Tag Archives: New York Times

CNN at a Glance

8 Sep

I was not as familiar with the news website for CNN as I was with the New York Times, my primary source for online news. I have long been accustomed to the Times’ underwhelming white background and standard “newsy” feel, and I was immediately impressed by CNN.com’s vibrant, pulsating layout. Aside from the bright red background of the toolbar on the top of each page, the site is chock full of video content and audio packages, sprinkled throughout the site as either clickable photo tabs or links. The site always contains a breaking news photo tout on the top left, and a feature story photo in the top center.

The content of the site is impressive and thorough; the site boasts a global team of 4,000 reporters working to provide online content 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The main toolbar divides the site into categories (U.S., Politics, Health) and each page is divided into subcategories for easy, organized navigation (i.e. U.S. is divided into Midwest, South, etc.; Politics is divided into Congress, Midterm Economics.)

Each page within the site links to CNN’s partnership producers, which is useful and relative but featured at the bottom of each page as not to distract from the main content (i.e. the main U.S. homepage links to Time.com; the Entertainment page links to EW.com and People.com.) When I interned at InStyle.com this summer, I learned that InStyle.com and CNN.com are partnership producers and link to one another’s sites with articles that the respective users would be interested in– I learned that this not only adds diversity to the content of a site, but also works to boost traffic on both of the sites.

The first and foremost tabs on the top toolbar (Home, Video, “NewsPulse”) are embedded in a slightly darker shade of red than the other tabs (U.S., Health, etc.) I loved the video tab because it really helps the site distinguish itself from other print news aggregators, and helped to reinforce that CNN is really– at its core– a site built upon television news.

The Newspulse tab took the cake as my favorite aspect of the site, as it is a tab that organizes news first by catergory, and then by popularity. For example, at 11:44 P.M. on Monday, September 13th, I discovered that the most popular article being read on the entire CNN site is that of reporter Ines Sainz defending herself in a sexual harassment case involving several members of the Jets football team (see screenshot.) Thus, the NewsPulse tab not only introduced me to an interesting piece of news, but informed me of what was on the public’s radar at that given moment.

I am excited to continue to track and analyze different aspects of the CNN website throughout the semester, especially the video and audio coverage. I have already found myself going straight to the NewsPulse page on several occasions for quick updates on hot, current news topics.