The Plain-Dealer did not excel this weekend when it came to reporting on the Oscars. I don’t have a television, so I hoped that the online newspaper wouldn’t let me down. It didn’t on that aspect. I don’t know what time the awards came on, but I’m glad that the paper stuck through with its outline for where people could find information on the event. I enjoy the paper's consistency.
But coming back to the page hours later had me singing a different tune about Cleveland’s work. The format of the page turned out to be a hot mess. The information supplied during the awards was a little different now on the site. If you wanted to see all the tweets that Oscars LIVE shared, you'd have to continue scrolling down and clicking on the "Show Additional Entries" link. Do you know how many people tweeted and retweeted each minute? I'd recommend that the page consist of a permalink that moves readers to a new Twitter page. The process of reading all the tweets would still be tedious, but at least readers wouldn't have to scroll down so often. What's worse is that this live tweet event took its place smack dab in the middle of the blog that the staff posted. Imagine that you're just reading from the bottom of the blog post to the top (another thing I want to address) and bam: oh look, an ugly "Oscars LIVE" Twitter feed. That's cool. I'll just go above that to read the rest of this blog.
Trust me. You'd say the same thing if you'd click on the permalink and scroll down.
Don't get me started with the photo slide show put in a random area in the post. Captions would’ve helped a lot. I recognized some of the people, but others I had no idea who they were. Look: there's Adele. Now there's George Clooney. Now there's some random woman dressed in a gold dress crying on some steps. No idea who she is. Make it clear who is who, and put the photos in one place: not just one slide show and a photo gallery below it.
And what is with the edited version of the Academy Awards page TPD came up with? Try reading the article from top to bottom. That's right. You can't. The staff arranged the process of the event like a Twitter feed. You'd have to read 25 percent of the article at the start, then scroll all the way down to half of the page and read up. If you want to read the comments, they're under the "Related Stories" section.
I'm upset about the coverage the website provided me. It was not organized, and it just seemed like the staff threw in pictures, tweets and slide shows into a biased blog post. Thanks, Ohio.
Studying profiles for Sunday’s blog post served as the most interesting thing I’ve analyzed for The Plain-Dealer so far. Profiles in class were defined as articles that needed something “universal.” You needed to look for points in a story that mattered to you. What would interest you would most likely interest future readers. If you grasped such curiosity from stories or quotes that your interviewee shared with you, you were all set toward the right path of creating a good profile. Profiles consisted of challenges and opportunities. And they supplied imagery that made you think the speaker had a particular profession. Cleveland achieved all the rules through a music CEO's story.
I scanned through my example profile while it glowed on the screen. It showed all the characteristics of points that I learned about profiles in class. Before I had no idea how I could find a profile other than typing it into the page's search engine. But I ended up finding one that covered Greg Harris, Cleveland Rock Hall's president.
Best. Article. I’ve read. Ever. This week.
Yes, I've read better. But I'll give The Plain-Dealer its props: they did a nice job. The question at the beginning might not be favored by some journalists. But because of my curiosity of finding answers to puzzles, it tempted me to read on. The checklist effect with the inclusions of hilarious and naïve quotes that made it seem like the person being profiled on was just a normal person made the page personal and therefore a little easier to read.
I was also excited when I spotted another theme that the class discussed before class ended Wednesday: the format of present, past, and future in the article. The editors wrote about what the man’s professional title job included, and then how he got introduced in the industry through his personal funny story. His location, profession, how he looked at the time and his interactions with future influences included in the format gave the article a basic but unique feel. The story’s setup made it sound like a written documentary. I liked the occasional journalist’s voice jumping in every so often with questions he or she asked (e.g., what did he say she say, how did you react).
The type of format from the Greg Harris profile was only one of the many profiles that The Plain-Dealer staff wrote. But I felt the article was a great example of that I needed more practice on in the future for the JOUR 2100 class.
The Plain-Dealer did OK at covering Beyoncé and the commercials for the Super Bowl. I'd be bummed out if the only reporting the website prepared for the event consisted of scores for the game, articles about random football players and coaches, and a video of a choir of children who lived through a tragedy. But the page provided small links for Beyoncé’s halftime show and the commercials. I’m grateful the editors did this: I'm not that into sports.
The day before the game, nothing about the 30-second-to-a-minute clips or the pop-star's big night surfaced within the content. But four articles with words that only football fans knew of, such as "QBs" (quarterback?) and Art Modell (whoever he is), stood their ground at the top of the page. Though the short show and advertisements play a big part in the occasion, The Plain-Dealer skipped out on Beyoncé and Super Bowl commercials Saturday.
But the page did better on Sunday: at least around the halftime period. The site included a mega blog and chat on its page of all things Super Bowl-related. A little bit below that area was a link: "The commercials: What to watch for tonight." It would’ve been better if they gave the audience a picture of some scenes from the ads. I reentered the permalink again later that night and found a collage of pictures plastered at the top. Beyoncé’s face finally took place on the screen in the left corner. I waited for news about the singer all night on this site. I expected more.
The news source also must’ve gone crazy Monday morning. The editors took the article about Beyoncé’ presentation and moved it to the bottom of the entertainment page. How dare the editors kick the piece overnight?
But Cleveland’s newspaper grabbed some final points for supplying a link toward the icon’s routine. And I'll admit it: the above link breaking down all of the commercials by the first and second half of the game really stood out to me. The writers took some time formatting the information and even included YouTube links that people could watch. The paper didn't pull through as well as I'd hoped this round. But I'm glad the staff tried.