Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's black and white and red all over? Your balance sheet!*

I love newspapers and their Web sites, and am always mentally grading them in my head and wondering why they did thus and so and what they were thinking when they laid their sections out a certain way, etc.

So this story, which hands out letter grades to 25 major newspaper Web sites, was right up my alley. My former employer, StarTribune.com, received a decent "B."

You just know that people who make the layout and design decisions are reading this and responding to the author's criticisms in their heads. Some of them they're sniffing at, and others, hopefully, they're taking to heart.

The Newark Star-Ledger gets an "F," and such slams as "Photos look like they were taken with disposable cameras."

That paper is also criticized for running stories based on when they were filed, not based on importance. This is what SeattleTimes.com does on their mobile page, so when I check it at night, I don't get the latest big Seattle news, instead I get a TON of useless high-school and other minor sports stories, just because sports stuff comes in late and gets a late publication time. Drives me nuts every time. Who really wants to get girls' prep-school lacrosse scores instead of the day's big news?

*From the "Daily Show" segment on newspapers. You gotta watch it...

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Anonymous said...

Take a look at stltoday.com

I have no idea what's going on locally because I can't stand to look at that website.

tsimer said...

The Detriot Free Press got a B. Which is interesting, because as a Gannett paper, it looks the same as all other Gannett paper sites. Last year, the company went with a plan that redesigned each paper and TV station's site. They all look similar, with a few customizable differences. I guess it's good to see it --- and I guess other papers like mine --- would get somewhere around a B.