Attribution:  each Image, Video and other media element is given attribution

Captions:  each Image, Video and other media element includes a caption

Byline:  the byline accurately reflects the narrative’s authorship



Subtitle:  the subtitle is concise (just a few words) and enhances/clarifies the narrative’s title

Text:  the narrative’s text is organized logically and is accessible to the intended audience(s)

Data Visualizations:  selective use of data visualizations can make complex datasets accessible

Maps:  identify the location(s) associated with your topic to provide context



Text is presented in a manner that is visually appealing and encourages the reader to engage and keep reading the entire narrative

Breakouts, Asides, and Doubles containers are used to create a “flow” and to provided the reader with a dynamic reading experience

Media elements are selected because they help the reader better understand the topic – and are NOT simply a visual distraction to the narrative



Sources are cited and a Cited Sources section is located at the bottom of the narrative

Use Visual Landmarks

When you're writing for the Internet, it's good to keep in mind that you're writing for an audience that has a significantly shorter attention span than the audience of a book, magazine, or newspaper. There's a whole lot of shiny stuff on the web that your readers can devote their attention to. So you have to kind of trick them into staying with you when you're writing longer pieces.

Visual landmarks, like headers, pictures, videos, and other embedded media, help keep your reader engaged. Elements like that break up the text so your reader doesn't look at the screen and see a wall of words).

Landmarks also help draw the eye down the page. Just as your reader is getting a little bit tired of reading, you give them a header or a shiny piece of media to look at for a few seconds. Not only does this help refresh the brain so your reader will stick with your article longer, it also satisfies the ADD that we all kind of have. If the brain is looking for something other than words to take in, the pictures and media in your article can be that distraction, without causing the reader to click elsewhere.

Excerpted from