Thursday, March 10, 2011

MTV News (keeping digital news in check)

Mass communications professors emphasize media ethics as a common axiom to their students who are pursing employment in the media community; they stress the gravity of media ethics and the responsibility industry professionals have to uphold them throughout their careers.

This is because many people who watch//read/listen to news on traditional outlets such as radio or television, accept that what they are reading is a collection of facts because it is coming from what they believe to be an official source. This can be dangerous or misleading especially when media ethics are not applied. Because of this, many government organizations have been set up to create and enforce laws to protect the media channels and the content broadcasted to the masses. For instance, it is against the law for a journalist/reporter to make up and report a false story.

However, digital technology has changed the playing field dramatically heralding both negative and positive attributes. Thanks to the Internet, online news is more diverse, timely, accessible, and interactive. On the other hand, because of the size and functionality of the Web, it is almost impossible to regulate and therefore it is very difficult to know the credibility of online news stories as even journalists are expected to self-police.Luckily there are several things you can check for when evaluating whether or not a website is a credible source of information.

For example, let's take a closer look at the MTV news website and evaluate their credibility based on the site's content, authority and presentation.

The site definitely looks professional and complete (no signs of undergoing construction). The title of the page is listed as, "Breaking Music, Celebrity, Entertainment, Movie and World News/MTV". I couldn't find anywhere on the site where it listed the date the site creation date, but I went to a website called, "The Way Back Machine" that logs site caches and their first record of the is on December 6, 1998.

They are very good about keeping up with their content as news and blogs are updated multiple times a day. I did notice that their terms of use was updated on November 28, 2010 and at the foot of the page, the MTV Networks copyright is updated for 2011 (located in the footer of the page).

The content appears to be targeted at a younger audience but seems versatile enough to also appeal to an older audience. My best guess would be males and females ages 16-30 with the bulk being in between. The articles do not seem to have an obvious slant or bias which is great when a young impressionable audience is considerably involved in the content.

There are other sources of information available from the site that appear in the form of links and tags. I did notice that while they had many links for each article in the site, a vast majority of them were internal or some of the "external" links were to other websites that belong to the MTV network; I looked over quite a few articles and I did find about 3 or 4 external links. I had no problems with their links as they all seemed to be working and the outside sources definitely supported the information that I found in the MTV articles which is a big plus in terms of credibility.


I couldn't find who created the page although it does say it is owned by Via Com (MTV networks) but there weren't any other credentials available.

Each article has the author's name, twitter ID and link to their e-mail address. Furthermore, at the end of each story, readers are encouraged to comment on the article.

There aren't any clear associations or affiliations with other companies except when you scroll to the very bottom of the page and under the "corporate" list, there's a link to the MTV corporate partners. The only sponsor they had listed was and it was clearly listed as a sponsor and even mentioned that it was an ad. The domain name tells us that it is a .com so it was a purchased domain name. I think the site is accurate because I read through several of their news stories and then went to other sites that are known for their credibility (i.e. and all the information matches and appears to be accurate.

As I mentioned before, there aren't many external links for references which is why I decided to see if their news content matched what other news sources reported. I didn't see that there was an offline web version available but they do have a MTV news app for mobile platforms.  

The site is very professional looking and free of any grammer, spelling and punction errors; furthermore, the writing style is very topic appropriate. 

The site's navigation is impeccable as the format makes the site very simple despite having so many subcategories and information on the site. They also make great use of their headings (very similar to those of newspaper articles).

The MTV news website rather impressively incorporates internalized images and sounds and videos to keep the audience involved and entertained so they can spend more time on their site. Videos and pictures bring each of the stories to life and draw attention to the articles (I don't think they need to be edited at all, there is a lot of content without being overbearing with it). 

I used to watch MTV when I was younger (and it was actually all about music and the people who made it) but I remember after TRL (Total Request Live), they had a quick minute or so news report and at the end of it the reporter would direct views to go online for more information; so I typed in and sure enough, it was there. I also searched for it on Google to see if any other site information came up, but the first listed site was indeed the one I had already found. 

It was nice to see that the few ads they did have on the site were clearly presented as ads (one banner ad and one small internet ad on the far left side of the page; the ads were not camouflaged as editorial content.

When I looked at the source code for the site, the meta tags were used appropriately (i.e: "breaking news, music, entertainment") nothing seemed to speak against the site's credibility.

The MTV news website is credible and offers what appears to be valid news stories on music, movies, entertainment, and celebrities according to the credibility checklist. I was encouraged by their display of professionalism and application of the same media ethics that traditional mediums are held accountable to.

I think they do a great job to make the writers accessible especially now that you can even speak to the authors directly either by e-mail or twitter. I do think the sight should utilize more external sources and links to their site to add to their credibility and also because MTV seems to build walls around their domain, trying hard to keep audiences within their site; but once people use the site as a trusted source for news they'll usually come back to browse again later... Linking to other sources builds further credibility and they could also look further into relevant partners (companies that would appeal to the same intended audience) which might drive more traffic from partner sites as well. 

All in all, the site is very professional, it has fantastic headlines and a navigation system, and I was most impressed with their use of multimedia tools which encourages interactivity which in turn adds to the credibility of a website. They are a trusted brand that effectively reaches their target audience without deceitful media tactics that are easy to get away with thanks to digital technology. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Death and Taxes is a magazine that I really enjoy reading every so often and used to be subscribed to for several years. I normally visit the website just to see what is going on with them because I dropped my subscription a while back because of some loss of interest in what they began writing about, but I do enjoy seeing what they still have to offer.

First of all, yes, the site is completed and the titles of the page is Indie Music News, Pop Culture, Politics and Entertainment | Death and Taxes. It was last updated on Monday, March 7th, 2011, which is today. So they obviously update this just as much as any other news site because of their "news and pop culture" background. The demographic they seem to be aiming toward is 20-something college kids yet they still cover some older bands and have some dated popular culture pieces yet I put them in the category of appealing to someone more like me because of their obvious bias slant towards liberalism and democratic politics. They have always been a huge supporter of Obama and his administration. From what I can tell, almost all of their links are internal and work very well. I couldn't seem to find any that were messing up for any reason. Death and Taxes pulls a lot of their information from news media so it is somewhat supported by other in the fact that D+T uses them as a source, such as the Girl Talk PBS "tell all" video.

The editors of the site are Alex Moore and Stephen Blackwell. I couldn't seem to find many of their credentials but they do however provide an email link along with their Twitter and Facebook pages.  The site provides their mailing address, email and phone/fax number as well. MOG music is one of their main advertisers on the page, a site that offers "unlimited music downloads" along with a few more advertisers for bands and what not but it is quite clear they allow prominent advertising on their page. The site is clearly created for the magazine and isn't personal, it is a .com. In several of the articles there are links to outside sources such as Gallop Polls and where a story or interview not covered by them was covered initially. Death and Taxes used to be a print magazine but it looks as if they've switched completely to the web. I couldn't find a place to subscribe so this was news to me. If they do still have one it used to send out 6 issues a year.

The site is very professional looking and well organized. The writing is very articulate and goes well with the pieces it covers, especially with a sort of sarcasm picked up easily by the reader. The navigation is very large and clear, easy to read. Each page is provided with a news feed format with each article posted in the feed so it is easy to follow and get a quick description. Most of their content picture wise is edited very well, something the magazine has always prided itself on. Many of the videos are hosted by youtube but some of the music is supported by a format I have never seen before. Ads do have separate windows and aren't pulled up through the website itself. The page sources didn't have a lot of meta tags but there are several thinks and hrefs. - Leigh Morgan

Leigh Morgan -

I feel that the Texas Tribune is a credible news source and their website is proof. Their content is backed with photos and documents. Their authority is clear, allowing anyone to easily contact the writers or even the founders of the website. has a professional appearance and is held to the same standard as print newspapers.

The content of the website supports its credibility. The page is complete, displaying its Texas Tribune title beside the website’s most recent update, March 2, 2011. The website offers its history under the about me section, having launched on November 3, 2009. The intended audience is Texans concerned with news. Some of the editor’s topics of focus include: the Texas-Mexico border, higher education and the 2011 budget shortfall. There is not any obvious slant or bias to the information presented. The website’s content links to other information, mostly through internal links, which all work properly. Other credible websites make note of the Texas Tribune, including: The New York Times, the Brownsville Herald and Editor & Publisher magazine.

The Texas Tribune was co-founded by Evan Smith, John Thornton and Ross Ramsey, offering more of their history under the about me section. Smith serves as the CEO and editor in chief, after spending eighteen years with Texas Monthly. Thornton is the company’s chairman, known for his work as a venture capitalist in Austin for the past twenty years. Ramsey is the Tribune’s managing editor, who previously owned and edit Texas Weekly, the state’s premier newsletter on government and politics. Texas Weekly now contributes to the Texas Tribune’s resources. The website offers a clear way of contacting these founders by e-mail or phone, along with the staff writers, which includes short biographies. Each article allows space for reader comment and interactivity. In the about me section, the website clearly defines itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization supported by contributions, major gifts, corporate sponsorships and foundation grants. The domain is a .org, which is fitting, being a non-profit news organization. The site is accurate, referencing official documents and people. There is not a non-web version of this site.

The website’s appearance is professional looking – free of grammar, spelling and punctuation problems. The writing style is unbiased and appropriate for a news source. The images on the site directly relate to the content and appear to be unedited. I was already familiar with the site and met some of the writers during Mass Comm Week on campus, but the Texas Tribune website comes up very quickly in Google. Advertisements are clearly marked, saying ‘The Tribune thanks our supporting sponsors’. Looking at the source code of the site, I can tell that it has a complex structure, but do not feel that anything changes my perception that this site is credible.

Receiving news from online sources is more relevant today than ever before. is at the forefront of this idea, acting solely online to offer Texans credible, relevant news.

Credibility Assignment - is a website produced by Alex Jones, who is a radio personality/conspiracy theorist. Sometimes I like to read his website, just to get another view of what's going on in the world - although everything he says has to be taken with an extreme grain of salt. His website, at first glance, is well put together... I think, but I'll run the checklist by it and see how he fairs!
The page is not under construction, and is updated daily. The title of the page is Alex Jones' Prison The audience is conspiracy theorists, and there is an obvious bias to the information. Alex Jones does not trust our government at all, and he doesn't want you to either. All the links on his site work for the most part, although I can recall looking at this in the past and finding a dead link or two. There are links to external stories, interviews, and other websites. The outside sources only support the information he wants you to see, although some sources are eerily reliable.
Alex Jones created the page, and he is just a radio host. There are means to contact the author. There are his, his contributing writers, editors, associate editors, and staff writers names on the website, as well as a phone number, email address, and mailing address to reach them at. There are also discussion forums and places to discuss. The site is run by advertising, I believe. Lots of advertisements for survival equipment, end-of-the-world products, and of corse, Alex Jones/Prison Planet products, shirts, stuff. The domain name is .com, so Alex purchased it. You can't backtrack the URL because it's pretty short as it is. The site seems accurate, but again, just incredibly biased.
The site is pretty professional looking, if one didn't know nay better they would think this was a legitimate news site. I found no GSP errors upon viewing the site this time, but I seem to remember having found some in the past, just from the contributing writers. There is appropriate and well-placed headlines and navigation, and I like how much multimedia there is on the website. All images and sound works that I've found, although there is so much I didn't have time to check it all. I found the site because I have friends that read it regularly, if you search Alex Jones or Infowars or Prison Planet its the first thing to come up. News, editorial, and advertisements sit side by side on the website (is that what you were asking?) Source code looks kind of complicated, there's a lot going on on the site, after all.
Overall, I was pretty impressed by Alex Jones website, it seems as legit as a conspiracy theory website can be.

For my news website I chose The site was created in 2001 and was last updated today, March 7, 2011. The audience is clearly supposed to be anybody with a conservative viewpoint, judging by the name of the site. The titles of the news stories covered on this website show an obvious slant to the conservative side of possible viewers. There are exaggerated headlines and several negative comments about Obama on the home page. There are links running down the left and right side of the centered “news stories.” Most of the links have the name news or report in them, but after clicking on several of them, it seems like most link you to another site like this, with a purely conservative slant.

Under the “credits” part of the site, design credit is given to Danny Carlton, and scripting credit is given to both Danny Carlton and Nicole Baker. However, the creator of the website is John Hawkins. John Hawkins is a regular contributor to blogs like and is the main voice behind There are several ways to interact on the website including being able to comment of every news story on the site, and links to other blogs and authors that you can contact through e-mail. The sight makes clear its affiliations with other right-wing blogs but makes no effort to explain where there information comes from in each particular story post. Most of the information is opinion based. The domain name and the layout of the site tell me that it was professionally built. There is no offline version of the site and no links to unbiased outside sources.

The site is professional looking, and as far as I can tell, there are no outstanding errors in grammar, spelling, or punctuation. The writing style, shortsighted and ignorant, is very appropriate for the topics they cover on the site. The format is very easy to use and navigation is clear and simple. Because this site was professionally built for, all the links and headings are meaningful and all work properly. There are relatively few pictures on the site and no sounds. There are pictures of contributors next to the material they have added, and the site is very clean and professional. Other than my problem with the actual content of the site, I can find nothing wrong with any section of the site from a functionality standpoint. Everything works as it should and things are presented in a clear and easy-to-use style. I found this site by typing “biased news” into Google. Looking at the source, it becomes clear that through the use of meta tags, any search of things related to terrorism like “9/11” or Osama Bin Laden, even words like torture and Rumsfeld will bring this site up in the search results. They are clearly aiming for a public that wants to hear about the danger we are in as a nation.

As a functioning website, setting aside the actual content of the page, is a very good example of how to set up an easily understandable “news” page. All the links make sense where they are and other than a little bit of clutter on the home page, the site looks as professional as any privately run news/blog. There is a lack of credibility in the sources of the news stories and I could not find further information on John Hawkins’ credentials, but there is no effort made to mask the source of the commentary on the “news” topics. I would not trust anything I read on this site as anything more than biased commentary on general facts , but the site is a decent model for a news oriented blog.

Web Credibility Assignment

MMM..I love good cooking and trying new recipes so I decided to do my assignment on . Rachael Ray is a well-known cook and has her show appear on The Food Network. The Food Network is one of my favorite channels because I love learning how to cook new things and she has always been one of my favorites to watch, I think maybe because of her personality and how she is more personal; she happens to draw my attention wanting to watch her cook! So with that said...

The website is most definitely complete and the title is Rachael Ray.It was created in 2007 and it was last updated this year 2011 (of course the recipes are dated as they are placed on the website). the audience is anyone who is looking for a recipe or information on Rachael Ray; also, anyone who is looking to purchase her cooking books or subscribe to her magazine "Everyday with Rachael Ray"! At first glance it appeared as if the site cluttered with advertisements but most of the page consists of recipes and links about cooking and blogs of course. Some of the advertisements are for Seapack Shrimp co. and Johnsonville sausage. All the links do appear to work properly and the sources do support information displayed on the website.

The site appears to be created by Rachael Ray Digital LLC and web designer is There are blogs on the site for customers and viewers to share the opinions or thoughts and there all all types of contact information under Contact Us, advertisers and people searching for recipes all have separate links as well as many other contacts. I'm not exactly sure who the sponsor of the site is, other than Rachael Ray herself and well of course the contribution from advertisements but the domain name is a .com; it appears to be Rachael Ray's personal cooking website the domain is simple so there is no backtracking and the website is pretty accurate.

For the most part the site is fun and loud not entirely professional but credible. All of the headings and photos appear to have proper placement however I do feel that the alignment is somewhat off; the page is so busy with photos and separate links you could almost get lost.Many of the separate links and advertisements do have separate individual styles but manage to flow together. In the source code the site that is listed at the top is , this is a web design tracking page and the code consist of many divs but not as complex as I would think and there is a stylesheet included as well.

Overall, I think this is a great website with many information available to the viewer on Rachael Ray and her cooking recipes. I do think it should be simplified so that it is visually pleasing and not so condensed.

By Trisha Lynn Craddock
Photo by

Credibility Assignment

I chose to do my assignment on the music website Gorilla VS. Bear. I chose this site because I visit it daily to read news about artists that I enjoy listening to, as well as to find new music. I also chose it because it is based out of Texas.

The page is complete and not under construction. The title of the page is Gorilla VS. Bear. It was created in 2005 by Chris Cantalini, and it was last updated on Sunday, March 8, 2011. The audience is music enthusiasts and people who wish to find new music and mp3s. The site says that it is not genre specific, however, I do feel that sometimes the site tends to focus on lo-fi indie music. There are other sources of information available on the site. There are a few external links to other music sites, as well as links to internal sources. All of the links function properly. According to the site, outside sources support the information as well. In 2008, Rolling Stone named Gorilla VS. Bear on of the best music blogs online, and Newsweek said that the site was "influential."

Chris Cantalini created the site in 2005. Although the actual website doesn't give much information about him, a Google search revealed that he attended The University of Texas at Dallas, where he received a degree in psychology, and he also attended The University of San Diego. He founded the record label Forest Family Records in 2010. The means to contact the author is by e-mail and Twitter. There is also a link to his record label website. His association to the site is unclear, only that he is the founder, and that David Bartholow is a "creative director." It looks like T-Mobile and the Spring Love Music Fest is sponsoring the site, however, I usually see different sponsors every few days. The domain name is a .net domain, but since it is a blog, it appears to be a personal website. I wasn't able to backtrack in the url to get more information about the author. It appears that the site is accurate in the information that it distributes. As I said before, there are references to outside sources of information. There is not a non-web version of the site.

This site is one of my favorite sites because it looks very professional looking and unique. It is free of grammar, spelling and punctuation problems, and the writing style is appropriate for the topic of music. The format of the site is very easy to use, in part because of the appropriate headings and useful navigation. The images and sound work very well on this site. The site actually helped popularize Polaroid photographs to the younger generations recently, so the images are probably not edited with Photoshop, however, I think that editing them in Photoshop would take away from what the author intended to showcase -- the vintage look of Polaroid photos. The mp3s work and are supported by the Yahoo! Media Player, a media player that adds sound to the site with just one line of HTML, is easy to use and isn't bulky and space consuming. I heard of the site by word-of-mouth, but I found the site itself by searching for it in Google. It is also easy to tell that news, editorial and advertisements have separate presentations on the site. The ads are usually to the site and the news and editorial content are all in the main body section of the site. When looking at the source code, I was blown away. This site uses a lot of meta tags, and many, many divs. I could definitely tell that the designer of this site to the time to carefully build an aesthetically pleasing and functional site.

In summary, I believe that this site is credible for posting music news and new artists. Rolling Stone, Newsweek and even the New York Times have written about this website, even praised it. Most people that I meet who are into music usually are avid readers of this website as well. With links to outside sources, most of which can be considered competitors, I believe this site gives us information, tells us where they got it from, and lets us decide whether we like the music or not.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Web Credibility Assignment - Bravo TV

I decided to evaluate the credentials of the website for my favorite TV channel, Bravo. Their website is BravoTV. The page is complete, but constantly changing with updates and news. The website does not have a date that it was last updated on, but by judging on its contents, it is updated on a daily basis to cater to the new shows and updates that the channel has taking place as well as the most recent news post being on March 4th. Bravo Media a copyright and a division of NBC Universal. The audience is the viewers of Bravo TV as well as people who want to know more information about the shows aired on Bravo. There are other sources of information on the website, but they have to do with the people who are on the shows. All links are internal and work properly.

I could not find who created the page, but believe it to be Bravo Media group. The means to contact the company are through mail or e-mail to the viewer relations of Bravo. The site makes it clear and has links directing the person to Bravo’s parent company, NBC Universal. I couldn’t find the sponsor of the site. The domain name tells us that it is a .com so it was a purchased domain name. I believe that the site is accurate because all the information on the site is from the actual channel (Bravo) and as you go through the shows, blog posts and information, you are able to go more in depth and learn more information about those things. There is a non-web version of the site, the mobile version, as well as an iPhone app with the same information as the website.

The site is fun and professional looking with scrolling graphics and enticing colors, photos and videos. The navigation bar is easily found on the page and the entire site is easy to navigate through. The writing style is casual because the target audience is all different age groups and diversities. I read a few of the news stories and did not find any apparent grammar, spelling or punctuation problems. I believe that the format is easy to use and navigate through, everything flows well (fonts, colors, sizes, etc) and doesn’t overload the site visitor even though there is a lot of information around there. Images, videos and graphics on the page work well and add a splash of color and pop to the page. When going through a search engine, all I typed in was “bravo” and the Bravo TV link appeared as the first one which was convenient. The news and editorials look the same throughout the site, but advertisements have a slight change. The ads used are for Bravo TV’s products anyway, so everything is related.

All in all, I think that Bravo TV has an easily functional site that caters to everyone. The information is all accessible to the public and visitors can easily search through TV shows, FAQ’s, photos, blogs and more all within the domain which is the most convenient.

On my quest to find the most un-credible website, I came across this: At first I had a hard time figuring out where it stood, but after reviewing it's content, authority, and presentation, it was painfully obvious that it wouldn't make the cut.

The content of is bias towards Native American tribe members living on reservations in South Dakota. On top of that, every single one of the pages on is busy, belongs in the 90's, contains every color font and to top it off, has a centered homepage. Even though the pages on this website have plenty of content, the content is poor just like the website itself. The title page is simply "" throughout every page, and the links act as internal pages to only allow the reader to navigate throughout the website. What I think are outside sources remain as the same web address so for younger students
, this website could create a lot of confusion. There is little to no clarity.

Unsure of it's authorization, the website gives a lot of individual names and contact information yet none of them are clearly defined. For example the page/link, "Rosebud Sioux Tribe" lists President's and other position and contact information without clearly defining what it is. However, after trying to find "" on a different browser and it not showing up, I realized that the "Rosebud Sioux Tribe" was pretty much the only legitimate website that "" had provided as a link. Regardless, is sponsored by Native American newspapers that advertise themselves smack down the middle of the homepage but, the fact that it's domain of .net is a personal one that isn't always accessible says a lot about the authenticity of this website.

Of course the big give away for this website was its presentation. This site is confusing, busy, tacky, and inappropriate at times. The topics range from studies that provide no resources to why certain companies are bias towards Native Americans. Considering my journey to find this website, I can understand why I'm not finding it again. First, I used the Google search engine and typed "geocities" which lead me to "angelfire" (I knew both of these web hosting sites would provide the worse of the worse) and then I just came across it while browsing. The images, navigation, and the advertisements smacked in the middle of the already confusing website shows the lack of professionalism of this site.

Although sometimes it may be hard to decipher if a website is credible or not, if you apply content, authority and presentation and it doesn't add up, then you know you have a problem. It's about putting all these elements together to build a successful website so don't leave part of the equation out.

Credibility Assignment

I decided to do my web analysis of I read the magazine monthly and I love fashion. does a good job of showing the current fashion trends. It is always the first to report what’s happening in the fashion industry.

The content of the website is complete. The title of the page is “Vogue Fashion, Features, and More on”. The updated date on the web page just has 2011 but the last article posted was dated March 4 at 9:53 a.m. The target audience is anyone who has a love for fashion. The links listed on the page work and are relevant to the information it supports.

Code and Theory is the creator of the web page however, I believe Conde Nast is in charge of the web site. Code and Theory is a design and software company. They have designed for designer label Bottega and Veneta and, among others. There is no contact information available but there is a link to Conde Nast Digital where there is a “contact us” link. This site is definitely accurate because Vogue has a lot of credibility being a part of Conde Nast publication. There is not a non-design website but the print medium of Vogue has a great reputation.
The site looks very professional because it’s a little plain but it helps it to look modern. The writing style is professional using the appropriate words to describe types of trends and the style of clothing. The site is easy to use having easy navigation. The images are high quality and attention grabbing (using Flash). The high quality of the images and the way transform on the site influences my impression of the website. is a great example of a great website. The content is solid by posting new articles about fashion every day. Conde Nast, the authority of the website, has a great reputation and an amazing portfolio of publications. Finally, the presentation of is very professional using high quality images and appropriate descriptions.

Clones R Us

These days, a lot of people's opinions are influenced heavily by material read on the internet. It's second nature for us to go to the web when we're looking for information about important topics like the news of political/social issues. We rely on the internet to provide us with credible facts. That's why websites with false information can be toxic. I looked around for a less than convincing website about a social issue that many people know little about: Cloning. Since the topic is somewhat mysterious, this website may actually be able to convince viewers that they've "come to the right place" if they're looking for a "cloning solution."
The content of the website, titled "Clones R Us", makes it pretty obvious that it can't be trusted. The information page boasts that those considering cloning can come to DreamTech for a "huge selection" off clones at "low, low prices" with "no paperwork." The wording of the website is less than professional. Take these lines, for example: "With DreamTech, you'll never end up with the wrong baby", "You shouldn't have to wait days, weeks, or even months just because the cloning company can't get its act together" , and "Cloning extends your lifespan by exactly zero." Another giveaway is the price list. The site insists that you can buy the genetic information for celebrities like Cindy Crawford and Michael Jackson (early) for as little as $299. In addition, there are quotes and statistics thrown on the page with no background or contextual information. One example: "53 percent of all couples had heard of DreamTech, 35 percent had heard of Smithson Duplication, and 11 percent had heard of Bio2020. 29 percent had never heard of a cloning firm." I highly doubt that 53% of all couples have heard of DreamTech and it's even harder for me to believe that "an astonishing 47 percent of all respondents said they would entrust DreamTech with producing their clone", another claim made by the site. All photos look like they are from the early 80's.

The website does a poor job of convincing viewers that they are an authority in cloning, despite their dramatic claims. There are only 5 "testimonials" written on the site and no doctors are listed. The procedure is explained very vaguely.

Perhaps the first turn off to viewers is the presentation of the site. The colors don't go well together, the layout is very basic, and the photographs are small and unattractive. Even the font is a major eyesore. They try to explain away the ugly presentation with the following disclaimer:
"This website was produced by one of the founders of Vetsin Productions, a web development company in Cebu City, Philippines. Note that web technology has evolved dramatically since 1997; this site makes use of fairly primitive HTML by today's standards."
While it seems obvious that a website like this would be dismissed instantly, the vast number of internet users ensures that there will be a great number who come across this website and take the information for truth. It is alarming that false sites like this may be influencing individual's opinions about serious issues like cloning.

Credibility: ESPN

I love sports. I'm a huge football fan. I also like basketball, baseball, soccer and I'm trying to get into hockey. We'll see how that works out. If I ever miss a game or I just want to find a player's stats I just go to ESPN is my go-to site when I want to read up on my favorite team or player, a particular sport or when I want to join in on a forum.

Content: The ESPN page is complete, but always updated throughout the day. The title of the homepage is ESPN: The Worldwide Leader In Sports. The site is updated daily with new information and was last modified Sunday, March 6, 2011. The site is available in English and in Spanish. The target audience for ESPN is people of all ages, races, genders, etcetera. Although some articles are opinion based there is not obvious bias or slant to the information on ESPN. At the top left corner of the page, viewers are able to switch from the USA edition to the Deportes edition as well as four others in a rollover. Based on the season, information will vary. C
urrently basketball season is in session so most of the articles or videos on the front page pay particular attention to that. Sometimes news articles or videos pertaining to off-season sports will be posted on the front page. Internal and external links work properly. Internal links open within the same tab while external links open in a new tab. The outside links do not support information from the site because they are advertisements.

Authority: ESPN was created by ESPN Internet Ventures, dba Starwave Partners. ESPN Internet Ventures operates as a subsidiary of the Walt Disney Company and can be contacted through the website on the Contact Page or via mail.
Starwave Partners
9 East 34th Street
New York, NY 10016
Located at the bottom of every page is a Supplier Information link that takes you to the Walt Disney Company Supplier Information page. I also spoke with a customer service agent by the name of Kristi, who was able to verify this information. The domain name is a .com, which could possibly mean the information is inaccurate or skewed. Disney is the only sponsor according to the site. ESPN's non-Web mediums include ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine.

Presentation: The ESPN website is very professional looking. I did not a spot GSP errors and the writing style is appropriate for the various topics. The format of the site is meaningful and easy to use with appropriate headings available. Navigation would be more useful if links would open in separate tabs rather than the same one. Images, videos and sound work well on the site. They support particular content, not all and from what I can tell they are not edited to misconstrue information wrongly. I found the site by typing sports in the Google search engine which returned ESPN at the top. I know the site from TV and from the radio. Some videos, images, or sound clips are accompanied with related articles or links and vice versa. Their source code has some things that I have no seen yet, but overall it is easy to understand and I still feel the same about the ESPN site.

After finding the answers to what i was looking for, I still stand by ESPN being a credible source. I intend to continue using the site for any of my sports related questions and I will definitely recommend it to anyone who asks. Because I follow particular teams from different sports, I would follow-up by reviewing the team's personal site, blog, or social media tool for confirmation or more updated information.

ESPN Twitter
ESPN Facebook

Credibility Assignment

I decided to use for the credibility assignment. My initial thought is that this website is not going to be credible by any means.

Content- The content of the site claims to be newsworthy articles, however the crazy life of Charlie Sheen does not seem newsworthy to me at all. Some of the content seems to be biased. The site is complete. I noticed that it is constantly being updated which is a positive for the content.

Authority- There is no specific name for a creator of the site. The articles on the site have the names of authors but no way of contacting them. Under the “Contact Us” section there is an email for the editor and a phone number. I don’t think the site is very accurate or trustworthy. I think the print medium makes the website seem less credible.

Presentation- The site is very full of links and there is just too much in one area. It’s too busy. The color of the background doesn’t support the news aspect of the site.

In conclusion, I wouldn’t consider this website credible.


I decided to do my credibility assignment on Cozumel, since my boyfriend and I will be visiting there in only THREE DAYS! So excited! I did a Google search on "Cozumel." The first site that comes up is . It from first glance appears to be an official site for the island.

The title of the site is Isla Cozumel. The motto or slogan is "Heaven on earth." It is a complete website, last edited and copywrighted in 2010. The site contains all and any information about visiting Cozumel, including accommodations, amenities, videos, history, excursions, general facts about the island and other details. The internal links work, and site visitors can link to Facebook, Flikr, Youtube and Twitter from the site as well.

The site is considered the "official destination site" for the island, and appears to be sponsored by either the tourism bureau or whoever handles PR for the island. There is an entire form dedicated to contacting the moderators of the site. The site is a .com. The site looks very official. Much time was spent on the design and lay out. There are many resources listed.

The website gives a viewer pretty much any information they would ever need about Cozumel. The site would be used to plan a trip or even research the island. The links and information are very well-written, descriptive and all appear to be accurate.

The site is extremely professional looking, colorful, well-organized and comprehensive, as it represents the entire island. It is important for the site to look this way, because Cozumel relies heavily on tourism. The navigation and titles are straightforward and useful.

This site is at the top of listings when you do a Google search for "Cozumel". There aren't really advertisements on the site, there are listings of things to do, places to go and stay and things to see when in Cozumel. The site does have listings of lodging, event locations and attractions.

The meta tags include keywords cozumel, mexico, diving, scuba, snorkel, watersports, water, sports, ocean, caribbean, lodging, official, history, travel, destination, and adventure.


After checking out the site on Titanic site we saw in class, and how it was the first website that came up on google, I decided to approach this assignment in the same way. I went to google, and picked a topic, I went with top dog breeds. The first website that came up was, which I thought right off the bat would be slightly credible. After going to the site, I examined the content, authority, and presentation of the site.
The content on the is pretty abundant; they have information on all types of dog breeds, how to register them, and the site includes several pages such as breeds, events, owners, etc. The content on the site looked credible when I first came to the page because it was very organized. The statistics were set up in an easy to follow table. The title of the page was AKC Dog Registration Statistics, and the site seemed to be complete. Also, the content seemed to be kept up to date, along the footer of the site there was an @ 2011 for the Copyright. There were several links leading you to further information on certain breeds or other topics, which all were correctly functioning links. Overall, the content on this site was organized, easy to read, and definitely reached its target audience of current or future dog owners, or just dog lovers.
The site is a .org, and is made by the American Kennel Club. The site definitely has links to other information, and also has links to electronic ads and rich media guides. They include a contact us link at the bottom of the page that includes e-mail, phone, address, and even a contact form. Furthermore, they also give links and phones to their magazines, books, videos, and every department in their company. Also, along the side is a helpful links with FAQ, departments, etc. is credible because of how it references its information, gives you the opportunity to gather as much information as possible with outside links and contact information.
The presentation on this site was very nice. It had a nice professional logo at the top, and also appropriate navigation. Each page had a unique title, and the images were just the right touch. They had several slide shows of dog images, but not too many that were distracting from the information. The contrast of the color scheme worked well and there were no GSP errors in the content. When looking at the source, I saw a lot of java script, but also noticed a style sheet and similar attributes we have been working on in class.
After checking the content, authority, and presentation of, I would recommend the site to anyone who was needing information on dogs. I think it is a credible site after seeing the appropriate presentation, and organized content. It is an up to date site that provides the user with a plethora of accurate information, and allows you to research several topics about dogs. I think that this website definitely deserves to be the first site that comes up on a search engine seach when researching about dogs and dog breeds.

Web site credibility: travel guide

I love to travel. To prepare for my travels I use It has helpful information on just about any place you can name. For example, it has tips on where to go, when to go and how to get there. Some features I find useful are the tips & articles, the “top picks” section and the information on getting there and around. I am looking into national parks the U.S. has to offer and trying to locate the best park and time to visit (anyone have any suggestions?). I’m using lonely planet and would like to know how legit its information is.


The Lonely Planet page is complete, but is set-up in a way that information can be added through the update sections. The title of the homepage is Lonely Planet Travel Guides and Travel Information. The last addition or update is an article on visiting Egypt that was written on March 1, 2011. It’s offered in 7 languages so I imagine the audience is diverse. The information posted provides the pros and cons of the locations and there isn’t an obvious bias or slant to the information. Favorites, articles and other materials that bring focus to particular places consistently change for fair exposure. Internal and external links work properly and use ‘target blank’ in an efficient manner. The outside links compliment the website by adding useful information such as travel advisories.


Lonely Planet was created by a couple who is passionate about traveling. Tony and Maureen Wheeler crossed Europe, Asia, all the way to Australia on foot for their honeymoon. They didn’t have a penny by the end of their trip and wrote a travel guide called Across Asia on the Cheap. 1,500 copies sold in one week and Lonely Planet was born. They continued to travel and made Lonely Planet what it is today. After 30 years the Wheeler’s found a partner who they trusted to carry on Lonely Planet as a guide to independent travelers for trustworthy advice. Today, BBC holds a 75% share. This affiliation is clearly explained in the ‘About Us’ page of the site and in the footer of everypage. There are several means to contact the authors of the site. There is contact information for all three locations (Australia, US and UK), including address, phone, email and fax. In addition there are particular links and contact information for questions about licensing, advertising, permissions, customer feedback, help & support and infringements. The domain name is a .com, which does mean the information could be inaccurate or skewed. Sponsors are only at the top right corner with ‘advertisement’ clearly by the sponsor. Today, Lonely planet’s mediums include magazines, books, applications and Internet.


The website is presented professionally. There aren’t gsp errors and the writing style is laid back and to the point. The content is editorial, but the authors are experienced travelers. In a way I believe this is better because instead of a new story with “strict” facts, you get the perspective of someone who knows the open road. I love the format of this website. It’s easy to use with drop down categorized navigation across the top. Headings are clear with relevant information presented below. There are plenty of images and maps, which is essential in presenting a clear idea of a location. Rollovers provide summaries and credits of photos. There is usually main photo and the view can decide to enter a photo gallery for additional photos. The images are diverse in showing not just the land, but also the culture of the natives. As stated before, the tag “proudly supported by” on the ads defines advertisements for sponsors. If you search “travel guides” on Google Lonely Planet is the second link, on Bing and Yahoo it’s the third link. Meta tags for Lonely Planet include: Pacific, Transport in Pacific, Weather in Pacific, Travel Guides, Guidebooks, Advice, Travel Information, Tips, Climate, History, Work, Volunteering, Attractions, Entertainment, Shopping, Trips, and Itineraries.

After going through the evaluating websites checklist, I have come to the conclusion Lonely Plant is a credible website. I will continue to use this website to prepare for my travels and I highly recommend it to other travelers. While it presents useful information, I would use this website as a starting point of my research. I would NOT use this as my only research tool. No matter how great the website’s information seems to be, it is important to look at a variety of websites. Traveling can be dangerous, preparation is crucial!