The Final Assignment: Boston.com vs. Boston Globe

Throughout this semester’s course, I have had the opportunity to familiarise myself with two different news sources. These are Boston.com and Boston Globe. By choosing specific articles from both sources I was able to learn their unique styles and compare their effectiveness in presentation, clarity, launching features, using different multimedia, and driving traffic/being accessible across different platforms.

The beginning of the semester I focused on Boston.com. Overall, I wasn’t overly impressed. Though there was a good balance of stories with local news, national news, and categories including weather, sports, culture, travel, cars, and real estate. Yet, the website, in general was difficult to navigate and make sense of.

Once you clicked on an article, a McDonalds advert pops up, and the lower third of the screen is an additional pop-up advert nagging you to sign up for Boston Globe’s free newsletter. Naturally, this probes for a delayed start in reading the respective article.

The articles are typically text-heavy with one single image at the top of the screen, which sometimes did not showcase the subject of the article. Granted that it is a regional website that offers an assemblage of Boston news and features, it lacks clarity and ease of navigation. Though there is a lot of potential for being an effective source to gather quick information on the latest news and stories, it would not be my news source of choice.

I shifted my focus to Boston Globe’s online news source. The immediate difference is the level of clarity and the depth and breadth of the articles. It is essentially an electronic version of the newspaper, but it allowed for swift information to be learnt, with links to other articles of interest, and there is a much more thorough platform of sharing the articles, and an active comment section in most articles studied. Additionally, this news source includes more sections such as Metro, Business & Tech, Opinion, and Politics.

Though it covers hard news, my favourite article studied and critiqued was “Theo Epstein for president”. It was published during the period of the U.S. presidential election’s high point, coming close to the final decision. The article, though simply formatted with one single image and the rest text, offered a remarkably refreshing take on politics, by presenting Theo Epstein (president of the World Series champions the Chicago Cubs) as a presidential candidate.

The level of reporting in Boston Globe is much higher than in Boston.com, giving longer articles more specific information, where possible. In the latest newstrack I published, I praised the Globe for providing not only images, but also a video of a Cambridge fire. There is more dedication to presenting the information in an appealing way in the Boston Globe.

Overall, it was a pleasure to get to know both news sources on a deeper level, however if I were to gather my headlines and information from one of them, I’d most definitely choose Boston Globe.

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