News website of the Day Coral Gables Gazzette

The Coral Gables Gazzete is a local publication that was founded in 1996. It is in circulation in order to keep the residents of South Miami, Coral Gable, Pinecrest, Coconut Grove and Brickell  aware of weekly news that is happening in the area. 

At first glance the site is not very appealing the home page is very text-based. The only pictures on the website  are included in he ads on the side and the one small picture on the first news story.

After exploring the site a little more I found that the majority of these stories were text-based and had no pictures or video to accompany the text, making it less appealing to the reader.  The content of the website is not updated regularly. The top story on the site was posted on November 17th making it almost a week old. 

I tried to go to every section that the website offered but two of the sections, the community and classifieds, lead me to see that the link was broken and the information could not be seen.  This is one thing that all websites should strive not to have.  But for a news website it is extremely important because no one wants to get their news from an organization that can’t even produce a functioning website.

As for multimedia there is none. I could not find a single video on this site. A photo gallery was also not available to be found.   The few pictures that I did find attached to a minimal number of stories seemed to be pictures that were googled and not actually taken by the person who actually wrote the article. 

Social Media is a new key aspect to online journalism and many news organization have embraced the power of a social media network.  The Coral Gables Gazzette does have a Facebook page however only 6 people actually “like” the page. 

Overall the Coral Gables Gazzette needs a lot of work from the overall design of the page to the content. In order to attract more readers I suggest that they put some engaging content that is relevant to the reader and the what they would want to read about.  Engage them and get their opinions by adding some polls or allowing them to upload community photos and videos. By doing so the traffic to this site should improve.

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Neighbors Go Analysis

At first glance this page does not appeal to me at all. Sorry but it doesn’t. The overall look of the page doesn’t flow and the colors are not a flattering combination. After clicking on the Neighbors Go features, I scrolled down and the only thing that caught my eye was the story about the 12-year-old app inventor. All the other feature stories were not appealing or at least the headlines did nothing to make me want to click on the stories at all.  Exploring the site I saw options for the area I live and frolic in which is the Dallas Knox/Henderson area and opted for “all” and “everything” in the interest and show me sections.  I was surprised to see Halloween 2010 as the title of the page that was shown.  Over a week later and still Halloween 2010? Really? Thanksgiving would probably be a more appropriate and relevant subject.  Also in the interest section was the State Fair option.  So just for interest sake I looked up state fair and this is what came up.

Today’s word from Joel and Victoria? Bible verses and the state fair? Hmmm. It was only when I scrolled down that I saw a photos section where a small picture of  the ferris wheel was visible. The content of this site definitely needs to improve and it wouldn’t hurt to try to make things more relevant and timesensative.

Also where is all the multimedia?  In the “show me” section I chose everything but no actual photos or videos were visible on the page. It was only when I looked at the post here section that I saw text that said view photos and view videos.  It would be beneficial to make this a section of its own where readers can go directly to multimedia viewing only if they wish to.

Overall this site is too much work to navigate and as an online reader I would get uninterested very quickly and move on to another site

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Google Maps

Dallas Crime Map


View Dallas Crime in a larger map

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Election Day 2010

For years restaurants in the University Park, TX area have been prohibited to sell alcohol unless they operated as a private club and sold only to members.  As of Tuesday voting results  in the University Park area have resulted in the removal of that law and allow restaurants and grocery stores to sell alcohol.

*voting results courtesy of WFAA iPhone app.

Prior to the passing of this law restaurants in the area used a system called Unicard.  This electronic system would keep track of all of the restaurant’s members.  At the time of purchase each customer would be asked to either show their membership card or their driver’s license to show proof of membership.

Patrons of these restaurants are happy they will no longer have hand over their personal information when trying to purchase an alcoholic beverage.  But they aren’t the only ones that are glad about the voting results, the waitstaff at these restaurants are also enjoying the fact that they no longer will have to endure the lengthy process of the membership verification.  One server, Carissa Lyons was encouraging people via Facebook to vote to make her job easier and pass the law to allow the alcohol sales in the area.

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Check out my Slide Show!

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PegasusNews.com Analysis

Overall content of Pegasus News seems to be geared toward events and things that are happening in the DFW area rather than hard news stories.  At first glance a large box appears in the center of the page, which looks like a giant add. But upon searching for the “x” and close button I notice that it is not an add and yet a section of “top picks.”  The stories that were in this section had pictures and sparked my interest in looking into one of those stories.

Although it does not have hard news stories it does link to other news websites when they have a potentially interesting story that the readers may be interested in.  This is a great touch for people who come to this site.  The site also appears to me to be bright and vibrant with all the colorfulness it has. These uses of these colors make the site seem “alive” and catch my eye.

As for multimedia, I like that there is a section with options for either photo, video and radio.

The content on this site interests me and I would be likely to check back to see what new stuff they have added to their site.

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Social Media to Report the News

Social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook are being used by the news media to advance and break news stories.

Reporters are tweeting at the hint of breaking news and more and more of their viewers are subscribing to their Twitter feeds in order to receive that breaking news.   One story in the Denton Record Chronicle seems like a perfect story for a journalist to advance through a social media website.

 The story is about passengers who escaped a burning DART bus in the downtown Dallas area.  Its seems as though this would be a perfect opportunity to use Twitter to break and advance this story.  In order to break this story a journalist could possibly use their mobile device to write a short 140 character blurb about the situation.  In addition to that a Twitpic could also be added if the reporter was on site. When posting a Twitpic it is also places a permanent link to the place where the picture was taken and a saved tag. 

The story can quickly be updated as the journalist finds out new information by a quick click on his or her cell phone.  By doing so everyone that is subscribed as a follower of the reporter will be able to receive that information almost instantly and will be able to pass along that information to other readers or subscribers by emailing a link to that twitter feed.  In addition to the twitter post the reporter could also post a link to their story in their tweet where people would be able to go to the news website and read a longer version of the story. This is only one way that social media is breaking news across the world.

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