Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Austin News – Community Impact Newspaper for Northwest Austin

I chose to look at which is a site for the local news regarding Northwest Austin. It links up with a print edition as well. I normally get my news from the online site for the Austin American- Statesman. For this assignment, I wanted to find a different news site to look at.

The title of the page is Austin News – Community Impact Newspaper for Northwest Austin. It appears to be complete as well as updated every day. The copyright at the bottom of the page says 2005-2010. I didn’t see any other indication for a date of creation. Most of the articles I looked at had various dates, all from the month of July. I believe the audience is intended to be the community of Northwest Austin, but I’m sure it also includes the general public. There are links to other sections of the site specific to other parts of Austin and Central Texas. There are many, many internal links. I didn’t come across any that didn’t work. All the external links I came across were for advertisements. I would assume that some of this information could be supported by the Austin-American Statesman or other news sites, but I don’t think that either publication always report on exactly the same thing.

The copyright at the bottom of the page says JG Media. I don’t know who they are or what relation they have to the online paper. The site is done by a “Web Team” and there’s a link to contact them; each article has a different author. The site is owned by a couple named John and Jennifer Garrett. The “Contact Us” page has lots of links for getting in touch with multiple people on the paper and there are lots of phone numbers and addresses for other means of contact. All their advertisements have something to do with some business or activity in Austin. I’m assuming that St.David’s, Round Rock Express, and all sponsor the site. It’s a .com site and you can backtrack to get to main page for more options and information about the rest of the site. There’s not a lot available to verify that all the information is correct. It seems a lot like other news sites, just not as well known. There is a non-Web version of the site.

The site looks very professional looking but has a very busy layout that I think is distracting. It’s organized, but there’s so much information right up front. I don’t read the paper format of this site, so I am curious to know if it is similar to the paper layout. I think the writing style is appropriate for the articles I viewed. I didn’t come across any grammar, spelling, or punctuation problems. The format and navigation all worked fine and seemed helpful. I liked that there were different sections for the news and think the headings are good indicators for what readers might be looking to find. The images on the site were fairly plain, not that much different from what I would expect to see on other news sites. I did not come across any sounds. Most of the images did directly relate to the specific articles they were with. I found the site by googling news in North Austin; it was the first link that came up. Upon first view, I didn’t really feel like the news, editorial, and advertisements had separate presentations because so much appears altogether on the home page. However, the home page is sectioned off so most everything has its own place. The source code looked both familiar and foreign to me.

Overall, I like the site but I would still rather get my news from the Austin-American Statesman site. I think I might feel a little better about that site because I see the print edition of the statesman all the time and am more familiar with it. I don’t really like the layout of this site’s home page.

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