For the Spring 2016 Semester in my Online Journalism (#jo304) class at Boston University, we were assigned, at random, a website to monitor for the duration of the course. I drew The Guardian – London as my NewsTrack Website and have been viewing it each day to see what news is being reported.
Overall, I was not impressed by the website. However, I will give it the benefit of the doubt. Let me explain. All the pressing, global news phenomena that happened this semester (i.e. Super Bowl, Brussels Bombings, etc.) was nowhere to be found on the site. The reason being, this site is meant to monitor LONDON news only. And in that regard, the website succeeded. Here are my pros and cons for The Guardian – London.
- CON – There were tons of stories about the London mayoral race and the Gatwick Airport expansion protests, but there were no eye-catching stories. Readers of the site would not only have to be living in London to be interested in the site, but would also have to be enthralled by very specific happenings in the city.
- PRO – The website did an excellent job at covering the big news stories in London. From the housing crisis to the mayoral race, London’s biggest news was sure to be on the website.
- CON – For readers who want a scope on global news, do not visit The Guardian – London. Go to the parent website The Guardian.
- PRO – As far as design and concept, it was a rather easy sight to navigate. Stories were color coded based on genre, and it was extremely user friendly.
- CON – One issue I found is that it is very strictly hard news. Rarely will an entertainment, sports, or editorial show up on the page. The lack of variety was troublesome.
- PRO – Overall, what the website did provide was very well written and well presented.
- CON – One final gripe with the website was that there was no presence on social media. The parent website certainly is on social media, but The Guardian – London is nowhere to be found.
In closing, it was fun to be able to monitor an international online news source and getting to see how news is presented in another country. But for the purpose of the NewsTrack assignments, The Guardian – London was a big flop. The only time I will visit that site in the future would be if I lived in London.