Stepping on Some Toes. Website Style.

If I were to hold the key to the Campus’s official Website…

Well, when first visiting the page the first thought is its rather boring. So right off the bat i would work on improving the eye appeal because that is what draws in the attention of the visitor. The first impression is everything.

Second, going off of eye appeal. I would want to include a small picture or clip art with every story. This would give a visual aid as to what the article would be about. If enough pictures aren’t available, there could be certain pictures to use as an avatar for designated story types. For example, the entertainment stories could have a picture of a mega phone.

One minor detail I would change would be to get rid of the spell check lines that are seen on most of the last names.

As a general housekeeping rule, I would try to limit the stories on the main page to only a few key ones. By cramming all those stories on the main page, it doesn’t pull readers in to explore different pages of the website.

The advertisements are needed however the placement of them distracts from the stories themselves. The weather feature is also a nice touch, however, I would place it in a more convenient location.

Although this doesn’t have to do with the website layout, I still feel it should be addressed. The awareness the student body possesses about the website is extremely low. The website needs to be promoted if that is going to be our central form of news. We need to utilize the campus and all other media forms such as posters and social media.

Finally, the last subject I will touch on is the content of the stories themselves. Lets face it, most of the stories are pretty boring. We need to get the University more excited about news on campus in order to attract more attention. An idea that I had is to do sort of a “scavenger hunt” (no pun intended) that would require students to visit oucampus.org. Or hold some sort of carnival to get the name of the website out.

Since I’ve bounced around a lot, I’m going to bring everything to a close. I do not know much about website layout, but I can tell you what I think looks good. While you may chose to think otherwise, it is my opinion and you asked for it. I might be stepping on someone’s toes, but that’s what happens when your a journalist.

Lady Gaga’s Synovitis Battle

Synovitis. What the heck is that?

Its the condition that has caused Lady Gaga to postone many of her upcoming shows.

Huffington Post and The New York Times have both covered the story. Lets take a deeper look at their techniques and see which one prevails in this battle.

First lets analyze the leads.

Huffington Post- “Lady Gaga announced she will be unable to perform at several of her upcoming shows because of a condition called synovitis that has made it hard for her to work, according to news reports.”

New York Times- “Lady Gaga has postponed four concerts in Chicago; Detroit; and Hamilton, Ontario, over the next week because she is suffering from severe joint pain brought on by an injury, the singer announced Tuesday on her Web site.”

Huffington Post covered the who and what but were rather vague on the when and where while New York Times covered the who, what, when, where and why. One point for New York Times.

Next, both covered what the illness synovitis was, however, Huffington Post offered a more in depth look at what it is and how it affects the singer with outside sources quotes. One point for Huffington Post.

Both stories offered a tweet from Gaga herself and several quotes from her. New York Times’ tweet was on apologizing to the fans and Huffington Post’s tweet was one descrbing to her fans how she had worsened. Personally, I feel like New York Times choice of tweets would appeal more to the audience. New York Times- 2, Huffington Post- 1

Huffington Post had offered specific reasons why the singer would be unable to perform by describing specifically how the illness is affecting her body which New York Times left very vague. Tied at 2 and 2.

New York Times told fans with tickets that they were asked to hold on to their tickets until the postponed shows could be rescheduled, which Huffington Post failed to do. New York Times takes the lead.

The picture used by New York Times at the beginning of the story was rather scary and not sufficient for my taste. Huffington Post’s choice of picture was much more appealing and less frightening. Tied.

Finally, Huffington Post offered a video for readers to view at the end of the article. Huffington Post pulls ahead.

In the end, I feel Huffington Post’s presentation, organization, and their overall wording was easy to read and effective. New York Times had a solid lead and was strong in some parts but lacked an overall explanation of the illness and how it affected Gaga.

And the win goes to (drum roll) HUFFINGTON POST!

Here are links to the stories, feel free to read them and tell me what you thought. I love your feedback!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/synovitis-lady-gaga-health-inflammation-joints_n_2678387.html

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/lady-gaga-postpones-concerts-because-of-illness/

cITIZEN.jOURNALISM

Are you a journalist? No? Yes?

Have you ever wondered what it really takes to be a journalist?

Well let me tell ya, its not a lot. (Joke)

Any who. This blog is over the topic of citizen journalism. Citizen journalism is journalism from citizens. Pretty self explanatory. However, I am going to dive deeper into the concept. To me citizen journalism is a great way to get the Average Joe’s opinion. It helps widen the paper’s spectrum of stories that are written and can hopefully reach out to some audiences that haven’t been touched.

The fact that the story is written by a complete nobody makes most journalists and editors skeptical. This is a given. However, some people have random hidden talents that they never knew they possessed until they tried them out. What if Peter Cottontail down the street was the world’s best journalist, he just never tried? Well with citizen journalism, he can! Viola!

With the fabulous invention of the internet, citizens now have access to just as much information as journalists have. Who’s to say they can’t use it? I’m sure many papers even have a section where they allow citizens to write stories dealing with local community issues. Great way to get the public involved and to get your newspaper out there.

So now that you know a little more about citizen journalism, or at least I hope you do, you can formulate your own opinion on its benefits. Or don’t. It doesn’t really affect me.

Until next time. Stay beautiful.

Goals Schmoals

Well for my Advanced Reporting and Editing Class I have to write a blog. Yay! This blog is about the goals that I have for this class and this blog. Brace yourself. This is going to get real exciting.

Goal number 1 is to pass this class. I had to take this class to be in newspaper. I never really wanted to be in newspaper, but for my major it is required. I’ve never done newspaper before and I had no clue what I was getting in to. My advice? Don’t do it.

Goal number 2 is to get this blog done. I’ve never blogged before and I am not exactly sure how to. I’ve never even read a blog before.

Goal number 3 is to make this blog as entertaining as possible. Most of the content I post is not really true, it is just something to provide you with a good chuckle.

Wish me luck!