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Chapter 10. Keys to Information Quality in News Web Pages

Chapter 10. Keys to Information Quality in News Web Pages

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80



Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web

NAV 5.1

Site index



AUTH 1.1

Agency

responsible

for the site’s

content

clearly

indicated

COV/IA 1.1

Clear

indication

of the

types of

materials

included



Users can subscribe to email updates



AUTH 1.3

Methods to contact newsroom staff provided



Size of

text on

page can

be

modified

by user

Press

releases

also

provided

in Spanish



CUR 1.1

Dates of press

releases

provided



Mechanism to help facilitate

Availability of RSS feeds and

the sharing of information

podcasts

from site via social media

CUR 1.3

Date page last updated and reviewed

Disclaimer

NAV 1.5

Index and site map



Figure 10.1  A news home page. (Reprinted from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention [CDC], 2009-b, CDC online newsroom [page last updated April 2, 2009], U.S.

CDC, Atlanta, GA, http://www.cdc.gov/media/ [accessed April 3, 2009].)



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Keys to Information Quality in News Web Pages



COV/IA 1.1

Press release gives insights

into contents of full report

Date of press

release clearly

indicated



AUTH 1.2

Name of

report’s lead

author given

ACC 1.2

Source of

factual

information

provided

COV/IA 1.3

Entire work

available on

the Web

Indication

that press

release is

not a recent one



Figure 10.2  A news Web page. (Reprinted from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention [CDC], 2009-a, Wireless-only phone use varies widely across United States, press

release, March 11, U.S. CDC, Atlanta, GA, http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2009/r090311.

htm [accessed April 3, 2009].)



• Clear indication of press releases and announcements

• An indication of whether news content provided at the site is available

in alternate media formats other than print (e.g., content available via

podcasts)



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Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web



The questions in the News Web Page Checklist complement the general questions

listed in the Checklist of Basic Elements. Application of the questions from both

checklists to a news Web page can assist a user in determining the following:

• Information about the authority of the news provider

• The extent of news coverage provided at the site and how it differs from any

non-Web counterpart

• Whether the news provided at the site is relevant to the user’s information needs



The News Web Page Checklist: Keys to

Evaluating and Creating News Web Pages

The primary purpose of a news Web page is to provide current information on local,

regional, national, or international events or to provide news about a particular subject area. The site may or may not have a print or broadcast equivalent. The following questions are intended to complement the general questions found in the

Checklist of Basic Elements. The greater the number of “yes” answers to questions

on both the Checklist of Basic Elements and the News Web Page Checklist, the

greater the likelihood that the quality of information on a news Web page can be

determined.



Authority

Authority of a Page within the Site

• Is there a clear indication if the material has been taken from another source

such as a newswire or news service? AUTH 2.8



Accuracy

• Is there an indication that the information has been reviewed for accuracy

by an editor or fact-checker? ACC 1.5



Objectivity

• Is there clear labeling of editorial and opinion material? OBJ 1.12



Currency

• If the page includes time-sensitive information, is the frequency of updates

described? CUR 1.5

• If the same information also appears in print, is it clear which print edition

the information is from (i.e., national, local, evening, morning edition, etc.)?

CUR 1.7



Keys to Information Quality in News Web Pages



• If the material was originally presented in broadcast form, is there a clear

indication of the date and time the material was originally broadcast?

CUR 1.8



Coverage and Intended Audience

• Is there a print equivalent to the Web page or site? If so, is it clear whether

the entire work is available on the Web or if parts have been omitted? COV/

IA 1.3

• If there is a print equivalent to the Web page, is it clear whether the Web

version includes additional information not contained in the print version?

COV/IA 1.4



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to Information

11 Keys

Quality in Personal

Web Pages

Keys to Recognizing a Personal Web Page

A personal Web page is created by an individual who may or may not be affiliated

with a larger institution. Personal pages often are used to showcase an individual’s

artistic talents, express personal views on a topic, or highlight a favorite hobby or

pastime. A personal page can stand alone or be a part of a social networking site

like Facebook or MySpace. Actually, blogs can also be considered a unique type of

personal page. See Chapter 4 for a more detailed discussion of blogs and other forms

of social media.

The URL address of a personal page may have a variety of endings depending on

what type of site the page is coming from.

A “yes” answer to any of the following questions provides a good indication that

the page you are analyzing is a personal page. Does the page:

• Have as its author a person or family with no official organizational affiliation?

• Consist of a personal expression of something such as:

• Hobbies or pastimes such as music or sports?

• Personally authored plays, poems, songs, or other works?

• Personal opinions on a topic?



Analysis of a Personal Web Page

Figure 11.1 is an illustration of the home page of a personal Web site, Mave’s Media

Haven. The inclusion of elements commonly found on other types of Web pages is a

normal occurrence on personal Web pages. For example, the Mave’s Media Haven

home page includes links to the following:











Advocacy organization pages

Informational pages

Entertainment pages

Business pages



85



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Web Wisdom: How to Evaluate and Create Information Quality on the Web



Link to

informational

pages



Link to

advocacy

pages



Link to

business

page



Link to

information

about person

responsible

for site



Link to

entertainment

pages



Figure 11.1  A personal home page. (Web page created by author.)



To analyze the various pages linked to this home page, it would be necessary to use the Checklist of Basic Elements as well as the appropriate individual

checklists.

The “Who is The Mave?” link on the home page leads to information about the

creator of Mave’s Media Haven site and other background information about the site.

This type of information can help the user evaluate the authority and objectivity of

the site and its creator.

Use the list of questions found in the Checklist of Basic Elements when analyzing

a personal page. Application of the checklist questions to the Mave’s Media Haven

home page or to any other personal page can help determine the following:



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