January 10, 2011

Knight Center teaches journalists in Spanish “How to Write for the Web”

This post is also available in: English Spanish Portuguese (Brazil)

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas offered the online course in Spanish “How to Write for the Web” from Jan. 31-March 6. Colombian journalist Guillermo Franco taught the class, based on his book How to Write for the Web.

The course, designed specially for the Knight Center, combined exercises and concepts to help journalists comprehend how to write for digital platforms in a variety of contexts.

The course explored the following topics:

  • How to write for the web.
  • How and when to process texts written for other media to online media.
  • Critical thinking about texts published on the Web.
  • Incorporating concepts from across platforms into online content

The course was taught entirely online. Students worked at their own pace, according to their own schedules, but they were expected to complete weekly assignments by deadline. Excerpts from Franco’s book were read every week, and students completed writing assignments. Students also participated in weekly discussions through online forums and chats. Some assignments were based on texts by the participating journalists.

All participants who successfully completed the course will receive a certificate from the Knight Center.

Franco is a longtime Colombian journalist who has dedicated the past eight years to digital journalism and the Internet. He has spent his entire career at the company that owns the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo and eltiempo.com, the country’s most frequently visited website. From 2000 to 2008 Franco worked as Content Manager for New Media on CEET and as general editor for eltiempo.com. He was responsible for the content strategy for all the organization’s websites.

The teaching assistant for the course was Paul Alonso, a Peruvian journalist and a University of Texas at Austin PhD candidate.

Franco’s new book presents practical exercises for writing for online media. He considers his book, which contains collaborations from journalists from Latin America and the Caribbean, more than a manual and rather as starting point to knowing how to write for the web.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin was founded in 2002 by Professor Rosental Calmon Alves. The center has assisted thousands of journalists in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2007, the Knight Center received a new, five-year donation from the Knight Foundation to refocus its work as a training center for digital media for Latin American and the Caribbean journalists, and to expand efforts to serve as an incubator for new media organizations.