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The Conversation is a popular Australian online news site that uses academics to cover breaking news and analyze current debates. The idea behind the model is to team up university researchers, who know a lot about many things but can’t necessarily write for a mainstream audience, with editors, who can. The combination of “academic rigour with journalistic flair” (the site’s slogan) has proved a roaring success and The Conversation now attracts nearly 20 million reads a month.
Largely funded by partner universities, the articles are free to read, there are no limits to the number of articles people can read and there is no advertising. In an interesting twist, articles are also free to republish under a Creative Commons license. And in an era where news organizations are continually slashing budgets and laying off staff, the not-for-profit has managed to export its model beyond Australia’s shores to the United Kingdom and the United States.
OnMedia spoke with The Conversation’s founder, Andrew Jaspan.
Almost every news or feature story – whether it’s for print, broadcast or online – benefits from having good quotes, voice clips or sound bites.
Quotes directly express the views of the people you talked to, lend credibility to your story, and liven up your writing. Quotes are like a spice that adds flavor and zest to your story. Without them, while your piece might well have a lot of informative facts, it can be pretty bland.
But figuring out exactly which bits to pull from your interviews and put in your story can be challenging even if you are an experienced reporter.
onMedia’s Kyle James has trained radio, print and online journalists in countries around the world for years. In this post, he offers a few guidelines on keeping an eye out for what’s quotable and what’s not.