Coronavirus infection prevention — what is social distancing and how do I do it?

The article written by Emma Elsworthy was published on ABC news, aiming to improve coronavirus infection prevention by practicing social distancing. There are several adjustments that can be used to improve the online delivery of this story.


The BBC news used a first-person headline question with no target audience, and then identified specific groups that needed to practice social distancing in the following. My suggestion would be to include concise but specific information in the headline.


The article began with a photo of people wearing masks in a crowded public place. While self-isolation, such as wearing a mask, is one of the few measures that has helped reduce infection rates, the key to practice social distancing is keeping as much as 1.5 metres away from others. The picture can sometimes mislead and confuse the reader.

The video about the coronavirus community service announcements is at the end of this article. It is difficult to attract readers’ attention and can be easily regarded as advertising.


For readers who still have questions can submit the question form, but this part could increase the workload of ABC news and waste readers’ waiting time. In addition, it requires personal information to submit this form, thereby reducing user participation. I would recommend that discussion boards can be set for all audiences to share ideas and experiences.

About Qi Jian 5 Articles
Currently studying for a master's degree in Media Practice at the University of Sydney. Contact:

1 Comment

  1. This is not a news story, it’s an explainer (how to “do” social distancing). It’s important that you understand the difference between news, opinion/commentary, and pieces like this one, which explain an issue.
    You make valid points about the information content of the headline – also consider the use of keywords for SEO. Good use of images to make your points about the photos being misleading, but make sure to caption all images and provide attribution for the copyright holder/source of the image. Interesting observation that the need to provide personal info might deter some users from asking questions using the form, and discussion boards are a great idea! (I think the ABC tends to use Facebook in this way)
    You use some of the appropriate naming conventions for the features and functions of online journalism (e.g. multimediality, interactivity). In part 2 of your assignment ensure you refer to Bradshaw and other readings.
    Good use of subheadings using heading tags to chunk your content and to make your post scannable and more SEO-friendly, and your link to the story is embedded in text and opens in a new tab – awesome!

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