We asked Scholastic Media to do a review of our website for us this year. They started off by stating: “Overall this is a very effective website. It’s visually appealing with a wide variety of content and an exceptionally good use of multimedia elements (audio, video, photos, photo galleries, polls, etc.).”
Effective use of photography
a. Issues with some photos flipped sideways.
We have been trying to use our photography to the best of our abilities. We are doing what we can to keep using photos, we take them when we can and we try to use them on as many stories as we can. It was one of the things we focused on this year.With some of the photos flipping sideways, we are still trying to figure out why it keeps doing that, and we plan to fix it as soon as we figure it out. This is one of the things that our Technology Specialist has been looking for. We plan to try to have the issue fixed by the start of next school year.
Not too bad Video Elements
a. Audio quality is not the best, unavoidable with certain equipment
b. Find places with little distortion or reverb
c. Try to stabilize the videos better
Video was one of the things that we very heavily focused on adding into our content this year. Our advisor gave a quote about us moving to a website this year “For us this has been a whole new realm, because previously we were a newspaper and there was a separate video class, we tried to put the two together last year which didn’t work out very well. With us moving to a website this year with our new technology specialist it allowed the transition to be pretty painless.” We were able to upload video for our readers to watch. With the supplies we have we are able to take some pretty good video. Our audio has been causing us issues, we have been trying to find ways to solve this, but we still do not have equipment to make this perfect. Stabilizing the videos is something that we could do easily. We have tripods, but some of us tend to not use them.
Podcasts are good
a. Good Topics and Interesting Conversations
b. Some voices difficult to hear at times
c. Add a quick into and outro to make it more professional
Podcasts are a new recent edition to the cardinal connection. We decided to try and see if we could do this, with it allowing us more freedom while having our conversations. We find good topics for our conversations before we plan to do the podcasts. Jordan Beeks, one of our editors said this about finding topics for podcasts, “We try to pick the stuff that people have questions about and want to listen to, like with the weighted GPA’s a lot of people wanted to know about that, so we did a podcast about it.” With our current equipment we have been doing what we can with the audio, we recently bought a new microphone to allow for better audio quality within the podcasts. Adding a quick intro and outro is something we plan to do soon, but may not get done by the end of this year.
Social Media integrated well
We have done a few different things this year to integrate our social media, but we decided to stick with the twitter feed. It is a good, smooth way to show our social media and draw attention towards it.
The “At It Again” segment is entertaining and for the most part very well done.
This segment was one of our best viewed segments on our site, and we plan to try to continue it on. With the current host of it graduating this year we are looking for someone to take his place. Our current host of the segment, Will Shupe had a quote about this, “When I was a freshmen and sophomore, I did the situation to make kids laugh, but I hadn’t been able to do that for awhile, so at it again was a newer version of that.”
Many photos lack captions.
a. Provide at least persons name and a few details
We have been pushing our members to do this throughout the year. We plan to push harder for it next year.
Avoid posed photos
This is a very good point, people tend to enjoy action photos more than the posed ones. This is something I will make sure to bring up at the end of year meeting, and for our beginning next year. Most of this stuff will most likely be brought up in both meetings.
Try to work in some photo galleries
We try to work these in, some of our topics don’t have much on the photo side. Mostly because the stories don’t have much for photos, but we plan to push for all of these.
The writing needs some work
a. Closer proofing needed
b. More Detail and Quotes
c. News Format
This was another new push this year, we have been working on getting things proofread better. We will be working on adding quotes and more details than we have been. With news format, we will work on pushing this again next year. One of our editors, Devyn Lyon gave a quote about this, “I realize we have been putting more work into adding more quotes and opinions into our stories, we have been working towards adding a variety of stuff to allow our news to be as factual and non-biased as possible.”
Thanks to Scholastic Media for reviewing our site and giving us detailed feedback. This will allow us to grow to become better next year, we plan to take multiple of the above points into our plans for next year. We are always looking for feedback to help us become a better news source for our school’s news!