2. Analyze a Web site for a local television station or newspaper, looking at aesthetic and ethical issue. For each, make a list of what each does well and what YOU would do differently based upon what you learned from your chapter 9 reading.
Since nothing of national note has happened in Minnesota today, it's not surprising that there is no local material on NPR's Web site. In a graceful balance, MPR does a good job of reporting both the national news and what it means for its own audience by putting a Minnesota focus on many national events or nearby to subsidize it. If I could view only one of these sites, I would look at MPR because it reports the local, the national and sometimes the local component of the national stories.
MinnPost seems to have its aesthetics down pat. The color scheme--Minnesota maroon and gold--is consistent throughout. With the news site's adherence to colors, ads stick out enough that the viewer can instantly identify them as ads and ignore them at will--which is nice. It doesn't seem like the site is enslaved by its ads, like some of the local newspaper sites, (I've often had trouble locating the search bar under a mountain of ads on the Pioneer Press site). The font is big enough and spaced enough that each headline and the summary of the story is easily accessed by the viewer's eyes. One thing I find interesting about the setup of site is that they went with the blog format--the viewer does a lot of scrolling to see the front page. When MinnPost was created, I feel like this was something of a gamble, but now that so many people get their news from blogs and the Internet, it has probably become a non-issue. Consistent with its blog layout, the site relies more on blogs--the news cloaked in opinion--to deliver its wares. As long as readers understand this, I don't feel like it's an ethical concern, but if people think there aren't biases, they have a problem.
If I were in charge of MinnPost, I would keep the aesthetics. I would make it clearer when news items were written through the lens of opinion, however.