The Presidential Debate: A Foretelling by Boston.com

Monday September 26th is a date known to the majority of U.S. citizens and residents who are following the presidential election, for it’s the very first presidential debate. As Boston.com puts it, it’s going to be “an extraordinary class over race and gender” from the two candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Though the content of the post seems appropriate to the headline, the post fails to incorporate any form of multimedia or features to attract the reader, other than the one image of technicians setting up the stage, as shown below.

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The article opens by setting the scene of the upcoming debate and stating that the candidates have opposing views and ideals in terms of cultural issues that are “convulsing the nation.” It then jumps into supporting Clinton’s case, before demeaning Trump’s actions, and repeatedly does so throughout the article. Undoubtedly, the article is biased in favour of Clinton.

Though the authors include a quote from a Harvard law professor in graf five, it seems a little out of place. He states the extremity of the divergence is “unlike anything [he has] confronted in [his] adult life.” The professor, albeit being an accredited source, does not surface again in the article. The placement of this quote seems unnecessary, given that he does not have an integral part to play in the debate.

The article includes several quotes from the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, a former House speaker, and a Democratic adviser, among others. There are only two quotes from Republicans. Though this shows bias again, the quotes aid the article in giving a voice to the people.

The lengthy article of 1193 words is organised poorly, from a visual perspective. With only one image for the entire piece, the long text has no breaks other than two advertisements. This makes the length of the piece daunting to read, unless the reader is truly fascinated by the content. There are therefore no features to offer other than hyperlinks to aforementioned content, such as video footage from Charlotte, North Carolina.

In terms of traffic, the only tools and methods used are these mentioned hyperlinks, which redirects readers to other sites and sources of information.

The article is also available on the mobile application Boston.com with the same format. The typeface used is Helvetica, size 14. This is appropriate on the mobile version, as it is more leisurely read. However, as a political news feature piece, I did not prefer this type on the web version. A different type, such as Times New Roman, would perhaps be considered a little more “political news” appropriate.

Overall, the piece has good content, which we can criticise as we wish, but the visual appeal is lacking. The inclusion of a poll, chart, or graph of any sort would give more clarity to the candidates’ positions within the upcoming debate. Additionally, the article totally lacks to even show the reader the faces of the future president.

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