2/16 Style and Voice —

Chapter Assignment, p. 143 #1

Cnn.com is a website that I visit regularly and read a lot of the content. Whenever I am not able to turn on the TV in the morning and catch up on anything I should know about, I log on and see what’s happening in the world and especially, most recently, checking up on what’s happening in politics. If I hadn’t already established a follower relationship with CNN as a news outlet, I might actually be turned off by their website. Also, if I was more moderate or right-leaning on the political spectrum I might be turned off by their tone; because the language can likely be identified as leaning left, and just as Fox News is seen by many as untrustworthy because of their bias, CNN is making the same reputation. For example, when logging on right now (Feb 16, 2017) the headline is “Trump Lashes Out.” Which is a fairly simple and direct headline, yet does not really provide much information. In this case, as well as the rest of the titles on the front page of the site, it would appear that they are using a professional voice, because the words they use to highlight the stories are direct, strong, authoritative, fact-based, (most likely) and journalistic. As far as usability, the content is organized in a way for the reader to easily be directed to the stories they most want to read/watch. For the majority of articles on the site, there is also a video which was probably aired at some point on the channel that is discussing the story.

An element of the site that promotes use is that there is a way to watch (up to 10 minutes) of live TV. There is also minimal advertisements on the site, as far as “free” websites go, anyway. The graphics and visuals they incorporate are helpful to the reader because if you can recognize a picture and see that it is something you want to learn more about, you are able to quickly catch that visual and proceed to follow the link. As far as I can tell clicking around the site, all of the links are functioning and work as they should. There was probably a lot of thought given to the navigation of this site, because it is organized in a way that is probably reflective of what their audience most wants to see. It starts off with politics and when you scroll down there is a “latest” section which is continuously updating and has the hour by hour day of what is happening — again, mostly in politics and in regards to president Trump.

The reason I said I would likely not use CNN if I hadn’t already established the relationship is because the way that the site is laid out and the way they organize everything isn’t very attractive to me, and personally I would change a few things. They have different areas and pages for different types of stories (politics, money, tech, travel, style, opinion, etc.) which makes complete sense, but on the first page it really is only politics, which again makes sense for the audience. But the front page is only a few visuals and lots of words that are direct and c0ncise, and yet for some of them I don’t think they are getting the point across for example, one of the headlines right now is “Trump called out for inaccurate information” — well, duh, CNN. We get it, I need more information than that, and most of their audience likely does as well. There is also a section titled “News and buzz” and that is where you can find these unrelated to Trump and his administration but oh wait — you can find that on there as well.

One thing that also promotes use of this website, which I like, is that when you are watching a video (live or not) and you begin to scroll, the video moves to the corner of the screen so you are able to continue watching. Overall there are definetely some things they could work on, but I doubt that many people in their audience are visiting the site without knowing anything about the organization before hand so for their purposes, they’re doing fairly well.