Monday, March 28, 2011

Huffington Post new subject tabs

The Huffington Post recently reformatted the top of its website. It made the search feature top and center as well as condensed its subject tabs into main topics with drop-down menus. I think this is a step in the right direction for the website to be more user-friendly and less cluttered.

Website design is quickly becoming one of the most important newsroom topics. Even if media outlets are producing great news and content, if there website is messy or difficult to navigate through, users simply won't spend time there. Last week in my News Editing class, we looked at an eye-tracking study conducted by Nielsen that showed how important layout is when trying to convey a specific message through a website. The study showed how white space is a necessary part of a website so that the reader is not confused or overwhelmed when looking at the presentation of the site. To help organize important items, bullets, tight writing and subheads are important.

Also, here is a blogger that I found who gave some pretty good layout tips using the New York Times website as an example — Design O'blog

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Media of Her Rape

New York Times
Libyan Woman Struggles to Tell Media of Her Rape

"A Libyan woman burst into the hotel housing the foreign press in Tripoli on Saturday morning and fought off security forces as she told journalists that she had been raped and beaten by members of the Qaddafi militia. After nearly an hour, she was dragged away from the hotel screaming."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fashion Tips

Fashion blogs, fashion videos and many other forms of social media are now more popular than ever. It's a niche that will always exist because, face it, we will always have to dress ourselves and looking your best has been important for generations. Independent journalists enthusiastic about the fashion realm realize this and are sprouting up all over the internet.

Does it take extensive runway knowledge and designer clothes to be a fashion tips hit online? No. It just takes a dedication to the niche and a loyalty to your fan-base.

Check out xJOLE who I discovered today on YouTube. She's a 20-year-old girl from Toronto. She showcases her everyday outfits. She shows viewers what's in her closet and how to accessorize. She wears clothes from affordable outlets like Forever 21. And, she creates these videos without leaving her own bedroom. It's low-budget, simple, real and she gets thousands of hits! She even has a blog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Memri TV

In class yesterday, we looked at a video on of Veena Malik being accused of wrong behavior by a mullah on Pakistani television. My classmates and I could easily follow along with the video because of the rolling subtitles. I was interested in who was translating these clips and did a little research on the video provider...

The video was translated by Memori TV, the Middle East Media Research Institute headquartered in Washington, D.C. They started in February 1998 "to inform the debate over U.S. policy in the Middle East." They are independent and work off of donations. They translate media to English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Hebrew.

Considering I've always been the student that was less amused and more frustrated at the thought of learning Spanish through classroom conjugations, I think what Memori TV is producing can be an excellent source for journalists looking for news translations. Plus, the content they are posting is relevant and the site serves as a good news source on it's own for people interested in international debates — like "Clashes on Facebook over Calls for Revolution in Qatar" posted earlier this month. The site has everything from a featured news blog to advocacy subject heads to learn more about topics like "Indoctrination of Children" to new projects like "Global Jihad News."

Also, to keep things interesting, Memri is working on a "Cartoon Initiative" project that's pretty entertaining.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

MSNBC airs feature on 'partner'

A friend emailed me a link to this story yesterday —

"NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC aired a feature touting a company's "incredible" steel-making process this week, two months after saying the company would be its partner on a reporting trip about the American economy.

The five-minute feature on Nucor Corp. on Wednesday's edition of "The Dylan Ratigan Show" raised questions about whether a news organization was granting positive publicity to a company in return for financial help."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

History of Journalism - reflections on Voices of Revolution

Women who change history serve as role models of why journalists should always be thinking progressively, speaking for justice and reporting the truth. When Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan Brownell Anthony started The Revolution when they were both in their 50s, they proved that women journalists of any age have the power to change a nation — through a newspaper. Sure, they struggled with money, worked long hours and probably put their work, which often got them in trouble, before all else in their lives. But, they achieved greatness. They talked about job discrimination, sexual harassment, domestic violence and even abortion at a time when these issues were taboo. Women needed to be represented and the truth about the inequalities in America needed to be discussed. These women started the conversation.