Archive | December, 2010

Closing Remarks

1 Dec

Admittedly, I have always been skeptical about blogging. As a Journalism major pursuing a career in the field of Magazine writing and editing, I have long known that I should start a blog of my own, but there was something that always felt superficial to me about providing commentary about my own life, something strange and self-entitled about sharing my thoughts with the online community.

Blogging about CNN.com changed all this.

Whether it was because I wasn’t writing about myself, or because I simply took genuine interest in analyzing the CNN website (my internship this summer at InStyle.com sparked my interest in content analysis of website navigation,) I began to look forward to writing for my NewsTrack blog every week, and scouting for cool content packages, impressive navigational tools, and possible loopholes in the site’s overall functionality.

To sum up the strengths of the site, as noted from 9/12-11/3:

1. Comprehensive and unique reporting, with stellar video

2. Top notch content packages (remember the Oil Spill package?)

3.Gorgeous photo galleries

4. Unexpected ways used when presenting current issues

5. Encouragement of citizen journalism (CNN iReport)

And the caveats:

1. Some survey articles lack graphs

2. “Story highlights” tab is potentially troubling

Take the article by Sarah Hoye that Professor Michelle Johnson just shared with my JO540 class, for example, about a couple who moved into their “dream home” in Pennsylvania only to discover that it was once a “meth home.”  The article topic has incredible intrigue on its own as a print news piece, but the video package and photo enhances its functionality.  Oh, and the reporting is thorough, informative, gripping and to the point.

Blogging about CNN.com not only made me aware and attune to the functionality of CNN.com, but I also began to compare it to other news websites (like newyorktimes.com) it terms of the way in which it organizes material (NY Times could learn from thw NewsPulse tab!) Additionally, exploring the site on a weekly basis forced me to read all kinds of news that I might not have clicked on or taken interest in (hence, my dolphin post.)

I plan to continue this blog after this course ends, but incorporate material from other news sites to compare and contrast navigational techniques, content and packages. I also intent to start my own personal blog (skeptics, it’s true!) with an angle of a New York City native living in Manhattan, trying to find the best aspects of cultural events, nightlife and (my guilty but oh-so passionate pleasure) fashion.

As for CNN.com, while I may not blog about it on a steady weekly basis, NewsPulse has become a daily routine of mine (which says a lot, because I am such a creature of New York Times habit) and I will continue to search the site for new and interesting packages and features.

Additionally, I have developed an ever-growing love for WordPress.  I can sense that this is a start of a long standing and beautiful relationship.