It has been less than a day since CNN reported that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a Pakistani compound, but the world – and the World Wide Web – is still swirling and stunned. There are countless angles to this story, but let’s see how Politico covered one of the biggest stories of the year and, arguably, the decade.
- The lead has shifted from the first whispers of the death of the terrorist mastermind from the official announcement by Obama and the aftermath and details of the mission.
- Also in the lead are collections from slideshows of bin Laden’s life (coincidentally labeled as gallery 666) and celebrations outside the White House of his death.
- At least 40 articles following the lead are related to bin Laden, including reaction and details. Interesting ones include conspirators who believe he is still alive and the role of Twitterin breaking the shocking news.
- The multimedia page includes a dozen videos, starting from Obama’s announcement and including crowd celebration footage and pundit reaction. Politico’s own Chief White House Correspondent Mike Allen gave his view as well.
- Each of the subpages dedicated space to the story, from 44’s White House briefing details to 2012 candidates’ reactions (including Rick Santorum’s statement that Obama is still beatable) to members of Congress questioning US aid to Pakistan. Click highlighted celebrity tweets in response to the news and Arena debated the question: “What’s next for the war on terror?”
All in all, Politico has risen to the challenge of covering this momentous occasion with social and multimedia.
Politico first launched as a newspaper in 2007, and according to a 2009 Vanity Fair feature, the publication has expanded to a circulation of approximately 32,000. PW focuses on how the website and multimedia help to promote its print branch.
A Subscriptions page provides details on where the newspaper is available in the Washington, D.C. area. An interactive Google map shows the exact locations of the boxes where the paper can be picked up, accompanied by a list of streets. If you’d prefer delivery, you can pay $200/year or $350/2 years for domestic subscribers. If you have $600 dollars and live outside the US, you can even have Politico in print on your doorstep.
But the real winner for people that want to read the newspaper, but don’t live in the D.C. area, is an electronic edition, “a digital copy of the print edition with enhanced features including download and email capabilities.” A link at the bottom of the homepage brings up a subscription page to register. But to bypass registration, an image of the latest issue on the lefthand side launches the electric edition, with the following features:
- The entire 24-page issue, complete with articles and ads and zoom capabilities. The content can also be viewed fullscreen.
- Page navigation with first, last, next, and previous. Hitting “next” or “previous” creates a sound effect of a newspaper page turning. Nice touch.
- An extensive menu allows for various reading modes, such as slideshow and single-page; social bookmarking including Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and others; print or download as a pdf file; bookmarking and emailing.
- A key part of the menu as well is MyDigitalNewspaper, a website catalouging various electronic newspaper editions in the English-speaking world, including the Politico e-edition.
It’s curious why Politico would bury the link to this edition so far on their page. But the newspaper, whether in print or online, provides a clean and less jumbled layout of Politico’s content and is an excellent alternative to the main homepage.
But who’s counting? Here’s someone who is:
It may seem like centuries ago, but it’s only been three years since Senator Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president on a cold morning in Springfield, Ill. Having won that race in 2008 but since stumbled at the hurdle midway through his first term, Obama now looks down a gaggle of GOP go-getters, gearing up to give him the boot, with roughly 90 weeks until America votes again.
In the first of an upcoming series, Politico Watch will examine each of the subpages of Politico, all found on the top of the site. The first page is “2012 Live,” dedicated entirely to the presidential race leading up to Election Day in about 21 months. and a large blue button greets the user on its homepage to follow the link – “The campaign trail starts here.”
Politico blazes its own trail with several multimedia aspects that make the site informative for readers:
- Right off the top, the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada are highlighted and given their own page.
- The entire page is well-connected to social media, with links to Facebook, Twitter and RSS. They definitely make it easy to follow and share.
- The best part of the site is the Candidate Hub, where about 25 potential runners (including Obama) are profiled along the right hand side of the page. Each candidate gets a picture, a line of their current activities, three quick articles and a link to a separate site with an entire bio including title, finances, staff, daybook, online presence (whew) and a…
- Candidate Tracker, a Google-powered interactive map of locations of candidate visits. Users can filter through each presidential potential and see where and when they have been. Way cool.
- A live blog with articles on the hopefuls updated regularly throughout the day, including a well written piece about “How the 2012ers are handling Egypt.” The group already has a nickname, apparently.
However, some aspects of the site are lacking:
- The lead is the most important part of a page, and while yesterday’s featured a picture, today just had numbers and text. Visuals are a must for a secondary page like this.
- What good is a Candidate Tracker if you can’t find it? It was featured on the blog earlier in the week but now you have to click for an individual map.
- Also buried are maps from 2010 midterms and 2008 elections, which clearly would be of interest to readers of this page.
- Other than the prominent Candidate Hub, the rest of the features are jumbled and the content is not easy on the eyes, with the blog can pictures every other post.
- Videos are also nowhere to be found.
Overall, despite some cleaning up to do, Politico figures to be involved in the 2012 race every step of the way. After all, every minute counts on the campaign trail. All 925,920 of them remaining.