The Seattle Times:
I choose to use the Seattle Times when I’m looking for information. I started using this source because I’m from the Pacific Northwest, and I find that it’s content is relevant and reliable. Although I currently live in Colorado, I still choose to use the Seattle Times when I want to hear the news, because I’ve become comfortable with it. I also like the Seattle Times because they have a horoscope section that I love reading!
The Seattle Times has a large variety of news and articles. On their website, there are different tabs that direct the reader’s attention immediately. The tabs are for different article categories such as: local, business, tech, sports, entertainment, life, travel, home, opinion, jobs, autos, and shop. The writing is catered to these different categories, using the idea of rhetorical awareness.
In order to persuade readers, the writer must take into account the different aspects of writing that are needed for effective persuasion. For example, the entertainment section of writing is going to be very different than the business or opinion sections. The writer creating a piece for the entertainment section will understand that the purpose of their article is to inform a specific audience about different movies, TV shows, books, music, games etc. Their articles will probably be shorter in length, and the tone is less serious. The context here is also more important, because the entertainment section usually contains information that is specific to Seattle itself or the state of Washington. This makes sense because the stakeholders reading these articles most likely live around Seattle. On the other hand, articles that are in the opinion section or business sections are going to be much broader. The audience for these sections can come from anywhere, because they talk about news that’s happening all over the world. The opinion section is particularly interesting when examining rhetorical awareness. Contributors to the opinion section have a distinct purpose for their articles, and are going to do their best to persuade viewers. These articles are usually much more serious and involve world-wide issues.
In my opinion, the Seattle Times is very user-friendly. I keep choosing to use the Seattle Times because I love how easy their website is to navigate. The informative headings are boldly labeled and clear. The Seattle Times integrates texts and images that are visually appealing for the viewer. On the front page, they always have a section labeled “Don’t Miss” that contains a diverse selection of important or interesting recent pieces. They also have a “Most Read Stories” section that covers all of their categories. It’s very easy for viewers to find information because of the accessible layout of the website.
The actual content of the articles usually have a user-centered design as well. I’ve never had trouble comprehending an article, even though I am not an expert in any of the areas. The journalists understand that the audience for their writing can be extremely diverse. It’s important to present ideas in a way that is comprehensible for an outside viewer, even if they know nothing about the specific topic. Contributors incorporate the user-centered approach by placing the bottom line up front. Just by the title or first couple sentences of the piece, the reader usually will have a good understanding as to what they are about to read. Writers use informative headings and topic sentences to help the readers understand what information is going to be relayed further in the text. Additionally, texts are always accompanied by at least one image, allowing the reader to be more engaged. It’s important to include images in articles, because we live in an age of visual culture, and images naturally attract more views. Lastly, the Seattle Times incorporates a participatory design where readers can give feedback, ask questions, collaborate and connect. Overall, the Seattle Times does a great job utilizing rhetoric and a user-centered design in both the website and its content, that keeps readers coming back.
Image Source: http://img.ccrd.clearchannel.com/media/seattle_times_logo_