ProPublica #1

First Impressions of propublica.org, like in the case of any new website, is unfamiliarity. In comparison huffpost seems  ‘flashy’ and in your face.  The mission statement is rather long, but such is expected from a website that communicates ‘unconventional’ news.  The word ‘dignified’ and ‘low key’ fit propublica.

The headers contains the link ‘Fracking’ which might be unfamiliar to some users. ‘Dollars for Docs’ is novel in content, but vague. ‘Doctor’ could easily be confused with ‘document’.

The magnifying glass is an appropriate graphic but it appears way too many times throughout the website. And it doesn’t even move/rotate. That kind of dignified isn’t desirable. Also, it’s clear that some of the contributors aren’t used to catchy headlines. They’re mostly didactic or pedagogic like ‘Why X matters’ and ‘How Y Works’. The stand out was 9/11 History ‘Lessons’.

A Double Espresso of Questions for Green Mountain‘ also stood out. It was the second post appearing on the page. The headline tries to be snarky but fails. I won’t even go into the content. (‘Just how many K-Cups has Green Mountain sold year-to-date and is it less than the Street understands?’; ‘What explains the unusual movements of Green Mountain inventory described by some former company workers and associates?’ )

The image for this post makes no sense to me whatsoever. At first I thought it looked like an origami or cubist version of Samurai Jack(the cartoon character). Am I reading a graphic novel? Or analyzing modern art?

However, propublica mentions ‘this article has been corrected’ at the very start of an edited post, unlike some others, which prefer the end.

An article like ‘Revealed: The NSA’s Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security‘ will draw little attention, since the headline, yet again, is vague and generalized. (‘Revealed’ is superfluous here.) Makes the new sound like  old news. There is a column on the side called ‘What’s new here’ which is great, but its at the bottom and hardly even visible. This should be in the headline.

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