I’m a vault for useless information. I can’t go through notecards and memorize terms and definitions, but I can tell you weird, useless facts. For example, did you know that Denmark has more pigs than people? I know these things because I’m a sucker for reading random articles with catchy, bizarre titles. In leading myself down the dark hole called The Internet, a lot of the random, more credible articles I click on guide me to Huffingtonpost.com.
Rhetorical Awareness in News Outlets
Huffington Post is politically liberal; therefore, when it comes to rhetorical awareness the news outlet is definitely geared towards a specific audience. Like most news outlets though, there are plenty of other categories aside from politics that everyone (not just liberal readers) can enjoy. Some of the categories that I don’t see being all that political (most of the time) include things like comedy, celebrity entertainment, educational programs, environmental conservation, and healthy living. Essentially, it’s a site that has a definite left wing bias when it comes to their politics section, but it also features a lot of fluff articles that are entertaining to read. By including these fluff articles that pop up all over the Internet, this site caters to shadow readers- people who unintentionally stumble upon their content.
When it comes down to the purpose of the articles it depends on what the article is trying to say. For instance, the political articles are obviously trying to sway the reader a certain way/reinforce ideas/inform, or, they’re trying to put unpopular thoughts out in the wide open to spark discussion. On the other hand, the purpose of most of the site is for sheer entertainment. Whether it’s for entertainment, giving me one more useless fact to remember forever, or to spark a debate, Huffington Post engages people for a multitude of reasons.
One aspect of UCD that Huffington Post does well is its document design. There are hyperlinks where hyperlinks are necessary, titled sections to help guide the reader through the article, and almost always includes photos. Photos are always nice to look at after reading a few paragraphs, and in providing a break for they eyes they’re simultaneously driving entertainment and engagement.
Aside from the design of its specific articles, the site has a very easily navigable menu that lets the reader choose whatever they want to read about, whether that’s about politics (personally, not my cup of tea), international donut day demographics, or what it’s like being Ed Sheeran’s doppelgänger
As far as Bottom Line Up Front tactics go, Huffington Post’s articles are very good about getting their point across quickly and precisely. The reader isn’t being strung along for a page and a half before finally getting to the good part of the article, the part they actually care about. Information in the articles is delivered from general to specific. A BLUF approach and the article being organized from general to specific sounds like a contradiction, but it works in Huffington Post’s case. The way it works is that the first sentence of the first paragraph catches the reader’s attention. An example of this is in the article about how Ed Sheeran’s look-alike has it rough, where the author starts by saying that the guy cannot find a girlfriend. It tells the reader the issue up front so they can stop reading if they wish (this is a terrible example I know, nobody cares about Ed Sheeran’s doppelgänger’s love life), while at the same time the BLUF is very general, thus enticing the reader to learn more.
Who Even Cares About Huffington Post?
Well, nobody really, and that’s the point. Though it’s a site that sparks political debate, but in an entertainment driven world where people are spending hours watching videos of cats, arguing about the color of a dress and keeping tabs on what’s viral, it’s important that there’s at least one website out there that holds all this (pointless) information. For me, that’s Huffington Post.