Sunday, February 28, 2010

The site I chose to do my credibility assignment on is the San Antonio Express-News Web site, I chose this site because it is local, updated at several different times daily and -- though it is a well-known site -- contains both positive and negative aspects that are considered in one's assesment of its credibility.

The site's overall content meets the criteria of being credible. The home page title is "San Antonio News, Weather, Sports : | Express-News," indicating it is the Express-News' official home page. The most recent content (as of 8:30 p.m. Sunday evening) was added nearly an hour ago and was an article on the USA hockey team losing to Canada in the gold medal game of the Olympics, written by an Associated Press reporter. The site includes numerous internal links to other stories, blog posts, slideshows and other multimedia elements that work, as well as an external link to Hearst Newspapers, which works as well. According to its content, the site suggests its prime audience is consisted of San Antonio residents, though it does provide national and international stories as well. The news and features sections of the site seemed mostly unbiased. However, the sports sections, which includes its own link to stories only about the San Antonio Spurs, seem slightly biased (though sports sections in various large city's newspaper Web sites have similar sections for their towns' respective sports teams).

The site displays proper authority, according to Web Evaluation Checklist. Contact information is located at the bottom of the home page and a link to its Web content management site,, is apparent in the same location as well. The domain name is .com and the user can backtrack in the URL to get to the source and find out information about the site and the newspaper itself. From the various articles I read on the site, compared to other sites with similar stories, the information is accurate and many stories provide links to other news sites or provide photos (which all include credits as well). There is also, of course, a print version of the site in the Express-News newspaper, which adds to the site's credibility.

The presentation is the one aspect, however, that may cause the user to judge the mySA Web site harshly. Though the navigation, images and links all work and are pleasing to the eye, what is just the opposite is the crowding and near-overload of information on the page. When the user scrolls down the page, it becomes hard to distinguish the advertisements from the content and there is such a plethora of information, one may not know where to begin. The source code seems clear and free of hidden comments/keywords. One other negative aspect is the search engine, which when one tries searching for a specific author, random stories come up in the results without mention of the search term.

The Web site may have its flaws, as any site does. However, it meets most of the requirements on the Web Evaluation Checklist and can therefore be considered a credible site.

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