The Kindle edition of the New York Times opens with a front page story and photo. The 3.5 by 4.75 inch screen of the Kindle II is not big enough to present a legible image of the whole front page. Now, when I read the print edition, my eye usually scans over the headlines and I get a quick idea of what's going on in the nation and the world that I might want to read about. So I was immediately skeptical that my Kindle was going to give me what I want and expect from a newspaper.
Someone thought of that. At the bottom of the screen is a navigation tool: a bar that's labeled "View Sections List" and when I click it, I get a listing of the major sections of the paper: Front Page, International, National ... Sports, ... Obituaries. To the right of each of these headings is a number indicating how many articles are available. If I click on the number I get a list of the headlines, and the first few words of the first sentence of the story -- exactly what I like to scan on a real newspaper page -- perfect!
There is an important insight here for on-line journalists. We need to write strong headlines and first sentences or our articles will be passed over. As a volunteer editor at OpEdNews, I scan the articles awaiting editorial approval much the same way I scan the Times. I'm looking for headlines that signal an important story. If the headline commands my attention, I view the first few sentences. In that way I cherry-pick what I am going to spend time editing.
So, here's a tip if you are submitting articles to OpEdNews, or any other news media. Write a good headline and make your point in the first line. Hook the editor's interest and then develop your story. Design the presentation of the story so that sub-headlines convey where you are going at a glance, and summarize what you told the reader in the last paragraph. In other words, tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, then tell 'em, and then tell 'em what you told 'em.
Cory Doctorow put it like this, "Here's a procedure that I almost always find useful for improving almost any kind of written composition -- a speech, an essay, an op-ed or a story. As a first pass, try cutting the first 10 percent (the "throat clearing") then moving the last 30 percent (the payoff) to the beginning of the talk (don't bury your lede!)."