Teaching Examples

Daily reporting package, done Welle
October 9, 2006, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A world-class event, the six-day-long Frankfurt Book Fair (in Germany) used to rivet the attention of my cohorts back when I worked in book publishing in New York in the early 1980s. I liked this clean, simple package of daily coverage (all in English) of the 2006 Book Fair from the German public broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. (Sorry about the terrible pun; “Welle” actually means “wave.”)

The use of summaries underneath clear, direct headline links, arranged in a simple list, works effectively to present all the content. (Like the BBC, Deutsche Welle puts a pithy summary blurb at the top of every story. This summary is very portable.)

The stories themselves include excellent subheadings, making them easy to scan quickly.

My only suggestion for improvement is for the presentation of the three video links at the bottom of the list. First, why at the bottom? Second, I didn’t realize they were videos until I clicked one. (Surprise!) Third, these links need summaries just as much as the text stories do, yet they don’t have them. A bare headline is not enough. Make me understand why it will be worthwhile to click.

Even though the videos use Real, which rarely works properly for me (even on Windows), these played cleanly — and even loaded fast. The presentation in a pop-up window (which I also tend to dislike in many cases) also worked well, as designed by Deutsche Welle. The content of the videos follows a traditional broadcast style, with an authoritative voiceover (understandable, because Deutsche Welle was a broadcaster first).

This is not a drop-dead award-worthy package. Rather, it is solid day-to-day journalism crafted for the online medium. Something we should see more of.

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