All local, national or global news outlets cover stories differently. Three major Western-New York news outlets, the Buffalo News, Niagara Falls Reporter and Buffalo Rising, all have different approaches to gathering and reporting the news. The Buffalo News has the biggest reach and largest amount of readers for any newspaper in the area. This allows them to employ a larger writing staff than other regional outlets. I am pleased to see that their website looks and works well, and is free of clutter. I believe they are the best at covering both local and national news, both in print and online. The Reporter, which I’ve read occasionally for years, is printed weekly, while their website is updated daily. Often their stories seem satirical, controversial, or biased. The site itself looks very basic, with limited graphic and flair. I’ve always been unsure of what to make of the Reporter, as it can be very interesting, yet I always feel like it is unreliable. They also seem to focus more on local news than an outlet like the Buffalo News or Niagara Gazette.
Buffalo Rising is far different than most news outlets, focusing on more obscure, yet interesting and positive stories and profiles concerning Western New York. They highlight what makes Buffalo unique. They focus even more on local news than the Reporter does, and their lack of hard-hitting stories probably prevents them from competing with other media juggernauts. However, I feel that they are capitalizing on using the digital platform, as their stories appeal to a more youthful demographic, who are more likely to obtain their news primarily online.
Turning away from local to national news sources, differences exist here as well. Three examples of this are CNN, The Associated Press, and ABC News. I follow all three on Twitter, along with NBC News and CBS News, and each provide readers with similar, but not entirely unique experiences.
The Associated Press’ main website is very different than the other two outlets in that it does not feature many news stories. Instead, readers must go to bigstory.ap.org to view a list of top stories. I feel that the AP is better suited for a platform like Twitter, as its main site lacks top stories. All three sites feature a feature story, with a large photograph, flanked by other important stories beside or below. CNN displays several videos on their main page, with ABC featuring a column displaying tweets sent out by their Twitter account. The AP’s main page is broken up into categories concerning major news stories.
All three cover both national and global news, but seem to primarily focus on stories concerning the United States. Both ABC and CNN offer separate sites that focus more on global affairs. A feature that I particularly like about ABC and CNN is that it posts how long ago a particular story was written. Two problems I had with ABC and CNN concerned their use of videos. I felt that ABC’s videos were too large, requiring the reader to scroll more to continue reading a story. CNN utilizes an auto-play feature for their videos, which can be bothersome to a visitor who does not want to watch a video at that time, or at all. ABC News also features a “trending” section, highlighting what people are talking about at a given time.
All three do great jobs of covering news stories, as evidenced by their reputation and scope. ABC and CNN have the benefit of having websites and social media feeds, as well as television channels, to get their news across. The AP relies primarily on supplying other news outlets, where they can be published online or in print. All told, every news outlet has similarities and differences, which allows for people to choose which approach works best for them.