After following the Boston Globe for the past semester, one thing has become abundantly clear, the Globe is struggling to find an online identity.
While the Globe does a great job as a traditional, print-based news outlet it needs to find a way to create a balance on its website that is able to build upon while also separating itself from the newspaper. For two assignments we had to look at visuals from our NewsTrack websites and the Globe stood out for the wrong reasons in both cases. In the first visual report, we had to just report on how our websites used visuals such as pictures to add to their news coverage. In the case of the Globe, their visuals follow the same format that they would in the paper, with a single photo followed by the story. The Globe does have a section dedicated entirely to photos but is actually hidden away from the main page on the website.
The second assignment we had to do involving visuals was better when it came to the Globe’s website but not by much. For this assignment, we had to look up data visualizations from our NewsTrack sites and in doing so, I found that the Globe has an entire subsection dedicated to it in the Metro section of the website. However, these articles fall into the same issue that most of the articles do which is that the reader is just met with a wall of text just like it would be in the paper. And if you want to find the visualization of the data, you have to click away to a separate page.
It is clear from the Globe’s website that they are struggling to find an identity online and tend to just rely on their newspaper and not make the content different online. This is a big issue for a media outlet like the Globe because the paper and the web are two completely different entities that need to be addressed differently. While people are looking to read a wall of text in the newspaper, that is certainly not the case online. Online you need to grab your readers with visuals and other forms of media so that you can keep their attention because if you don’t, the reader can easily find a more captivating article about the same topic on a different site.
Despite this major flaw, the Globe does still stick to its mission. The Globe prides itself on reporting the truth and giving New England the information it needs and they follow through daily with the stories that matter. The only thing the Globe needs to do is to find a way to enhance their newspaper with the different forms of media they can use online, especially video, something almost entirely absent from the website.
For itself and audience, the Globe needs to find a way to bridge the gap between their website and the newspaper.