Harvard’s Good, the Cavalier’s Ok, But I Found Something Even Better

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The Cavalier Daily’s masthead is big enough.  It is clear that it is the title of the paper and not just another headline.  However, I do not think that they make it clear enough that it is a college paper’s website or that it is the University of Virginia’s paper.  In fact, I searched over the entire homepage and cannot find anything that names the association.  Above the fold looks good, there are lots of pictures.  However, as one scrolls down, the website becomes less and less interesting.  There are clear divisions between the sections of stories, but there are NO graphics.  It’s just text, text, and more text.  Frankly, it doesn’t entice me to keep scrolling down or to click on any of the articles.  I do like that they have a little section where you can see today’s print version of the paper.  Harvard did not have that.  This way readers can chose which format they prefer. 

To bring in a third comparison though, take a look at The Flat Hat’s page.  The Flat Hat has a large masthead in a fun font.  It clearly says below the title of the paper that it is affiliated with William and Mary.  They have the weather in the upper right hand corner, like many print newspapers would.  It gives little blurbs of information about the longer article below the headlines, it intersperses pictures throughout the page to keep the reader interested.  It divides the articles into sections.  There is a newscast video for those who prefer watching/listening to the news.  You can chose to view the print paper in a pdf format.  There does seem to be fewer articles on their homepage, but I personally like it’s layout better than both The Cavalier’s and The Harvard Crimson's.

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3 Comments

Josie Rush said:

Great find, Greta. I personally find no problem with fewer articles on the homepage, because too many articles makes a page overwhelming. Angela and I both noted in our blogs that the lack of text below the fold of the Cavalier is a problem. I honestly don't know why they stopped with the images after the first three. And you're also right about the lack of clear affiliation. The Cavalier should have noted the university they were writing under.
The Flat Head does a much better job of spreading out the images, even better than the Crimson, and I don't think that site had as much of a problem with this technique as the Cavalier. However, the Flat Head managed to be informative w/o being overwhelming, and managed to school both papers in the process.

Wendy Scott said:

I really like this find. I enjoyed looking over the page and the information it provided the schools that we looked at seemd to plain to me. This provided an up beat vibe on the front page that made you want to seek out more information I thounght. Though some people I must agree with Josie like less so it is not so overwhelming. I favor whatever I like pictures I am liek a kid I guess but hey we all have our preferences in the end.
Great Post.

Angela Palumbo said:

Wow, Greta. The Flat Hat's page is indeed an exemplary online newspaper. It has the format I talked about in my Harvard Crimson post; it looks like an actual newspaper. There are lots of graphics dispersed all over the page, not just near little columns like Hardard or only at the top like The Cavelier. Unlike the other two sites, this one excites me to look at the news (and that doesn't happen easily). I also really like the filmed newscast they have posted in the center of their page. They do a great job of tying together three different ways of doing journalism by having their printed version on pdf, the site of course, and a filmed broadcast. The video didn't take any time to load on my computer, either, which is a problem we've discussed in class with multimedia. (The reporter is too close to the camera, though. I feel like he's invading my personal space and he's nowhere near me. But this is minor.) I honestly don't see anything bad about The Flat Hat's page.

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