Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rating the Television Websites

News Stations Websites:

Since we try to comment on local media, and it is very difficult to watch the local television stations with all the commercials, I rely on their websites for updates. So I am going to rank the three television news stations websites:

WKYC-TV Channel 3 Grade C+
They have a pretty clear and easy to use website. It seems as though there is a great deal of content missing, or it is quickly removed to avoid clutter. It would be better if they were archived by date. Their news section is available after only two clicks from their main site, which is good. They have both written content as well as some video content. There is not a great deal of clutter on the site. One problem is that the video is denied by Norton software so those have to be disabled to view the videos. This is not an issue for other video content on the web. They also do not have the commercials before viewing the video which is good. We get to see both the investigative stories and the best tv political reporter Tom Beres. Overall fair with room for improvement.

WEWS-TV Channel 5 Grade C
Their website is pretty clean and easy to use. There are very few videos available. Most stories are written content only. There are very few videos on the site. I like the news archives so you can view stories by the day they happened. The site seems to have all the news and investigative stories available. The big problem is that you have to disable Norton to get the videos to work. They have the commercials before the video, which is very, very bad. The other issue is that I could not get it to work using Mozilla. The videos only seem to work using Internet Explorer. They are very small with video distortion even when small. Leon Bibb looks like an alien from another planet with their video player. Needs work and they need more video content since they are a television station.

WJW-TV Fox Channel 8 Grade D-
Almost not a website. They have very little content, and no videos. They actually use AP stories for their news summaries. They do provide a portal for Fox TV national news, which lowers their score by one entire grade. Easy to access, but the layout is not very impressive. They do have the annoying ad in the same space as the content. When clicking on the archive the first thing that you see is some survey. The archive is below this form, which is easily missed. No chance to see any local Fox news reports or investigative reports. Very useless website. It is very hard to make fun of Fox 8 if they do not provide us the content.

Pretend News Station Review:
Channel 19/43 Tabloid Website Grade B-

Setting aside the poor content that is a sorry excuse for news they actually have a pretty good website. In fact, they have the best compared to the three real news stations. It is a little cluttered, and it would be better if they archived the story by date. The videos run without turning off Norton and they are clear. They lose points for having an advertisement before the video starts. When I click on a video, I am asking for that content, not an ad then that content. It is deceptive to put the advertising first. They seem to have all their stories on your website including those that are made up or exaggerations. They have a good feature that a viewer can click which videos they want to watch so that they run one after the other. Start doing real news and they would get to compete with the other television websites.



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