Blog Post #4

When seeking out information on the internet I often rely on the CNN app.  I tend to gather most of my information about world news from this site because, first and for most, I get the ‘breaking news’ notifications sent to my phone, cutting out the step of actually having to look for what is going on in the world.  While CNN is considered a more liberal site, it is very useful when seeking out raw information concerning world events with fairly real time updates.

Rhetorical Awareness

Due to the fact the CNN is a global news provider, its audience is very wide spread and includes everyone from stakeholders (in this case, someone more concerned with the content of a specific article) and shadow readers (more like my self, simply gathering info for the sake of staying up to date on current topics).  As I mentioned before CNN is known as a liberal news source and directs its articles and information towards an audience more receptive of these political views.  While it would be preferable that political influences are contained to articles talking about politics and politics alone, CNN tends to write articles in all areas of the site, that favor readers with a more liberal mindset.  By doing this, every article on CNN is written with the purpose of reaching its core audience and providing them information about a particular event or current issue with a more liberal prospective or point of view.

User Centered Design 

When I do find an article that I feel is worth reading, the CNN app makes it very easy from me to go from the notification on my home screen, directly to the article.  The Articles are easy for the user to read and are typically written in a Bottom Line Up Front format, providing the reader with the main idea of the article upfront and filling in the details as the article goes on.  Within each article there are links to articles about the same or similar topics, making it easier for the reader to continue gathering information and reading the articles on their site.

Their home page is set up in a very similar way, providing breaking news or ‘top news stories’ in a list, with short descriptions, to allow the reader to navigate through them with ease and find the article that best suits their interests.  The top stories even have times next to them so the reader knows when each article was published.  This aspect provides greater ease of navigation when looking for more information about a newly broken story, or more often tragedy.

Gathering Information 

When browsing the internet for information it is very important to think about who and where the article is coming from.  Every good news provider uses all aspects of rhetorical awareness and writes for their core audience in order to keep their main readers engaged and satisfied.  If you are like me, and do not have extremely strong political views in one direction of the other, it is very important to understand this idea.  When I read a story about a current event in the news, I usually try to find a story from two sources with opposite influences and core audiences.  For example when I find an article on CNN and want to hear the other side I usually go to the Wall Street Journal in-order to find a different prospective.

CNN updates are great for me because it only provides one or two sentences of information, and does not allow enough room for too much ‘writer influence’.  It provides very high User Centered Design and very low rhetoric, making it a good way to gather facts on the go.



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