NewsTrack 4: CNN and Video

After exploring CNN‘s site for over a month, I’ve come to find that video stories are some of their most effective. CNN’s around-the-clock coverage includes an extensive amount of written stories, but there is no shortage of videos on their site.

In fact, most articles on CNN will embed a related video. Often times this video will be taken straight from a recent CNN broadcast, but sometimes the videos are produced packages made exclusively for the website. My only gripe with this is that sometimes the video that is embedded with the article is unnecessary or off-topic. There are times when, as a reader, I’m just looking to read the news, not interact with it.

That being said, this recent post predicting the end of an era for political ads as we know it would have worked better as a video story in my opinion.

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CNN’s recent column about political ads would have been stronger as a video story

The column cites various instances recently where attack ads simply take too long to make their point, and notes that none of the ads can compete with Donald Trump’s rhetoric on Twitter.

A video story with some interviews from experts, past political ads to set the stage, and clips from recent ads would have made for a more immersive story.

This video, made exclusively for CNN Style, is a prime example of just how effective video stories can be. It explores the beauty of Italian car design, and includes interviews with those working in the field.

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The footage is brilliantly shot, the video is informative, and you also get to see some breathtaking views of Italy.

A can’t lose situation in my book. More like this, CNN.

NewsTrack 3: Coverage of Justice Scalia’s Death

Following the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, much has been said about what should be done with his seat moving forward. Should President Obama nominate a replacement for Scalia now? There has also been a great deal of coverage honoring the life of the first Italian-American justice.

CNN.com, my NewsTrack site, is always on top of its game in terms of covering the major issues, and this case is no different. For many Americans who may not have been familiar with Scalia beyond the fact that he was a significant conservative judge, CNN has published a number of articles celebrating his life and explaining his many accomplishments within the Supreme Court.

CNN’s home page, almost a week after his death, still has a variety of articles on this important topic, its implications, and the next steps to find his replacement.

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Upon further review, one can see that CNN, realizing politics is one of its areas of expertise, has over 100 articles, videos, and interactive stories about Scalia in just this short time period. Unlike its coverage of the Super Bowl, which was minimal, CNN has hit this topic hard, and rightfully so.

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Immediately following his death CNN published news-type articles simply outlining the facts regarding his death. There were also column-type pieces like this one that explain what Scalia meant to this country. There are even articles and videos integrated into their coverage that explore the conspiracy theories about his passing.

As always, CNN’s coverage is accessible to the average reader, and incorporates a number of multimedia elements into their stories that keep the readers coming back.

A tough story, but CNN handled it just about as well as one could hope a major news outlet would.

NewsTrack 2: Super Bowl Coverage

Often referred to as America’s pastime, baseball has long occupied the number one spot for sports in this country. Although the concussion epidemic is a serious problem, baseball has been losing traction in the US, and football is on the rise. For evidence of this, look no further than viewership for this weekend’s Super Bowl 50.

Nearly 112 million people watched the Broncos defeat Cam Newton and the Panthers. Although last year’s Super Bowl did attract more overall viewers, Super Bowl 50 was still the third-most-watched television program in US history. Additionally, this game shattered streaming records, with a record 3.96 million people tuning in via laptops, tablets, mobile phones, and the like.

Because of the sheer popularity of football in the US, I thought there’d be more coverage of it on my NewsTrack site, CNN. Understanding that it’s not a typical sports site like ESPN, I realized that there wouldn’t be a great deal of recaps, siders, or features from the game, but I expected more coverage than I found.

After doing some digging on CNN’s site, I found that just going to CNN.com will not allow you to access CNN’s sports content. A tab at the top of the home page says “sports,” but this link leads you directly to Bleacher Report’s home page. After some research, I realized that this is because Turner Sports, which also owns CNN, acquired Bleacher Report in August 2012 for $170 million.

This could be an attempt by CNN to get more traffic to Bleacher Report’s site. At first I thought of this as somewhat of a poor strategy, leading readers away from CNN.com, but in a way it also continues to show commitment to their readers. CNN realizes that their primary focus and demographic is not avid sports fans, so they link those fans to the best coverage that they can find (Bleacher Report).

That being said, there is still sports and Super Bowl content to be found on CNN’s site – you just have to dig a little. If you switch to the from the US version of the site, as show below, you’ll be directed to content geared to a more international audience. On this new home page, the sports tab directs you CNN-driven sports content.

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One of these articles is a Super Bowl-related piece speculating whether or not this is the end of Peyton Manning’s famed career. It was a difficult season for the future Hall-of-Famer, as was injured for part of the year, lost his starting role upon his return, and still managed to propel his team through to the championship game amid HGH charges.

Although this post is not as in-depth as one you may see on ESPN, Bleacher Report, or even SB Nation, it still sheds some light on an important topic in the sports world. Borrowing some reports from ESPN, CNN again acknowledges that they are not the paramount sports network.

But with coverage like this, CNN again illustrates that they will not leave their readers in the dark on any topic, keeping them informed on almost anything they’re interested in… and some things they may not be interested in, like what Peyton’s mom thinks of her son’s potential retirement.

 

Exploring the Bean: Twitter Scavenger Hunt

Had a lot of fun with this assignment, spending some time exploring various parts of the city and talking to people about what makes Boston so special. Take a look at my finished product on Storify, complete with all the elements of multimedia journalism. Twitter and Storify are two strong examples of companies on the cutting-edge of innovation in this technological age.