing your videos.

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