With the semester coming to an end, my time blogging about cnn.com will also be coming to an end. The past few months have been interesting observing the website as many events have happened and to compare CNN’s site with other news sites, whether big or small.
I didn’t really visit cnn.com before I was assigned to cover the site, but after visiting daily for the past few months, I’ve grown to enjoy it. As I’ve blogged about before, it’s very easy to navigate and has a lot of great interactive graphics for it’s readers as well as news videos. In this day and age, I believe interactive graphics and videos are a great way to entice readers to continue to visit your site and CNN does a great job.
CNN also does a great job covering the news, which is it’s first priority. All the latest breaking news stories were always at the top of the page for me every time I visited the site and were always up-to-date. It felt good to know that the news was constantly being updated so I knew what was happening now instead of what happened five hours ago, which many other news sites do.
I will continue to visit the site even though I’m no longer required to blog about it. There’s a lot of great features on the site and you never know what new thing you will find when you visit the site. You may come for the news, but you can leave with so much more.
I’ve previously blogged about CNN’s great features from it’s use of multimedia to it’s iReport which allows regular people post news on the site. Recently I found myself on the Entertainment page of CNN and was quite surprised as to what I found. CNN’s Entertainment section has some pretty good graphics on the page and surprisingly, very few articles.
At the top of the page is a graphic with many pictures of celebrities with the title “Trending Topics”. This are the most popular topics trending around the Internet and once you move your mouse over a particular picture a graphic pops up that tells you why that story is trending and how many people “like” it on Facebook.
Unlike traditional sites, there are very few articles, but more picture galleries and video reports. Personally, I find this better than just reading a traditional news article. I like to view something with some action or a video to get my news rather than just reading words, so I find this to be a great change by CNN.
I compared CNN’s website to that of Fox news last week and have decided I would do the same this week by comparing CNN to MSN. While not quite the large news outlet that CNN is, MSN still offers a lot to its viewers so I thought it would be interesting to compare a large new source to a smaller one.
I like MSN’s home page as right at the top of the page is what is called “Today’s Talkers”, three of the hottest news stories of the day in a video format. Viewers immediately find out what the day’s hottest news is and MSN mixes it up a little bit by putting video of the stories, which I find people enjoy more than just reading a text article. However, this is about as much video content as you will find on MSN’s website. There isn’t a lot of multimedia on the site, which I find interesting considering that is the way a lot of sites are going nowadays.
The home page also doesn’t have a list of top news, like many other sites. Instead, it is a list of “Editor’s Picks”. CNN rates it’s top news on popularity among viewers while MSN does it based on what stories the editor thinks are the most important/interesting. I have to say that I believe CNN’s way is better. I think you have a better representation of the audience by basing your top stories on how many people view them instead of what your editor thinks people will like.
MSN also has a lot of local news, depending on where you live, which CNN doesn’t. I think this is a good thing for MSN because a lot of sites won’t give you local news, which people seem to enjoy. This could increase viewer ship as people may know that they will get their local news at MSN while the bigger news sites won’t.
I’ve been going on and on about CNN.com the past few weeks and decided to change it up a little bit this week. Instead of talking about CNN’s news coverage or a recent iReport, I’ve decided to compare CNN’s website with that of Fox News. These are two pretty big news outlets with coverage on both television and on-line so I thought it would be a good comparison.
As you may recall with my first post, I am a pretty big fan of CNN’s website. They integrate multimedia very well, the site is easy to navigate, and the latest news is always at the top of the page.
Fox News’ site is quite similar to CNN’s. The latest and greatest news is at the top of the page (in today’s case it was Libya) and next to the most recent story are links to previous articles which pertain to that story. I like that the two sites do this because with updates continuously pouring in, somebody might have missed something from earlier in the day and this allows them to catch up.
I will say, however, that CNN utilizes multimedia a lot better than Fox News. On CNN’s page they have videos, iReports, interactive graphics, and NewsPulse. On Fox News’ site, all they have are videos. There isn’t anything that tells you what the most read news stories are with a graphic or any polls on the homepage. In this day and age I believe these things are great for websites, especially ones such as CNN and Fox News. CNN does a good job of utilizing them while Fox News could use them to enhance it’s site.
I’m a little late on this, but I thought it was still worth blogging about. As you know by now, Japan was hit was a devastating earthquake last week which resulted in a tsunami rushing through the country killing thousands. As I was watching CNN’s coverage of the disaster, I found myself watching home videos from people in Japan through CNN’s iReport feature, which I blogged about a few weeks ago. CNN did not have cameras ready for the earthquake and tsunami because you can’t predict when they will happen so in this case, the iReport was very useful for getting news on the website quickly.
Here are some of the better iReport videos which CNN has posted on it’s website and used in its television coverage of the disaster.
Going through CNN’s website today and I decided to actually watch some of the videos on the site’s Video page. I thought the page was just full of breaking news and updates on on-going news stories, but I was wrong. Some of the videos are quite different and are pieces you ordinarily see on other news sites.
There was one video on how to spot if someone is enslaved. It was quite informative and a good change from just having some video telling me about something that happened in Libya three days ago. The video had characters and experts talking about being enslaved, which made the video better than just having someone tell me how to spot an enslaved woman. There were also links to other videos about sex trafficking and slave trade right beside this particular video in case I wanted to learn more on the subject.