NewsTrack: Huffington Post Round Up

This semester I have spent my time analyzing the content, the website and the social media for The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post was started by Arianna Huffington in 2005. The website publishes blogs and stories – some from their staff writers and some from other publications. There are many different types of stories that appear on the Huffington Post website – everything from current events, politics, entertainment and more.

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There are many highlights, as well as some lowlights for this website. While they are a well established news organization and come up in conversation, blog posts and Google searches, the Huffington Post has not become my go to for news of pretty much any nature.

Some highlights are:

  1. Their political coverage – they have bloggers (some on staff and some guest bloggers) that write insightful and interesting posts about the current election cycle.
  2. Their first person narrative – they do good job with their long-form pieces. Their reporters go in depth with their first person accounts of issues that they are writing about. Their pieces pull in the reader and make it accessible to the Huffington Post’s many followers.

Some lowlights are:

  1. Sensational headlines – The Huffington Post writes in a really dramatic way. I understand that they want to grab readers’ attention however I feel like this detracts from the story. The headlines are flashy and make something that isn’t that big of a deal into a big deal with their headlines. On the flip side as well, when something catastrophic happens (like Brussels) they have dramatic headlines that makes an already hard event tougher.
  2. Bias – The Huffington Post has a liberal bias. The way they write their articles slants to the right. While you could argue that most of the media outlets have biases on certain topics, the Huffington Post is rather dramatic in their liberal biases.
  3.  Topic Choice – They have a large range of topics which could be both a positive and a negative, however in the Huffington Post’s case it is a lowlight. They seem to be all over the place in terms of topics and they seem to lose their focus at times.

While the Huffington Post is a major news outlet – at least in some ways – it is not one that I will rely on for my news going forward. They have some positive aspects (especially the blogs) that I will miss however not enough to seek out. In order to keep my readership, they will have to turn down the antics and start straight forward reporting sans flashy headlines.

Live Tweeting: Charles Sennott talks to young journalists

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Charles Sennott, a co-founder of The GroundTruth Project, came to Boston University Wednesday to talk to students and faculty about his project called GroundTruth as well as the future of journalism for young journalists. Check out my tweets from the event below or on Twitter (@chloebruning).

https://storify.com/cbruning/charles-sennott-speaks-about-youth-in-journalism

NewsTrack: Huffington Post goes mobile

Huffington Post has a snapchat that they update regularly. I started following it on Snapchat after last week’s class discussion. They update the snap story multiple times a day resulting in a few minute story by the end of the day.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 2.27.33 PMLast weekend, the Huffington Post covered the SXSW (South by Southwest) Festival in Texas. SXSW is a music, film and art festival in Austin, Texas. Huffington Post was there covering the event and posted many snaps of musicians performing, festival goers dancing, festival food and many other things. The festival lasted all weekend, so by the end of the weekend the snapchat story was many minutes long – which is impressive because at most the longest clip was 10 seconds long.

Since the SXSW festival ended, Huffington Post has continued to post to its snapchat story, however these videos have been less interesting and sort of a strange aspect of the Huffington Post. The videos are just random reporters talking to the camera about pretty random things. The snapchat videos don’t relate to other content published on their website. These videos would make more sense, and be more cohesive with the Huffington Post, if the reporters in the videos were promoting their piece that is already published online.

Snapchat is a powerful and new tool that is open to reporters, however I believe that the Huffington Post missed the mark on this one. It is a rather random selection of videos on the website. It would be better if the videos that they show on Snapchat relates back to content that is already on their website. The original reporting on the Snapchat video doesn’t make much sense in terms of the Huffington Post. The social media editors for the Huffington Post should take a serious look at how Snapchat is working for their site.

Assignment: A Night at the FreeP

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For this video assignment I made a video about BU’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Free Press. We publish content five days a week online and one day a week in print. We write about everything from city and campus news to the latest goings on on the BU sports fields, concert reviews and more.

You can find us online at: dailyfreepress.com or pick up our print edition around campus every Thursday.

 

NewsTrack: Spotlight and the Oscars

While the Huffington Post had lots of articles about the Oscars, they didn’t mention Spotlight specifically except to say that it won Best Picture. Their Oscar coverage focused on the controversies – outside of the winners and losers of the awards. They focused on Chris Rock’s opening monologue and Tina Fey’s comments about all the “Bulls**T” she saw while at the Oscars which she talked about on the Howard Stern show Monday morning.

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For a movie about journalism – and arguably the best journalism movie since “All the President’s Men” – the HuffPo was lacking in coverage. They are much more inclined to talk about the drama – justified or not – than talk about the actual award show itself.

The HuffPo has more fluff articles than anything else. They write about how much Lady Gaga’s earrings cost, about cookies that are replicas of great Oscar dresses and how Stallone’s brother thought he should’ve won for Creed. Another thing that the HuffPo talked about a lot was Leo DiCaprio and his Oscar and lack of previous Oscar wins.

NewsTrack 4: A video is worth a thousand words

Generally, the Huffington Post does a good job with multimedia incorporated into their stories. Most stories have a bunch of photos and links in the text as well as videos included in the post. The videos, however, are not usually created by the Huffington Post, instead they are outside videos that are linked into the story. Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 2.22.10 PM

For example in a story about the upcoming Oscars this weekend they linked the trailers to all the movies they were talking about in the article. Obviously, Huffington Post didn’t create the trailers but it was nice to be able to read about the movie and what the Huffington Post thought about the movie and then watch the trailer – especially if it was a movie that I had never heard of before. So while maybe the Huffington Post isn’t creating the videos, they are using the myriad of videos that already populate the internet to further their posts.

An example of a post that used video that the Huffington Post created on their website is aScreen Shot 2016-02-25 at 2.21.44 PM story about Black Lives Matter protestors at a Hillary Clinton rally. They could’ve done a better job creating the video because it was rather straight forward but it did provide the reader of the story with an example of what was actually happening at the Clinton rally.