Basic HTML/CSS for journalism students

Four reasons why journalism students need to know basic HTML/CSS

1. So you can trouble shoot your own blog/website.

2. It is on the “essential list” of journalism skills (and many internships and entry level jobs require it).

3. It’s not that hard.

4. Even if you never write a line of code, you need to be able to communicate with those who do.

The “Must Know” HTML List
You must be able to identify, understand, and write the following HTML code. (Use thisQuick List for reference.)

1. <html> – Tells the browser that this is an HTML document.

2. <head> – Container for all the head elements, like title, scripts, styles, meta information. Much of it is not visible in a browser.

3. <title> – Defines the title of the document and displays it at the top of the browser.

4. <body> – Defines the document’s body and contains all the contents of an HTML document, such as text, hyperlinks, images, tables, lists, etc.

5. <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5,><h6> – Used to define HTML headings. <h1> defines the most important (or biggest) heading; <h6> defines the least important (or smallest) heading.

6. <p> – Defines a paragraph

7. <br /> – Inserts a single line break.

8. <i> or <em> – Displays in italic.

9. <b> or <strong> – Displays in bold.

10. <ul> – Defines an unordered list, like bullet points.

11. <ol> – Defines an ordered list, like 1., 2. 3.

12.<a> – Defines a hyperlink, which is used to link from one page to another.

The proper formatting for a hyper link is <a href=””>Link text goes here</a>

13. <img> – Defines an image. It has two required attributes: src and alt.

The proper formatting for an image is <img src=”URL of the image” alt=”Alternate Text is displayed if image can’t be found” /></a>

14. <!> – Places a comment in the code. It isn’t visible in a browser, but includes information for others who are using or modifying the code.

15. <style> – Defines how HTML elements should appear in a browser and links to CSS. Each HTML document can contain multiple <style> tags.

This is just the beginning. You want – and need – to know more. But it’s a place to start.


About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine,, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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