Jonathan – Group Project Part 1
It was a funny coincidence that I was assigned the Louisville Courier-Journal, as I lived there for a year back in 2002. I remember thinking even back then that the paper was pretty bland, and when I lived there the website was incredibly basic. It’s changed quite a bit since the last time I took a look—and not necessarily in a good way! It’s gotta be one of the most crammed sites I think I’ve ever seen. While it does a few things well (video is fast, community links are prominently displayed) it tries way too hard to be more than what it is, which is something that is only going to read by folks in Louisville.
The Daily Herald (IL) does just the opposite, in that it almost completely eschews national and world news and is instead completely focused on the local community. Although the website isn’t anything special, it does accomplish a clearer task than the Courier-Journal, whose main links can be found at thousands of news websites around the world. The Herald puts all of that information at the bottom of the page, and uses their virtual real estate to give locals something they can’t find in the big papers.
I hadn’t realized this before starting the project, but I bet this has a lot to do with each paper’s traditional domain. The Courier-Journal spent over a century being the primary news source to people in Louisville, but now that anyone can get whatever they want online you can see how they are struggling to give up their traditional domain of major newsprovider. The Daily Herald, on the other hand, having lived in the shadow of the major Chicago papers for so long, is already good at providing non-duplicated specific local news to its core audience, and the website clearly mirrors this mission.