Read & Respond – Week 11

For next Tuesday’s class, we’ll be heading to the J-Week Politico session. John Harris, editor-in-chief of Politico, will be speaking at 7:30 p.m. in G21 Ming Hsieh Hall. You can read more about Harris on his J-Week bio page. This will be our class for the week, and attendance is mandatory – you’ll need to check in with me at the main doors to the room.

Remember also that we’re tweeting this event, so be prepared with a phone or laptop. Every post you make needs to have the #jweek tag to be counted. For a good example, take a look at this tag (#futureofcontext) from the Future of Context session at South by Southwest just this past weekend – what were people talking about, and how?

So where’s the Read & Respond? At Politico, of course! Your mission is to hit up the Politico blog and get a feel for its tone, topics, audience … everything about it. You’ll then respond in a comment to this post with your impressions. These should be linked to our past course readings and discussion (don’t simply talk about how you liked it or weren’t interested – provide thoughtful and substantive commentary). Feel free to use specific Politico posts to illustrate your points.

Your responses are due by Monday, March 22. See you at the session!

10 Responses to Read & Respond – Week 11

  1. I think the audience for this blog is quite obvious. It’s all about politics and people that are interested in current government and political issues. One of the big strengths for the site is that it gives updates constantly. There are also a lot of options to click through on the site that could keep readers there for quite a while.

    Another part about the site that you would think would work well is a message board section. But when looking at it, the last post dates all the way back to March 12th. Maybe they need to promote it more or something, but you would think there would be a little more discussion going on.

  2. ecmoore19 says:

    I was surprised at how seemingly objective Politico was. There definitely wasn’t the same partisan tone that you were able to see with some of the other blogs we looked at like The Daily Kos or Crooks and Liars. I would be interested to see a breakdown of who regularly reads Politico and see if my initial impression holds true.

    My favorite part of the blog though was the “Arena.” There is a moderator who tries to begin a conversation between important players in the political… well… arena. These select people are able to write comments and the activity was especially high today with all of the health care controversy.

    Politico also seems to operate in a relatively traditional news fashion. They set up their webpage in more of a newspaper form than a typical blog and I see the same idea within their content. The health care vote has dominated the website but it has been reported in a straightforward way through the articles that I have read. For instance, the latest story on Politico could run in a typical newspaper.

  3. grcarey says:

    Politico’s site reminds me of CNN’s with the way it is set up and the content it features. The site is geared toward those who keep up with all the latest news in the world of politics. All the latest news in a left-and-right wing world appears to be covered thoroughly on Politico, but it is also beneficial to those interested in business and breaking news all over the nation.
    The site was extremely modernized and it was neat to see the Politico in print as opposed to just reading the online stories. The multimedia videos were a neat facet and showed how politic heavy sites like Politico always try to factor in reaction from television.

  4. This site is obviously geared toward people interested in what’s going on in politics. The content on this site kinda reminds me of the Drudge Report, only they have their own writers and they aren’t taking stories directly from another site. This website does remind me on CNN, if it didn’t say “Politico” at the top the page I would have thought this was a CNN website because they look very similar.

    This site does seem to be geared toward many older people because when I look at some of the comment sections it seems to be people who have been around politics for a long time and have experience talking about it. Many of the topics on the site seem to be very up-to-date. Most of the articles I looked at talk about the health care bill passing. That seems to be an obvious topic since everyone appears to be interested in it.

  5. gavinwv says:

    The biggest thing that sticks out to me with Politico’s site is how in depth their articles are. Unlike CNN and Fox News. I know today is a huge day for this site, but they busted out over 15 different aspects of the congressional health care bill today. They talked about what it means for the parties, what it means for the congressmen themselves, how people reacted, and on and on, it seemed like every aspect of the issue was discussed.
    I also really like the site design. Instead of opening up a page loaded with advertisements and plugs for their television shows, Politico lists a reader friendly breakdown of their impressive amount of material.

  6. Like what was said above I really like that they have all the differing opinions about important topics. The health care reform has detailed articles for all the major opinons. I think it goes beyond the generic or biased articles of CNN of Fox, and lays it out to let the reader decide without slanting the story.

  7. Well, this should be an interesting presentation tomorrow, with everything that’s been going on today. The blog’s layout is really nice – easy to follow. It’s also nice to see who the blog’s author is from the main page. This is something I’d like to see on our class blogs (authors are not showing up on the main page of Masticate Morgantown).
    On the other hand, I struggle to see the difference between this site and any other mainstream media news site. For the most part, they are covering the same news, using the same quotes and the same people – so how is this any different from mainstream news? Heck, they even offer a ‘print edition’. What’s with that? If a blog is at the point where it has the audience and influence to get people to order articles in print, well, is it really still a blog? Is it functioning as a form of independent media – independent meaning separate from the mainstream media and any bias/interest that may come with that? It seems like there’s a complication with blogs getting too big, and just turning into new, specialized newspapers.

  8. kenziekat says:

    This blog doesn’t seem very “blog-esq”…looks basically like any other “politics” section of mainstream news sites.

    Regardless, I can tell this site goes a bit more in depth on political issues than the average “politics” section of CNN or MSNBC. Clearly, those who read this blog are well-versed in political lingo & can grasp all the aspects of politics the site addresses. From the comments I can tell the site spurs intelligent and constructive discussion as well.

    I also like the way the site is layed out in that, without scrolling down you can see TONS of entries. Perhaps I’m lazy, but it’s quite convenient.

    All in all, I like what the site presents, how it presents, and think its obvious they know their audience.

  9. ourgoldenlife says:

    Having never been to Politico, I was kind of blown away by the wealth of information that they dispense. I wasn’t just impressed by the amount of information, but also with the various ways they dispense it. Articles, videos, timelines, polls, political cartoons, headlines, and message boards are just some examples of how this site does a wonderfully comprehensive job of adding value, reaching out to readers, and providing platforms for reader feedback.

    One of their most interesting features is called “Politico 44” and is described as “a living diary of the Obama presidency,” complete with a whiteboard, daily timeline, monthly calendar, and relevant articles. This is a great example of how in depth Politico gets with their coverage.

    The audience is obviously people interested in politics. Topics covered are anything and everything related to politics. Obviously health care reform is a huge topic right now, and Politico is running an incredible amount of information about it.

    Politico offers news coverage from all over the political spectrum, ranging from left to right. This is refreshing, as many news sites are one or the other forcing their audience to read between the lines of bias.

  10. blackedoutblog says:

    Oh damn, I thought this was due today.

    I like the layout of Politico because it is different than typical blogs. The use of headlines to attract readers allows me be selective and only read the news I care about.

    Tags on posts make it even easier to follow topics such as the passing of the Health Care Reform bill.

    The page is also not dominated by images partly because talking head photos are boring to look at. I think they could do a better job at mixing up the photos they use.

    Another thing I don’t like is the blog is broken up into three columns. My eyes aren’t sure where to go on the screen and would probably would be easier if it was just two columns.

    As far as content goes, Politco is on fire. They followed every second of the Health Reform and I noticed they mix traditional reporting with a little commentary.

    I didn’t find the writing dry or boring because the stories are nicely broken up and contain links to past article for reference.

    I think it is also deliberate to not have a comment section on the entries. Political topics breed the nastiest resentment from an internet commenter and I’m sure Politico did not want than overshadowing their work.

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