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The Web represents the future of journalism, and mainstream media houses have realised this point. The Web is a relatively cost-effective means of distributing information than the traditional printing press and physical deliveries. This is reporting of news on real-time through the Internet. Therefore, the Web site for online journalism must meet some quality standards of a good Web site.
This is a short report about four international news Web sites and one local Egyptian news Web site. It looks at the contents and types of news (sport, business, and politics), the accuracy, the design of the Web site.
Aljazeera is an international news Web site that presents round-the-clock news to visitors on the site. The site provides news from various parts of the global like Africa, America, Asia-Pacific, Central and South Asia, Europe, and Middle East.
The Web site presents news on current affairs, opinions, business, sports, weather, in-depth analysis, human right issues, and other scheduled programmes. Aljazeera Web site has a great amount of illustration. At least every news item has a graphical presentation because such graphical presentations can have a significant impact of the audience.
The Web page has a good colour in the background that makes texts easy to read. Moreover, the background is not crowded.
The texts are not too small and crowded, but are evenly distributed within the page to explain the image. The Web site displays latest news in capital letters.
Every title in the page has a link. However, the audience must put a mouse on the heading in order to know that the link works, i.e., there is no “click to read more” sign. However, a click on the title may lead to the main story to take the reader further to ‘sub-stories’, which relate to the main story (this is the case with most of the contents in the in-depth section). The site does not have any dead links, unclear navigation, orphan pages, and unwanted scroll bars.
The page graphical presentations are easy to load, are useful to the site, and fit within the screen. This site does not use animations. However, the section marked as ‘IN PICTURES’ has running images through, but they look professional.
Generally, the Web site has a good design. The site provides various ways of contacting the organisation. However, it has social media integration (Twitter and Facebook). It also has a mobile version because smart devices and tablets are responsible for the growing Web traffic. The site lacks any security icon.
The BBC has been the benchmark for international journalism. From the BBC Web site, the audience can listen, watch, and read news. Moreover, there are also constant updates. The site provides science, sports, documentary, society, blog, and other categories. It has abundant resources for the audience. The news items are current and accurate.
The background is clear to allow for readability of the texts. Texts appear in clear blue and light grey colour against a white background. Thus, readers can easily read them. The BBC Web site uses small letters to display latest news from the globe. Texts are organised below the main story.
Titles in the page also act as links, which viewers must click in order to read, watch, or listen to a story. The BBC Web site uses a blue colour to differentiate the headline and the caption of the news. All the links are working, and there are no dead or orphan links in the site.
Navigation is easy because there are various categories of news e.g., sports, weather, business, health, environment, and other areas of interests. All these items fit within the Web page.
The site makes extensive use of graphics for main stories. Moreover, it also presents some features in forms of illustration. However, graphic reporting plays a major role in this Web site. There are no animations in this Web site.
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The BBC Web site has a well-integrated graphic design. All texts, snaps, and images fit within the site. Moreover, users do not have to scroll various segments in order to gain access to an item.
The BBC Web site has a mobile integration platform, live news, videos, and connected TV among others. There are also social media links. It also has extra links for FAQs.
The BBC Web site design has rich contents and meets qualities of an international news standard Web site with multiple languages for various viewers. Contact details are readily available.
ABCNews is a part of the go.com. It provides the latest news items alongside video and audio messages. The format is clear and usable for the audience. Moreover, subscribes can get news alerts via their e-mails and mobile gadgets. The contents are real events.
The Web site has a clear background that allows text readability. It makes the use of white space in the background.
Texts in this Web site are mainly headlines with links to the main news item. The blue and black texts are visible against a white background.
The Web site links are working, users can navigate various pages of the site from the sections and headlines provided. The site is easy to scroll because users only use the side bar to scroll the entire content of the page. Moreover, the site has arranged its content into various categories. There are no inactive and dead links in this Web site.
The site has maintained its multimedia design. It has graphics, slideshows, audio links, and videos.
The site has multiple links, whit space, and multimedia approach to design. It also contains mobile apps and version for mobile devices, as well as social media links.
ESPN provides sports news, history and sports statistics. The site does not rely on extensive use of text on its dark red background. The news items are accurate sports news, suggestions, speculations, and opinions of contributors. It mainly relies on graphic journalism for reporting. It has maintained multimedia features. Moreover, there is a section with auto play (advertisement of mobile apps).
The design of the sight ensures that all items are within the Web page.
It has social media links and alerts. However, there are no visible security features for visitors.
Egypt Daily News
This Web site focuses on local news from Egypt, Middle East, and world news. The reporting is accurate in current affairs.
The site is full of texts. In fact, most news items are in text format. The white background allows visitors to read the blue texts. The texts are small and may not be visible to some readers. However, this Web site looks crowded and cluttered with text. It contains more than enough. At the bottom of the site, there is a large white space with no content while the top side is cluttered with advertisements and headings.
The links are active and navigation is not difficult for the identified news item.
The site uses multimedia elements, but there are no animations and auto play elements. Graphic journalism also plays a critical role in this Web site.
This Web site requires improvement because of the cluttered presentation and small font sizes. Moreover, it focuses on several issues.
The international news Web sites have strived to display professionalism on their sites. The news items are current, accurate, and reflect balanced coverage. They apply graphic reporting or journalism to present news items. There are words, illustration, and snaps. Graphic journalism acts as a backup for the text and audio reporting.
All Web sites have active links, which have easy navigation processes because of the sections and titles. Moreover, all these sites have social media links and alerts.
Some of these Web sites have strived to remain simple. As a result, they have integrated multimedia applications with caution. For instance, most of them do not have background music, flash, auto-play contents, and extraneous data that can slow down the page.
However, some Web sites have cluttered design in terms of graphic and text presentations, and the use of white space. Such sites require professional appeals. In addition, they also lack visible security signs.
Customisation of the content in some sites also allows visitors to choose a language of their choice.
However, these Web sites aim to achieve usability, aesthetic, and functionality of a professional Web site.