Major enterprise stories — stories that take deep dives and attempt to inform readers in substantive ways or to elicit impact — these are the types of stories that encourage readers to move beyond binary and dogmatic thinking about local, national and world events.
However, these enterprise stories require considerable resources: time and effort from reporters and a financial investment from the news organization. And once the story is published, the potential audience is limited.
With these types of stories, “You’re automatically limiting your audience,” said Terri Rupar, national digital projects editor at the Washington Post. “You’re limiting yourself to people who want to give up their time, who are interested enough in the topic to read into it, who are not just for something quick.”
That’s why it’s important to get readers who do check out the story to stick with it until the end.
So how can journalists get readers to complete these long pieces?
One way, this analysis has found, is to use multiple elements and platforms to tell the story. That means taking advantage of several multimedia tools, including audio elements embedded in text, video clips intertwined with the story and interactive graphics, among others. Lucky, then, that we live in an era of digital media when this is not only possible, but increasingly accessible.
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