4/26/18 NewsTrack — Final NewsTrack Post

My NewsTrack was unique in the fact that I actually changed sites halfway through the semester. Going from Breitbart to Vice News was a major change, to say the least, but I’m glad I was able to do so.

Vice News, in terms of actual content, is leaps and bounds ahead of Breitbart. They do their own reporting, unlike Breitbart, which is solid and allows their stories to flesh out more so than some sites. Their articles, while not always hard-hitting news, are well written and tell stories people want to read, quirky or otherwise.

That being said, Vice News has its issues or difficulties.

So, for this last NewsTrack, I’m going to list some positives and negatives of Vice News.

Positives:

1. Articles are Interesting

Vice News posts quirky or strange stories that you wouldn’t typically see at your run of the mill news outlet. They’re not afraid to get weird with a story if it goes down that road and that’s a good thing!

2. Good Video

Vice News actually has it’s own TV show on HBO and, more often than not, content posted on the site is referenced. Not everything is, but the bits that have a video counterpart are often linked to or embedded in relevant articles.

3. Timely

While their posts aren’t always the “biggest” news at every moment in time, they are very good at staying on top of things and pushing articles out while they are still relevant. Stories regarding current politics, especially, are often out quickly.

Negatives

1. Difficult UI

Vice News clearly wanted to make their content easily accessible, but they didn’t do a very good job. There are very few categories to search through, and the site doesn’t even have a search bar. If you’re looking for something specific, you’re likely better off trying to find it through Google than scrolling through the website.

2. Boring Web Design

They went for a minimalist style when setting up the site, but I’m not sure if it was the best choice. Maybe it was at the time, but all things change and it’s about time Vice did as well; boring white and black isn’t going to draw readers into your site.

3. Lack of Photos/Graphics

Most Vice News articles are structured as so: the headline, a photo, the article itself and an accompanying video (if there was a relevant segment on the HBO show). Their lack of photos, visuals and graphics really hurt them and, I think, could have gone a long way in improving some stories.

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NewsTrack 3/29/18 — Breaking News Coverage on ViceNews

ViceNews is constantly posting news of the breaking variety. While they themselves are not the ones breaking the news most of the time, their coverage of most events are pretty thorough

One recent example was this article.

Covering the Alton Sterling case, Tess Owen (the author), provided the facts surrounding the case while also adding pertinent background information which would allow someone unfamiliar to understand the situation, including hyperlinks to other related posts, embedding a tweet with a video statement from Sterling’s aunt while also linking to the most recent case report

ViceNews was both quick and concise in this article as well. With most breaking news, you want to get the most important facts out first, and that is exactly what they have done here.

NewsTrack 3/22/18 — Business at ViceNews

While ViceNews doesn’t cover many business happenings (much of the site’s business news can be found under the “Money” tab in the Main Menu), they do post articles every once in a while. One of their more recent posts (published in early February) dealt with the rise and inherent risks involving cryptocurrency, specifically, BitCoin.

At the beginning of the article, there is a short blurb that describes the current atmosphere around the current crypto-market, before leading into a short video of numerous BitCoin traders.

https://video.vice.com/en_us/embed/5a67c12d177dd45c54362501
The video begins with a narrator discuss the current trend among cryptocurrencies before leading into the traders, who discuss the market, its dangers and its future.

This particular article was different to many of the others posted on the site. With most pieces, the main content will be found in more long-form writing, with still photos or graphics supplementing the information provided. In this article, however, the substance was found in this short video. It’s just another way to reach an audience that wants to receive their information faster than ever.

NewsTrack 3/15/18 — ViceNews Mission

After spending some time covering Breitbart News, my NewsTrack coverage will center around Vice News, a division of Vice Media. Like the whole of Vice, Vice News is a service geared toward a more youthful audience. Their slogan, “created by and for a connected generation,” relays as much.

News content –including articles, short videos and documentaries — has existed at Vice since its inception, but was eventually moved under the umbrella of Vice News when the division was created in December of 2013. Since, Vice News has continued to produce quality content championing itself on its coverage of “underreported stories.”

Their content is very current, the main sections of their website including “Money,” “Donald Trump,” “Technology,” “Immigration,” “Drugs” and “Terrorism.” There are also sections that deal with video and more featurey style news. They are not limited to the events of the United States, however. Vice News has offices in multiple countries and their team of journalists covers happenings around the world.

While they do produce news content, Vice News tends to lean towards more of entertainment and can over or under-report certain things. Also, rarely do they try to keep their work partisan (they tend to be a left-leaning publication).

Whatever you think of their content, Vice News is extremely popular amongst youth, especially in a time where mainstream media are untrusted by many people around the country. Because of this, Vice News remains true to their goal or mission, to provide quality content for a younger, connected generation.

NewsTrack 3/1/18 — Visual Stories at Breitbart

I’ve found that Breitbart doesn’t do much video storytelling in the way of photos; there are no galleries on the website and rarely are there photos outside the featured image that goes with each article. However, Breitbart does house a lot of video.

None of seems to be their own, however.

If there is one thing that I have learned about Breitbart through NewsTrack is that Breitbart is not a journalistic entity. Rather, Breitbart is seemingly a disseminator or curator of news. The site gathers information that deals with conservatives and other individuals on the right side of the political spectrum.

Likewise, their videos appear to be from a variety of sources: ABC, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and several other stations.

(Click here to go to this video/blurb on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Shooting)

Most videos are followed by a few blurbs that don’t actually add any new information, but just regurgitates what was presented in the video. Click here to check out their video section yourself.

It’s hard to find any actual or original reporting on Breitbart, regardless of format (photo, video, print, etc.). That takes away what they are able to do as storytellers, visual or otherwise, and would certainly make the experience for a fan of Breitbart much less enjoyable than it could be.