Easter has come, everyone. I'm sure you all know what that means: it’s time to hunt outside for artificial eggs that overflow with jelly beans, barf from pigging out on everything in your Easter basket, and wake up at all hours of the
morning and get ready for church. Church leads me to what today's blog post is about: religion. Keep in mind with this post that I'm not that much of a religious person. But I'll still share how I viewed the religious posts that cleveland.com offered this week.
A religious individual who wants any type of coverage on the topic from the online newspaper can go to cleveland.com/religion. The page has stories from most recent to March 12. If that isn't far back enough, they have a "Browse the Archives" and "Search by Keyword" area. The files go back all the way to 2006.
I scrolled down the page, scanning who the publishers were for each article, and found that either The Plain Dealer or Plain Dealer wire services produced the majority of the content. The staff only borrowed two
articles from the Associated Press. The AP articles covered a "Pope Francis," a topic that popped up often under the religion page at least as late as the 12th of March. Now yes: Ohio's paper writes more articles on religion
aspects. But I'm suspicious. Who is composed of this "Plain Dealer wire services" team? And how did the editors get this information about such a world issue?
And looking at what type of multimedia each group supplied didn’t help my thoughts. The Plain Dealer staff offered either a slide show or high-definition picture on the issue and placed a 200-word article below the images. The two AP articles averaged around 900-words each with no pictures. And the Wire Services provided 650-word articles with a small photo: from the AP.
It's great that the publishing supervisors send out at least one article to the public once a day. And yes, I did say that TPD needed more stories covered by its own people. But I'd also suggest to the individuals who run the site that they need a different approach. Going out and getting the information yourself is one thing. But something tells me that the source went out, grabbed the background story from a particular news agency, and put its own news source's name on it. Be careful, The Plain Dealer.
Ah, Facebook: the main source of social media today. And like other news sources registered with the site, cleveland.com takes a piece of the promoting action. Editors post new articles for its Ohio audience at least every hour, and for good reason. It's a new era: readers today skip the actual website, go to Facebook, and catch their updates there. The comments and "like"'s usually follow. But the days I looked at the site, my prediction of such feedback backfired.
I decided to act like a regular reader and scrolled down through each post. What sparked my interest was the lack of comments and likes found on breaking news or regular news posts. Cleveland needs feedback for problems that affect the state or the world. But no. Instead, commenters didn't really comment on any other post other than those related to sports. And I also noticed that the main content that Ohio's page posted was sports. Chunks of "other" content clustered around each other made it apparent that no one cared that much about anything else.
I rolled my eyes. So much for not covering anything sports-related this week. The page made it clear that that wasn't an option. Readers dodged stories like a prosecutor's office and either typed in enthusiasm toward the Cavaliers or liked shared stories about the Ohio State Buckeyes. I understand you people like basketball. But come on.
But then I saw the article about "Terry Pluto's Blog: Tribe scribbles from Goodyear, where the sun has been shining on the Tribe." It's a piece on baseball: one like. A "Now is the time to impact our children's mental health: Lynn Barabach" post appears Saturday. No likes on Facebook's page.
The Plain-Dealer isn't a popular news site, but it's still a site for all news. Not just sports-related news, but issues that the community really needs more of a focus on. TPD needs a new strategy to make such stories more interesting. How that can happen is the question. I suggest finding some stories that mix sports and important
issues together. Focus on local basketball and how they relate to the mental health issues: anything to get someone to reflect.
By Casby Bias
If you’ve lived on Earth for even a small period of time, you should know that there is a big drive toward multimedia, especially videos. Unlike newspapers or magazine articles, the clips provide a format where you don’t have to think too hard to come up with engaging characters and visual imagery: they’re right there in front of you. And The Plain-Dealer definitely served up its own combinations. But if the event wasn’t happening in Cleveland, the audiovisuals came from other website sources.
I’d say thumbs up to the online newspaper for the films in general. From what I’ve noticed, editors placed breaking news coverage stories usually on the front page in the right-side column with the title of “Featured Multimedia.” You’d find pictures as well, but the video was where everything was at. Take for example one article I read about the recent Virginia Rape Case of a 16-year-old girl. The writers did not supply a lot of content, but, then again, they didn’t need to. The videos from an attributed site said everything. I compliment the site for putting the clips up with HD features. You could see the passion of apologizes, the emotion and breaking down of the individuals in court. Whoever made the videos tried to get as close and all up in the victims’ faces as they could. I just wish that TPD uploaded its own videos, but I’m glad the staff took the time to find qualitative clips.
But Cleveland impressed me with its sports page. It was a video gallery, to put it in a few words. Game fanatics don’t have to worry about missing out on any action if they miss a game or speech from athletes or coaches. They could just check out the following link. I’m not really a fan of the hobby. But I gaped at the way Cleveland.com formatted its content. It looked like the site used Final Cut Pro. Names flashed on the left-side corner for a reasonable amount of time. Visual reporters kept it classy by including few amounts of people on the screens at a time. And either the staff committed copyright infringement and placed their own "Cleveland.com" logo on each of the videos, or the site increased in value for its own state's video footage.
I compared the website to Black Enterprise Magazine, one that I usually go to for business-related news. All I can say as a response is a good job. The second online web source may have consisted of fancier graphics, but the first included the basics. The essentials included being able to stop or play the video whenever you wanted to, who the speaker was (at all times), titles that you could see, and the ability to continue on without stopping in its tracks and buffering every ten seconds. I find this beneficial for people who may not be able to hear videos at that moment and are in a rush. Excellent job, Cleveland: but try to get out within the world more for personal videos of events that are outside of your state.