OnMilwaukee Upon first glance, most of the home page is about food, and guiding viewers where to eat locally. Digging deeper, there only seem to be more “lifestyle/entertainment” articles, many of which are nothing really more than professionally written advertisements, in my opinion. The entire site seems to thrive on perpetuating consumerism. It lacks “news” (of the storytelling variety) and mostly giving readers ideas on where to spend their money (to give them credit, many of the places are locally operated, which I think is good and should be supported – but there’s just so much of it on this site!) The pictures accompanying articles also leave a lot to be desired and seem unprofessional, even to an untrained eye.
Journal Sentinel Right away, this site contained a significantly larger array of news in comparison to OnMilwaukee, including crime and lots of sports. While navigating the site, I was bombarded with pop-up ads that prompted me to subscribe to the site, and numerous prompts to disable my ad blocker. Some articles were even hidden behind a paywall, with a message that reads “this content is only available to subscribers.” Even though this was annoying, I felt like the variety and quality of the content, as well as the feel of the site (which was quite professional) was significantly better than OnMilwaukee, so I guess you get what you, in theory, “pay for.”
Shepherd Express Much like OnMilwaukee, this site contained more “lifestyle” and arts-centered journalism. Some sections and series on the site were clearly “editorial” and quite opinionated compared to other online journals. They even had header sections labeled “Hemp” and “LGBTQ,” and in my opinion this shows that they are not afraid to proudly wave their liberal flag. They also have an “Advice” section, which is the first time I’ve seen one of those. To me, many of the titles of the series (found in the drop down menus of the headers) were quite confusing. For example, take “Art for Art’s Sake” series by Art Kumbalek under “Advice.” There’s an article called “Raisin Brain,” (uh, what???), with a brief summary that reads: “So listen, what with the school days back on the docket for our youth, I surely do hope that the Badger State educational standards for our young Einsteins includes those grim Grimm brothers’ fairy tales for the learning.” (I'm still lost!) I can’t even tell what this piece of writing is about, and quite frankly does not (personally) give me any incentive to click or read further. This was one of the more confusing series on the site, but I still feel like I need to invest quite a bit of time into looking at the site to make sense or determine the purpose of some series. And thank goodness for better photos, too. (I also like some of the art/illustration I’ve seen on their print publications in the past.)
Milwaukee Magazine This magazine is quite similar to OnMilwaukee, where many of the articles lack thought-provoking or "important" content, and kind of feel like advertisements. It also contains a lots of entertainment and lifestyle subject matter. This site was most professional and enjoyable (looks-wise) of all the resources I researched, and was most enjoyable, in my opinion. I especially love the eye-catching covers and illustrations, especially on their print materials.
FOX6 The first thing I noticed was how crowded the home page was. Nearly all text was bold and on the large side, and overall had very little visual hierarchy. Any positive or uplifiting news is a rare find on this site. Much of it was local, crime-related, with occasional “neutral” stories about the weather or something government related. I enjoyed that many videos accompanied some articles. (I’m sure this seems redundant and unnecessary to many, but as someone who struggles with reading and enjoys visual stimulus I really enjoy that the included videos essentially cover what is written in the body copy.) Overall, this site had a ton of what I believe is “hard-hitting” news, almost to the point of it being overwhelming.
Marquette Wire Lots of the “news” on this site is internal to Marquette, and is mostly about things happening on-campus (and not “actual” local news.) There seems to be a big focus on sports, especially compared to arts, which is rolled into a section with entertainment. A lot of it is clearly opinionated as well, especially the “Journal” section, which seemed like it may have been a placeholder for an editorial category. Many of the articles are written by Marquette students, especially those majoring in journalism. In addition to the articles, the site has videos and audio for a few stories, including “MU TV” (Marquette’s YouTube Channel?) and MUR, Marquette’s radio station. Everything (with the exception of the homepage banner) on this site was surprisingly professional-looking to me.