Guess who is not a fan of sports and has two thumbs: this girl.
I might watch a game if it’s a final event: but only if I’m with my family or closest friends. With that said, I was irritated in finding out that I had to give this subject my undivided attention last week. The digital journalism class had to see how our assigned websites covered the NFL. As if I wasn’t disappointed enough with my first impression of The Arizona Republic: now I had to watch a boring physical activity. But I was pleased to see that the online newspaper covered the event well. Someone even fixed the webpage’s background. A horizontal design looked way much better than a vertical one with an angry football player staring at you. It’s as though someone read my blog.
(Me looking around the room slowly, creeped out)
Anyway, the site started posting articles that related to the NFL Sunday before 10 p.m., but I waited until Monday for full-coverage. The “Top News” tab featured a link to insights on the win. The link wasn’t labeled as the first article, but it was highlighted at the bottom of the carousel. Highlighted news should stay at the top in the future. Below the story, The Arizona Republic dedicated an area on the left-hand side specifically for sports. It was a little area, but the yellow line above the “sports” news title helped attract visitors’ eyes. And the newspaper did more than cover the game. It also included other football game plays within the area: even a little high school football.
Arizona sure likes their football.
Clicking on the link under “Top News” sent me to a set of pictures. Descriptions underneath the photos told people what happened in that instance of the game. I couldn’t understand any of the football jargon that the editors typed for each description (what the heck is an “Arizona 13”?), but whoever the photographer was did a good job at capturing the excitement and pain that the players experienced. And the act of the newspapers telling fans about every important part of the game through a multimedia perspective screamed innovation. There is nothing more powerful than showing what a team endured and how it celebrated a victory through words and pictures. Priceless.
The only other recommendation I’d suggest would be that the page includes Twitter updates in the right column of their main page. I don’t have a lot of access to a TV during the school year, so it would’ve been helpful to get the details on what was happening on one side of the computer screen while I waited for new appearing sport articles. The Arizona Republic Twitter page shouldn’t tell fans they could find sport information from clicking on Arizona Central’s social media link and then one random man’s account. I’m just saying: make it a little easier for the viewers.