Dan Gowans My personal thoughts and mindless ramblings

Finally, a real online news source for Sault Ste Marie

12.05.2010 · Posted in Thoughts

I hate the local online news sources.  Why?

Between the overwhelming number of advertisements, and the annoying uninformative headlines, its a waste of time trying to find the content that is truly important.  The news.  Take SooToday for example, one (if not, the) top source for online news.  See the red square?  That represents the news area on their front page.  It is almost invisible for the advertising.  And with headlines like, “How many turns does it take to open the penstock valve?”, and “Things we bet you didn’t know about makin’ snow”, it’s next to impossible to figure out at a glance what’s going on, and what’s worth reading.  People seem to love the mystery in reading the news.  Me, not at all.

SooNews.ca is just as bad.  The content area on the main page is larger than SooToday’s, but still, the page is jokey headlines hidden by overwhelming advertising.  I understand the need for advertising, but when there is more of it than actual content, there’s a problem.

On the radio last week at work, I heard the announcer mention visiting them online for up-to-the-minute news.  Looking at what’s there, I’m impressed.  It’s inspired me to create a list of the best online news sources in Sault Ste Marie.

EZ Rock / Q104

This is the news page for a local radio station.  Nice and clean news in a blog format.  Meaningful headlines.  A large area of things I care about, right on the front page (as circled in red).  They even have RSS.  This is a model news site.  My only gripe is they don’t split the stories into paragraphs.

The Sault Star

This is the news page for the local newspaper.  A bit more clutter compared to EZ Rock, but still a large content area with article summaries.  Once again, headlines that mean something.  Plus, there is still a lot of exclusive content that only appears in the newspaper that you can read here.

So, as you can see here, the best online news sources aren’t mainly online news sources at all.  Interesting that these mediums that are sometimes said to be “behind the times” are actually the onces who do it best.

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