Posted by: marshamwhite | April 21, 2010

BSN or the Root?

For my class, we each had to present a newsworthy website that incorporated new journalistic features. I presented the Black Star News; a New York based investigated publication. The paper was founded in 1997 by publisher and editor-in-chief, Milton Allimadi and their mission is to uncover the truth on stories that are neglected by the mainstream media and provide a first-hand account of the Black experience in America. With seed money given to them by Bill and Camille Crosby, the stories are all online and if you are a paid subscriber, you can receive the issues at your directly at your door step.

On the website, you can find various tabs to navigate successfully and find the news you want instantly. In the “Breaking News” tab, you can find the latest stories that are happening in the nation. The “New York Watch” provides information on stories that are affecting the people of New York and the “US News” section provides news from every area of the nation. I especially like the “Global Politics” section because it gives a good account of international news especially from Africa. You can find experts’ opinions and economic plans in the “BSN Money” and “Pundit’s Corner”. My least favorite part of the website is the “Entertainment” section because it is not as up-to-date as I would like it to be but the widgets on the left (BSN-TV, Fashion, Music, Plays and Books), are very entertaining and provides a lot of multimedia aspects.

I think the BSN Blog needed the most work out of all the other features on the website. The blog features about two or three entertainment photos every month on famous celebrities and events like the Grammy’s in the Q Fashion blog. The blog branches out into five blogs and each blog has limited stories. The entire section looked sloppy and amateur.

One site that is similar to the BSN’s mission is the Root, an online magazine that provides a black perspective on issues of today. The Root, in my opinion, has an organized and professional webpage that is consumer friendly and easier to navigate. The stories are all up to date and the viewership on this site seems more than on BSN. BSN would receive one or two comments on a story and the Root would receive ten or more. I loved how they separated multimedia into its own section and you have the option of selecting video, photos or podcast. The blog component on BSN is also impressive and well-organized and provides blogs from the blog family, contributors and friends of the Root.

 Overall, if I had to choose between Black Star News and the Root, I would choose the Root. The layout of the website was more convenient and didn’t look busy or confusing. I think both newspapers are great in that they are showing the struggles people of the African Diaspora face here in the US and abroad. I think both news sites should be commended on their mission to show black perspectives and provide an alternative to traditional news sites.

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