Blog 4: Oscar coverage of the New York Times

I chose to criticize the Oscar coverage of the New York Times. The well-rounded coverage contains highlights of the ceremony, red carpet styles, movie reviews, interview pieces with directors and results of the awards.

– User experience:

First, tons of stuff are well organized, so that users can find information easily. On the top of every article, there is a navigation bar. The homepage is also separated by reader-friendly columns. The most newsy contents are placed on the top for frequently updating.

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Second, the design is simple and consistent with the website’s style. As series full of images, the homepage of the coverage is filled with same-size grids of pictures along with titles and brief introductions. It looks very neat with the color set of black, white and grey. The name of the column is golden, which reminds me of the well-known Oscar statuette. As the cup of the award, there are many photos containing the statuette. The golden fonts and the golden elements in the photos match well like the following.

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– Multimedia:

Besides articles, there are many photos and video, which are unavoidable for Oscar. I saw many good ideas here.

The page about the ceremony starts with a very controversial image of Neil Patrick. It’s a good selling point of the page.

The video pieces are organized into two separated sessions. One is about the background stories of movies, and another one is about the live scene of the ceremony.

– Targeting audience:

The whole coverage is mainly serious despite Oscar’s nature as an entertaining event. Writers and guests are seriously talking about their movies and producing experiences. Readers should have interest and basic knowledge about movie as an artistry. Targeting audience is consistent with the main readers of the newspaper.

This message is passed via the neat grids and main color set of black, white, grey and gold.

– Open ends:

First, in the fashion session where reporters took photos of noteworthy red-carpet looks and analyzed briefly, the web design is consistent and simple. Each actor or actress at the top of the page has photos of a full-body look, a face close-up, and a close-up of ornaments. Everyone at least has a full-body look. This is an open gallery. Theoretically, there can be unlimited looks added in this gallery.

Another open-end design is the page about the ceremony. The design is more casual because there are many entertaining images. The structure is not as rigid as the homepage which has neat grids. Passages are short and immediate. Pictures and texts can be added unlimitedly onto this page if the ceremony hasn’t ended.

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About Yizhu Wang

A second-year graduate student in Missouri School of Journalism. She studies print/digital journalism with a focus on business reporting. She is interested in utilizing multimedia and technology to strengthen the presentation of news stories. Yizhu is originally from Shanghai, China.

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