Examination of Online Journalism

As far as newspapers go, I have always held the Minneapolis Star Tribune in high esteem.  That respect has also extended to startribune.com, especially as it relates to their sports coverage.  In the aftermath of a Vikings’ game, the homepage is covered with a purple banner reading Access Vikings, which is a virtual one-stop shop for all things related to the team.  One of the first things a user notices is the number of links under the main story’s title.  They include, in no particular order, a link to video of post game press conferences (which also features a slide show of still photos from game action), a poll, box scores and statistics from the other games in week two and finally a link to further in-depth coverage of the team.  All of this information and multimedia is in addition to the story written for print publication.  Therefore, it is obvious that the vast majority of the website is created originally and specifically for multimedia users.  Only a small percentage of the content is drawn directly from the paper’s printed version, so shovelware and paper-plus material is kept to a bare minimum.  This type of multi-faceted coverage is true of all of website’s content, not merely the sports coverage.  The home page has links to dozens of news, entertainment and weather-related videos and pictures.  Seemingly every story links to video, side notes or stories, polls, blogs, photo galleries and podcasts.  One of my favorite aspects of the site is blog material, especially Michael Russo’s Minnesota Wild blog.  A blog allows for so much more content and information for the user, than the time and space constraints of print will allow.  It’s amazing to see how much a reader misses out on by strictly consuming print material.  In addition to all the features previously mentioned, the website allows for interactivity and the addition of user-generated content.  The site welcomes users to send in their own pictures and video for the public to see.  Overall, the website provides a myriad of options for the user to consume.  I’m drawing a blank in my attempt to find suggestions to improve the online reader’s experience.

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About Dan Boettcher

I am a journalism student at Minnesota State University, Mankato. I'm hoping to graduate in May of this year and hopefully find a job in the Twin Cities area. I'd appreciate any feedback from professionals who read my blog, especially those in the journalism or public relations' field.
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5 Responses to Examination of Online Journalism

  1. Cheryl says:

    I grew up reading the Minneapolis Tribune first thing in the morning. After merging with the Star, it has remained a great source for Minnesota news.

  2. Bob Ringer says:

    I am also a big fan of the Star Tribune. I think their coverage of the Twin-Cities and the metro area is fantastic. Their website has so many different forms of media from which to get a story and readers can find all the information they are looking for readily availabe on the homepage in the multimedia boxes. I agree that the Star Tribune’s sports coverage is excellent. Though the print edition runs many of the sports stories featured on the web, the web site allows fans to go even deeper in to the story, be it by reading other fan’s comments or following links to one of the Strib’s sports writers blogs. More so with sport than any other area of news readers want to hear an experts opinion. Blogs are a great avenue to get that aspect of a story and the Star Tribune does that as well as any other site I’ve seen.

  3. jakebohrod says:

    It seems sports coverage is ready-made for the digital era. Sports reporters are constantly snagging quick interviews and sound bites and down on the field offering commentary and what have you. This is perfect material for video and audio and podcasts that can be added to an organization’s site. It’s a good time to be in sports journalism.

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