NewsTrack #9: CNN Travel

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Let me just start off by saying I am a big fan of Anthony Bourdain. His shows No Reservations and The Layover are two of my all-time favorite TV shows. So when I saw Bourdain’s newest show, Parts Unknown, broadcasted on CNN, I was really impressed to see the multimedia packages that were being made on the show. That being said, I wish that same sort of multimedia talent was displayed on the travel section of CNN website.

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The CNN Travel has a lot of really interesting stories to choose from on the main page however the page layout is not full of visually appealing elements. The highlighted story in the center of the page is not a dominant feature on the page. The topic and photo for that highlighted story (“10 of the Most Adventurous Cruises”) is not the most eye-catching or interesting story in my opinion. There is a side bar of stories on the left had side that are linked to written stories. These stories, although well-written and have adequate pictures, lack visual interest for the reader.

The right side displays current airport delays current airport delay times. In all honesty, I’m not sure why this feature is there. Readers would be more interested in reading stories or watching videos about different destinations, rather than knowing which airport in the world is having major delays.

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If I were to suggest to CNN how to improve their website, I would focus on making the media more aesthetically pleasing by displaying video content and picture slideshows in the top part of the page and put items such as the airport delay in a small widget at the bottom.

NewsTrack #8: Obamacare Coverage

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One topic that has been covered frequently on CNN and many other news sites is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Today, CNN has posted yet another story about the healthcare reform act. According to the democrats quoted in the article, the Obama Administration has until this Friday to fix the problems regarding the healthcare act.

Screen shot 2013-11-13 at 4.57.38 AMIn regards to the multimedia used to tell this story, CNN did a great job putting together a summary video at the very top of the page. The 2-minute long video gives the audience a clear and concise summary of the problem and the key players that are involved. In addition to the main summary video, there are a couple of other videos that give fuller details about the story. These videos, located on the left side bar of the main story, give readers the opportunity to explore more video stories and interviews about Obamacare.

Another multimedia tool that CNN used to convey the Obamacare story was an infographic. I don’t see a lot of infographics on the CNN website, so I was happily surprised to find one. Infographics are great visual tools that allow readers to get a better understanding of topic. This infographic of the United States shows which states have extended Medicaid options. This visual creates a connection between the content and the reader. The maps allows readers to be more aware of their healthcare options within their respective states.

NewsTrack #7: CNN Health

For today’s blog post I want to focus on the CNN’s health section. This section of the site has a lot of very interesting stories that I like to share on my Twitter. The content is applicable to many people’s lives and is often essential to know if one wants to live a healthy lifestyle.

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There are many multimedia pieces at work in this section of the site. Every story is accompanied by at least one picture. Additionally some articles have videos that give a brief overview of the whole story. However, even though most stories come with video and picture supplements. The images used in both the photos and the videos are often not of the best quality and are often stock photos, photographs taken for no specific purpose. I imagine the reason for this is because many of the stories written for this section cover very sensitive topics that are not conducive to capturing visually (images of an illness, person with symptoms, etc).

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One thing that I really like about the health section of CNN’s website is their video series called “Health Minute”. In each Health Minute video, a health related topic is explained and discussed within a one-minute span. Topics range from childhood concussions to lowering one’s risk for diabetes. These videos provide are short, concise and effective way of getting important information to the public.

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