What is Good Writing?

What is good writing? This broad question can have endless correct answers, so we’ll control the results. Instead, let’s limit the answers to what is good in media writing.

Naturally, some of the positive qualities of generally good writing overlap with generally good writing in media. I believe that good writing should imbue within the reader a desire to read more. This can be depending on what the goal of the writing is, but in most cases, I believe this is a generally accepted principle.

Our culture seems to have trained itself to move from information to information in a faster and faster pace. This being said, good media writing must take this into account when reporting news or writing articles.

Short.

This is the word we’re looking for. However, this by no means is implying that the entire article be short in length, but that the information come in bytes.

In this way, if someone is looking for specific information, a quick solution or answer to appease their question, the answer can jump out of them — rather than forcing them to jump into the entire text. Just as in this article; the paragraphs are smaller and easier to search.

I’ve found in my case that articles are easier to read if the paragraphs were smaller. They could contain the same amount of information; they could have the exact same word count; I may have to scroll more, but something about the short paragraphs encourages me to keep reading.

It could almost be compared to bait.

Each paragraph was a piece of bait that led me to the next, and to the next, and to the next. In a way, it made me feel more accomplished, like I had succeeded.

I think that good media writing does not only have to do what exactly is being said, but how it makes the reader feel. The response does not have to be a highly emotional one — it doesn’t have to be emotional per say at all.

If people can feel accomplished as they read news articles, they will continue to do so; they’ll come back.

How will they feel accomplished, however, if what they are reading has no importance to them? This brings us to our next tip:

Keep it fresh.

Pay attention. What is going on in the world around you? What do people care about? If you’re not writing about those things, then do be surprised when your writing gets less traffic.

Now go and apply what you’ve learned.

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