NPR.org News-track Analysis

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NPR.org in 2017

Npr.org, the website for National Public Radio, launched in 1994, follows a simple lay-out design. The top left-corner of the homepage has easily clickable subheads for news, arts and life, music, topics and programs & podcasts; while the top right of the homepage has a livestream available of what’s currently playing On Air. I noticed that the livestream was conveniently set to my local NPR station, WBUR, which is a nice automatic, location-based feature. The homepage itself follows what seems to be a cross-topic aggregation method. For example, at the top of my home-screen tonight (October 30th) was an article about Facebook advertising technology, while the article below it was a poll about police discrimination against black Americans.

The news tab was especially easy-to navigate, as there is even a catalogued “browse by date” section where readers can search for articles throughout the years.

NPR.org in June of 1998, Screen shot courtesy of NPR.org
NPR.org in June of 1998, Screen shot courtesy of NPR.org (All rights reserved to NPR).

The bottom of every page on the website, in fact, allows the reader to browse the section archive, or just do a general search on topics throughout the website. This is a particularly important research tool for readers, researchers, and journalists that need to find articles from the past that bypass various fields of interest.
Aesthetically, the website is inviting because of its simplicity. The basic “NPR” style-text that is used in the organization’s logo is used for the text throughout the website, and every article is complete with either a picture or graph on top of the article, which makes it easy for readers to better visualize the articles they’re reading.

Additionally, all of the text colors; the pale blues, grays, and blacks, against the white background, makes the website easy on the eyes.

I also appreciated that while there are advertisements on the website (usually on the right-hand side of the website), the Ads were not over-bearing, and a click on an article doesn’t result in pop-ups and separate tabs like some websites have when a reader clicks on an article.

PODCAST PITCH: The 27 Club

 

LISTEN: The first episode about Brian Jones is here!

The 27 club, according to Rolling Stone magazine, is “one of the most elusive and remarkably tragic coincidences in rock & roll history,” the article from 2013 says. “The term became widely known after Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994 … connecting his age to that of Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix.”

To die at such a young age leaves many questions:  What does the world miss when a genius dies?   How, it seems, can so many rock stars; icons in their own right, all wind up dead at 27? There has to be some mythical reason, or logical solution; a pattern, something?

It is important to note that all 27-er’s, like Morrison, Hendrix and Joplin, were successful figures at the top of their careers. Most, if not all, had pasts with drug addiction (or died from drug-related issues). And, of course, there is the fact that these figures all were frozen in their youth at the same age.

The lure surrounding the 27 club, will hopefully be uncovered as I attempt, in the podcast, to understand the linked untimely deaths of these Icons; figures, spear-heads. Each episode will analyze a specific figure in the club, analyzing their life, death and lasting impact.

I hope you’ll join me!

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Works Cited:

Bostonians Weigh in on the North Korean War Threat

The threat of nuclear war between the United States and North Korea was recently brought to the public’s attention on October 10th, when the U.S. “flew two strategic bombers over the Korean peninsula” in a response to North Korea’s recent missile tests, according to Reuters. Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have been on high since United States President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un began verbally sparring, both mentioning the possibility of war in public settings.

Donald Trump has repeatedly taken to twitter to address the matter, stating in August that “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely.” In a recent meeting of the Central Committee of Kim Jong Un’s Workers’ Party, the leader reportedly said that North Korea’s nuclear missile arsenal is a “powerful deterrent firmly safeguarding the peace and security in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia,” according to the New York Times.

The prospect of nuclear war came to a forefront this July, when North Korea launched two separate missile test-launches. The first launch, on July 4th, was the first ballistic missile fired that could potentially hit the U.S., while the second launch, on July 28th, served as a “stern warning.” Experts said the launch “placed US cities in range of potential attack,” according to The Guardian.

In a  policy response to the missile launch, the U.S. United Nations Security Council blocked the sale of coal and iron, among other prominent North Korean exports, on August 5th. According to the New York Times, these are “the most punishing sanctions yet against North Korea over its repeated defiance of a ban on testing missiles and nuclear bombs.”

We interviewed residents of Boston and the Greater Boston Area on Massachusetts Avenue about the threat of nuclear war, and they shared a variety of opinions and concerns on the topic.

Ron Van Der Mosel, a Boston resident originally from Germany, said that he feels the threat of nuclear war is real and that this reminds him of “fascist times” in Berlin. Jared Francis also said he feels threatened by the missile launch. “Just the thought of Nuclear War,” Francis said, “freaks me the hell out.” And Grace Grandy, also a Boston resident, concurred that the threat of nuclear war is an issue. “It’s like history repeating itself all over again.”

Other Boston locals weren’t as concerned. Eddie Adanes, originally from the Dominican Republic, said that there “won’t be … no nuclear war” between the two countries. John Neale, shared a similar sentiment. “The idea of war seems so outrageous,” Neale said. “That it’s not possible to get too worried about.”

 

 

Photo of the week: No. 3

The Back Bay Fens are
The Back Bay Fens, colloquially known as “The Fens,”  is an urban wild life park with basketball courts, a football field, and marshlands.

The Fens are also home to the Victory Gardens, the only “remaining, continuously operating World War II Victory Gardens in the United States,” according to the Fenway Victory Gardens official website.