News Site Analysis

Seeing the use of a modest, white background, one could say that NPR.org find its beauty through simplicity. The website’s layout and design are intuitive and easy to learn. The first object to catch the reader’s attention is the visual image associated with the top story. Directly beneath the image, the reader will find the name of the category that the specific story belongs to, whether it is politics, law or fine art. In larger text, the reader will see a headline, followed by an excerpt about the greater news article. In some instances, links to other news articles on the website are placed below the excerpt, allowing the reader to research the topic with ease.

Scrolling down the homepage, the reader will find the news article previews stacked vertically. While this requires a moderate amount of scrolling, the reader will get a glimpse of many varying news article previews. These news article previews following the same formula: a visual image, the category, a headline and an excerpt. Since NRP.org employs the use of a white background, the highly detailed and colored images catch the attention of the reader, allowing the reader to search for stories they find interesting, without necessarily reading any text. In order to access the news article, the reader must click the headline or the excerpt of the news article preview. Within the same tab, the reader will be directly to the greater news article.

At the very top of the page, there is a horizontal bar stretching across the entire webpage. This horizontal bar contains the NPR logo, which will take the reader back to the homepage, as well as ways to navigate the website as a whole. To the left of the NPR logo, there is a button containing three horizontal lines. Once clicked, the reader can travel to the webpages that they may be interested in, including news, music, and arts & life.

The first slot for news article previews on the website’s homepage is always reserved for the top story. The top story is almost always an article detailing the actions and events occurring within the federal government of the United States of America. The top story also always gets a visual image larger than that of most of the following news article previews. The first 8-10 news article previews are serious news stories mostly about politics, but may also be about war, the environment, public health and major weather events. After the first 8-10 news article previews, the reader starts to see news article previews of a lighter tone. These lighter news stories are often “feel good” stories, giving the reader a nice break from the serious news stories.

Journalists working directly for NPR complete the vast majority of the research done for these news articles. The news articles will rarely take the reader to other websites. The main news articles at NPR.org are written as objectively as possible, intending to state all the facts and only the facts associated with the given story. There are opinion pieces published daily by NPR, but these opinion pieces are clearly labeled as “commentaries”. The news articles and commentaries are kept separated, as NPR does not intend to blend fact with opinion, as many other news outlets like to do.

NPR.org is about as moderate and centrist as a major news outlet can be in within the field of modern journalism. Their main news articles do not contain the opinions of the story’s author. Opinion pieces are readily available and easy to access, but they are clearly labeled as such and do not mix with the main news articles. Many different commentators with opinions that span the political spectrum write these opinion pieces, thus maintaining the equilibrium. NPR.org strives to keep the main news articles as objective and unbiased as possible, resulting in a news outlet with exceptional quality.

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