13_ World Press Freedom Committee

http://www.wpfc.org/index.php?q=node/11

For more than 30 years, the World Press Freedom Committee (WPFC) provides leadership in the fight against licensing journalists, mandatory codes of conduct and many other news controls.

It was first created to wage an eventually successful global struggle in and around intergovernmental organizations to beat back authoritarian proposals for a restrictive “new world information and communication order”. Since then it has also conduct major international conferences to combat controls on news content in the media and to expose press censorship by repressive regimes like China for example. It also has presented a groundbreaking exposition of the case that press freedom is a motor for economic development.

As for the website by itself, it is really interactive. Indeed for example,  a sound is made when clicking on the options present in the menu bar.  It must have been done by using Flash. In addition, down the menu bar, the viewers can see a large image of two men with lockers on their mouths facing the world. This picture is very powerful, and it was really well thought as well as strategic to put it at this emplacement. We really get the tone of the website just on a first look.

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12_ International Freedom of Expression Exchange

http://www.ifex.org/russia/2009/12/02/broadcast_killed/vhttp://www.ifex.org/russia/2009/12/02/broadcast_killed/

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) was founded in 1992. It is a global network of 81 non-governmental organisations. Its aims are to promote and defend the right of freedom of expression.

Through the Internet, IFEX exchanges information and mobilises actions on many issues like press freedom, media concentration and attacks on journalists, human rights defenders or freedom of information legislation.

Its website is multilingual. Indeed it is available in French, Spanish, English, Russian and Arabic.  It contains the largest searchable online archive of information on free expression violation.

The article displayed on this page (available in French, English and Spanish) for example is on a Russian journalist who allegedly committed suicide according to the Russian authorities, when obviously she was murdered. It illustrates very well what the whole website is about and how it reaches its goals.  The page is not overcrowded with distracting images. The colours used emphasise on the serious tone to the site (red, black and white). The site is easy to access; the important links are in bold fonts so that people can distinguish them.

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11_ The New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/

The New York Times is an American daily newspaper published in New York City and is the largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States.

The online Times’ version has been ranked one of the top Web sites due to its dominant presence on the web since 1996.

Viewers have access to most of the articles. However, sometimes access requires registration, though this can be bypassed in some cases through Times RSS feed.

The reason this website is successful is because it has a clear picture of how it is pitching at. The design is subtle, endeavoring to communicate clearly, and drawing the attention where appropriate. The navigation is made easy; it takes only few clicks to find the information wanted.  Its homepage is the source of the information. The site structure is visible on every page.  Because all pages share the same predictable design structure, the viewer is not lost, he or she understand how each piece of information on the site are related to the rest of the site.

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10_ The Committee to Protect Journalists

http://cpj.org/reports/2005/05/murderous-05.php

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is an independent, nonprofit organization. Its aim is to promote press freedom and defends the rights of journalists.

The CPJ publishes an annual worldwide survey of press freedom, articles, special reports and a biannual magazine: Dangerous Assignments. In addition, it administers the annual CPJ International Press Freedom Award. Honoring for example journalists who have suffered from threats, intimidation or imprisonment for reporting the news.  Yearly, the committee compiles a list of journalists killed worldwide while doing their job.

Images are a really powerful tool to make people understand an idea quickly.  On this website, the logo picture illustrates the whole idea of the site: the press cruelly being assassinated. It is appealing to the brain. Once one starts to look at it, the needs for details comes…leading the person to want to know more, to read more, to explore the site more in depth.

The site creator really worked with the power of images. For example, on this page, on the left hand side, under the menu bar, by scrolling down, the viewer can see pictures of the dead journalists. The fact that these pictures are in black and white increases the affects the emotions the viewers will feel: death, gravity etc.

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9_ The Issue

http://theissue.com/index.html

The Issue is a non-partisan blog newspaper. It presumably aims to provide a “window to an emerging world of diverse and informed opinion”. The reason behind the blog was to create a borderless newspaper by “combining the democratization and diversity of new media with the format and editorial standards of traditional news”. Today more than 40% of the readers read blogs, therefore it is a major tool to display the information.

A blog makes it easier to alter the content. Indeed, by using the blogging technology, one can keep its site updated without having to get into coding.  Choosing the colors of the fonts for example is much more simpler. No need to write any codes or to search for the right color on a color code chart. Simply click on the desired color when editing a text.

This blog is appealing thanks to the color used, light green and black fonts on a white background. It contains six pages, so the reader does not get lost in the flow of information.

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8_ CNN

http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/

Cable News Network (CNN) is an American cable news network. At the time of its creation it was the first network providing 24-hour news coverage on television. It has now entered the Internet market.

In addition to featuring hourly news articles, the website contains a page called cnn.comlive. It is an English language video news service live

CNN.com Live is an English language video news service providing live affixed news to CNN.com users via broadband Internet connections. Unlike in many other news sites, this feature is free to use.

The effectiveness of the site lies in the fact that the website’s design balances visual elements with text. Indeed, it is eye catching, functional and well balanced.

On the homepage for example, the major image situated at the top, is the largest graphical element on the page. It outlines its importance as well as showing the latest top story.

Most of the text content is associated with a graphic material (images of any types). In addition, graphical dividers are used to structure the visual appeal of the page. However, it is done is such way that it does not overpower the other close elements.

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7_ The Free Press Organization

http://www.freepress.net/media_issues

Free Press is a nonpartisan organization working to improve the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, it supports the diversity and independency of media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. The organization focuses mainly on: media consolidation, the future of Internet, public media, quality journalism as well as civil rights.

The whole website is interactive and agreeable to the eyes thanks to the way links had been displayed (not in straight rectangles, but in rounded shapes instead). The designers used Javascript to achieve this performance (by looking at the sources of the page).

Moreover, the site is very functional even though it lacks in images. It offers a variety of information on all its primarily points of focus.  On the top right hand corner viewers can subscribe to receive alerts on daily headlines. Which therefore should mean that fresh content is added on a regular basis. This feature is a key element to make people keep on coming back to the site. Indeed people will not visit a site over and over again just to see something they have already seen.

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