Blog 12: SYFY talk Free Comic Book Day, and upcoming Wolverine comic

Author: Josh Weiss, 16/04/19

Link to article: https://www.syfy.com/syfywire/comics-wolverine-vs-blade-one-shot-free-comic-book-day-mark-millar

Screenshot via SYFY

This article, discussing big new trade paperback comic books, delivers news in an exciting way, hyping up readers for the special edition Marvel ‘Wolverine Vs. Blade’ comic which is reported to be “10 years in the making”, a reported quote from comic book writer Marc Guggenheim.

The article then links Twitter conversations between fans and the writer of the comic book, Marc Guggenheim, for those who want to read about what fans and critics had to say about the announcements.

This is a link to the Twitter conversation relating to the news.

Weiss continues on about DC Comics plans for Free Comic Book Day, an international initiative to get more people reading comic books, with a gallery of their upcoming purchases available. This is convenient to scope out the upcoming issues fans can get their hands on.

Screenshot of the gallery via SYFY

The article goes on to talk about the small upcoming comics for fans to keep an eye out for, highlighting the less talked about issues for people to try something new.

Via SYFY

After discussing the fun variants and special issues coming soon, the article gives a short video on the fan-favourite character Blade who is set to feature in the upcoming Wolverine Vs Blade comic. This is convenient for newer fans of Marvel Comics who is only recently coming back into modern publications.

It also has an email link at the end if reader wanted to subscribe to SYFY’s newsletter.

This was an enjoyable light news piece which hyped comic book fans for the international Free Comic Book Day and the upcoming summer season. It filled gave plenty of upcoming release news, along with features such as videos and Twitter links for the reader to delve into for more comic info and trivia.

Blog 11: Netflix shares fall as Disney+ announces cheaper family service

Author: Lauren Feiner, 12/04/19

Link to article: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/12/netflix-is-falling-on-concerns-of-competition-from-disney.html

Screenshot via CNBC

This business article by CNBC’s Lauren Feiner was excellently structured in delivery of information and the features it offered to the reader. The piece, discussing Disney launching a streaming service cheaper than Netflix, explained every financial outcome Disney+ could create for Netflix, with research displayed by analysts for clarification of such statements.

Feiner added a picture of the Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, which was useful for putting a name to a face which, compared to my other pieces on business news, was quite uncommon.

Picture and caption via CNBC

Feiner also externally linked an array of additional links regarding Netflix and Disney, which adds plenty of additional reading once this piece is completed.

The piece also includes plenty of quotes from relevant people, such as Disney CEO Bob Iger. They also have exclusive comments from people such as Mark Maheny, of RBC Capital Markets, who gave CNBC unique comments, which show this piece was not just recycled information.

Feiner also links CNBC’s YouTube channel for those who wish to follow up on more business stories.

They also have a video of Bob Iger, Disney CEO, discussing how he feels the service will be successful. alongside stock statistics related to Netflix and Disney. Unfortunately, I cannot embed the video on the blog, but have linked it underneath, alongside a screenshot of the video thumbnail.

Link to video: https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/04/12/disneys-bob-iger-i-believe-disney-is-going-to-be-successful.html

Screenshot via CNBC

When finishing the article, the page then offers a ‘More in Tech’ section underneath. This is a very convenient feature for similar stories which not all of the media outlets I’ve covered has utilized.

Overall this was a very well structured business post with all of the required information on the story along with plenty of additional reading, related videos and links.

Blog 10: RTÉ’s jam-packed Shazam! feature

Author: Alan Corr, 04/04/19

Link to article: https://www.rte.ie/entertainment/movie-reviews/2019/0403/1039250-wham-bam-thank-you-shazam/

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Photos and video via RTÉ.ie

For my 6th blog, I covered a very serious, non-personal crime article from RTÉ. This is the constant case with RTÉ news, but I really enjoyed this article from their entertainment section as there is a huge difference in style and pace when comparing to both pieces.

This piece is full of information regarding the movie, the character it is based on, and the history behind him. The article gave fun facts regarding Shazam! which came as an interesting read for me, both as a movie and superhero-genre fan.

Corr filled the feature with interviews with the cast, both the hero and villain of the film, along with the director and producer, which really adds to the piece as they get first person responses from the stars of the movie.

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All screenshots via RTÉ.ie
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Unfortunately, the videos are only on RTÉ’s website and cannot be linked out to the blog.

Although it reveals some spoilers regarding the plot and characters, Corr explains the premise of Shazam! to readers who may not have a clue about DC or Marvel films.


This trailer is available via YouTube to watch here!

Corr also has the trailer for the film beside his description, for reader convenience.

The reviewer score, which due to lack of any other information must be the author Corr himself, is a 3 of out 5. By reading the full piece over multiple times, I cannot find any of the faults described by Corr which would bring its score down. While not explaining the premise and history of the character, Corr seems to just compliment the movie, and doesn’t give any reason why he would rate it an average score, so it seems as though either the expo on Shazam! was slightly dishonest or that the review was.

Overall, I really enjoyed this piece. There was far more colour and humour than I expected from RTÉ. Filling in the backstory of the character, his name history, and the film’s antagonist really gave me the impression that Corr was genuinely interested in discussing this movie. There were exclusive interviews, a trailer link and lots of colour, which altogether I found made a great read.

Blog 9: Vice Media to pay $1.875 million over unequal pay lawsuit

Author: Todd Spangler, 07/03/19

Link to article: https://variety.com/2019/biz/news/vice-media-to-pay-1-875-million-to-settle-lawsuit-alleging-the-company-paid-women-less-than-men-1203173870/

This lawsuit, regarding large pay gaps between men and women, came as a big surprise from the liberally-leaning Vice, who are known for their pro-equality, anti-sexism and pro-LGBTQ stance.

Screenshot via Variety

Spangler wrote this piece in the standard informative news style, with the most important information within the first three paragraphs leading to more info about the finer details being elaborated as the piece went on.

The piece mentions prominent names in the lawsuit and situation such as Nancy Dubuc and Elizabeth Rose, but doesn’t use any photos other than the Vice title. This would have plumped up the story by adding faces to the names.

However, the story was good at explaining the backstory and how this lawsuit came to be very concisely and easily understandable for a previously unaware reader such as myself. They also included plenty of links at the start to the stories which were related to this piece as well as links to articles by Variety related to Vice Media.

This is a screenshot of one of the fourth paragraph linking to plenty of future reading if the reader wanted so.

The piece was detailed in that it followed all of the dates and figures which were important to highlight the discrimination which happened, such as “One woman was paid $50,000, while her male counterparts made $65,000”.

The piece also talks about the others measures Vice took after the scandal, which adds more to the story as a whole rather than stating the one thing they had done to make up for their misconduct.

Other than the lack of photos regarding the case, this article was an interesting read which explained the legal proceedings without being overly complex or confusing.

Blog 8: #HannanIrishHistory trolls politician over errors

Author: Aoife Kelly, 20/03/19

Link to article: https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/banter/trending/irish-people-are-trolling-a-uk-politician-with-hilarious-alternative-takes-on-irish-history-37933400.html

Screenshot, subheading and photo with sources via Independent.ie

This article was dealt with in a light hearted approach from Kelly as she discusses a conservative politician getting mocked online for making incorrect statements while criticizing the Irish government.

The hashtag was popular in Ireland for the day and the author wrote talked about it without belittling the humor, while explaining the background for the reader. This was done concisely and briefly, helping the reader understand what all of the joking is about. She explains the background with quotes from Daniel Hannan also for additional clarity.

Kelly also links plenty of examples to the hashtag, all linking to each post to each Twitter thread.

Both tweets come from the Independents original article.

The article is actually quiet short in length, but using large pictures of Hannan and many of the most popular tweets with the hashtags makes the article very lengthy.

There is no continued reading section, which would have been well placed to keep readers on the website.

This is a fun article to read yet the bulk of it is photos and tweets. It was a lighthearted read from the entertainment section which showed great examples of ‘Irish humor’. It also would have been funny to see Kelly join in on the joking while explaining the article, although it is understandable why she may not have deemed it professional.

Blog 7: Study finds resource extraction makes half of Earth’s carbon emission output

Author: Jonathan Watts, 12/03/19

Link to article: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/12/resource-extraction-carbon-emissions-biodiversity-loss

Article heading, photo and caption all come from the Guardian, with the photo source shown in article subheading above

There has been political strife in recent times due to high-level political figures, such as Donald Trump last year, down-playing the threat of environmental damage industrialisation can cause. This piece, which discusses the major damage that carbon emissions cause to our environment, solidifies the argument that the carbon emissions problem is a crisis with UN-approved facts and statistics showing the damage already done.

This piece uses some of the most shocking results of the study to explain how the demand for supply has strained the environments resources, and explains, using comparisons to the 1970s and the early 2000s, how big an impact is it making. These statistics are used frequently as a factual mechanism confirming the reality of the situation.

Watts also uses quotes from important people related to the news, such as
Stefanie Hellweg, one of the authors of the study, and Izabella Teixeira, the former enivironment minister of Brazil. Using these statements elaborates more on the crisis that Watts is trying to explain.

Conveniently, at the end of the article, there is links to both a ‘more on this story’ section and a ‘you may also like’ section. The first shows very similar articles regarding the environmental crisis and the second, although not relevant to the article directly, offers different types of news and reading options for the reader to try out something different.

Also, alongside the article is a margin, which holds more related topics for future reading. This is a convenient feature as it offers many options to choose from to read on. Overall, this was a very well structured and researched piece. Although it could have done with more than one photo, it used statistics and relevant statements from those involved in the piece to explain the news while advocate for environmental awareness.

Blog 6: Over 130 taxi drivers found to be in ‘sham marriages’

Author: Paul Reynolds, 06/03/19

Link to article: https://www.rte.ie/news/crime/2019/0306/1034702-sham-marriages-taxi/

Photo and caption via RTÉ.ie

This article regarding what was code-named ‘Operation Vantage’ in which gardaí set up raids and investigations to uncover “sham marriages”; marriages of convenience to gain access to the country.

This article, like all in RTÉ’s crime pieces, is very technical, delivering information in a to-the-point and completely factual manner. The layout is simply sentence by sentence of varying importance without any human element in the reporting.

This piece has only one picture (above) which appears to simply be a stock photo. This, combined with the completely basic format, leaves no aesthetic and is clearly only designed for someone who wishes to read a piece of news rather than take the time to digest multiple articles.

With RTÉ being Ireland’s national broadcasting network, one would presume that there would be more photos, as although all the relevant information is given, the single stock photo makes the piece look rather amateur. Of course, this is a sensitive issue, but more relevant photos could have fleshed out the piece. However this is not the format or aims of RTÉ news features.

To its benefit, at the end of the piece, there is a ‘more from the author’ section. Since RTÉ designates people to specific roles, this section is their equivalent of a similar reading section.

Photo and screenshot via RTÉ.ie

Although the piece is very to-the-point, factual and has a bland layout, it functions as a serious news source for an audience with no interest in detailed or colourful writing, and does so well, with plenty of information on the operation as well as links to further similar articles.

Blog 5: Nearly 10,000 homeless in Ireland with numbers rising

Author: Cormac Fitzgerald, 27/02/19

Link to article: https://www.thejournal.ie/homeless-numbers-3-4516053-Feb2019/

The topic of homelessness is a sad and hard topic to report, especially in a time when the problem only seems to be worsening.

This article doesn’t tell the story of how Ireland’s homelessness crisis happened, but states the facts of how it has, on average, been rising over time. Unlike other pieces I’ve covered, this piece is strictly news from a factual perspective. Although there is no human element in the news telling, the piece still regards the problem as a national crisis.

As common practice with the Journal, this story largely references political discussions, meetings and figures and is full of statistics and numbers to explain the story. As a lengthy piece with lots of information being delivered, the piece doesn’t link to related articles throughout it, but does offer a ‘read next’ section. I feel this is done consistently in the Journal as they fill their pieces with plenty of information regarding the news so no further reading is deemed necessary. There is also only one photo, which, although not essential to some pieces, gives for a more colourful and fleshed out piece.

This is the only photo used in the piece.

Fitzgerald uses quotation boxes throughout the piece, highlighting strong quotes from key figures. Examples of such are “How many more times will these numbers go up before the Minister takes action?”. I find this placement emotional powerful, and a great way of connecting with a reader.  

An example of the powerful usage of highlighting a quote from the article.

Although the layout of the piece is well done, the quotes are placed in between statement boxes making the reader presume they were continuations of the speech from the previous person referenced. Since a lot of names and statistics were mentioned, it would be easier to understand if the name of the person quoting was placed beside the specific quote.

Overall, this piece discussed and informed a very saddening and sensitive public matter professionally, with plenty of information to inform readers of the homeless crisis.

Blog 4: Virgin Galactic brings first passenger to space

Author: Loren Grush, 22/02/19

Link to article: https://www.theverge.com/2019/2/22/18232354/virgin-galactic-vss-unity-spaceplane-test-spaceflight-passenger-beth-moses

Screenshot of the article from the Verge

This is a well thought-out piece from the Verge, celebrating another stepping stone in humanity’s voyage to space. Grush fills in the reader of Virgin Galactic’s previous and future plans for commercial space flight, in technical yet easily understood language, and fills the first two paragraph with external links to additional similar reading.

The piece is full of statistics for fans of such information, such as myself, and I found it an interesting read as Grush gives all of the crazy statistics and landmarks Virgin Galactic has achieved.

This is a screenshot of one of Grush’s own quotes, which really jumps out at the reader with the bold pink font.

The aesthetic of the article is very neat yet colourful, with the pink font used for highlighting points grabbing the attention of possible readers. I think using the large quote box of one of the authors sentences also brought great ambiance to character to the piece.

Although the photos used in the article are not from the Verge, which would be impossible regardless, the use of such fantastic photography brings such a bizarre element of realism that the event hardly seems real.

Screenshot of the external linking to other science stories at the bottom of the piece.

When one is finished reading the article, and wishes to read more scientific articles, there is also a box present linking to other articles regarding space.

This was a colourful, well fleshed out article got across scientific news and statistics without being overly difficult to read for an everyday viewer, making this article as accessible as it is interesting.

Blog 3: Ned Benson to rewrite ‘Black Widow’ spy thriller

Author: Jeff Sneider, 15/02/19

Link to article: http://collider.com/black-widow-script-ned-benson/#images

Photo via Marvel, screenshot via Collider

Ned Benson, praised director of the collective films The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, has been hired to rewrite the original script for the upcoming Marvel spy thriller Black Widow.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a powerhouse for bringing out movies of many tones within the last eleven years, and as the movies become more popular, information on them is hunted for more rigorously. This leaves the majority of news to come out about upcoming projects and hiring decisions mostly speculative, which discredits a lot of news regarding the films. However, Sneider shows the detailed research he put into this piece. Giving the backstory to the script rewrites, Sneider gives all of the relative information regarding the rehiring and choice of new script writing lead to readers previously unaware.

However, I feel Sneider’s genuine interest is shown in this piece when he discuss why he believes Benson was chosen. The author explains the rumors he heard through movie journalism, starting with how Benson was hired for the film My Aryan Princess, a role where Scarlett Johansson was the initial candidate. He continues to link Benson’s hiring with Johansson’s pull in creating the movie since she has played the character for the last 7 years. Although stating that this may be speculation, he clearly shows interest in the movie industry as a whole rather than just Marvel films, which leads to an interesting read as he gives the facts regarding the news while filling it out with personal research into why it happened.

This screenshot from the article shows Sneider explaining his speculation regarding Benson’s hiring for the film

No official comments were given as Marvel Studios are notorious for keeping the reasons behind decisions secret until after the film has been released, yet Sneider doesn’t reference it, which would have been better as it seems less as though Collider, the outlet he wrote this for, was simply denied a comment.

He also externally links to only three different articles, while mentioning plenty, so there could’ve been more extra reading linked for continuation of similar topics. To finish, Snieder shows pictures of Johansson’s character, Black Widow, some of her films, including her most recent ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.