It’s clear that, over time, more people engage with their cellphones, tablets, and laptops than with traditional television. This is apparent by our COMM 439 class poll; a large portion of the class doesn’t get their news from a television broadcast. Many news organizations are figuring out ways to get YOU- especially the younger demographic- to watch the news. CBS News is doing this with their CBSN online video streams.
I spent some time with CBSN on my laptop. I liked the variety of content: I watched news on the presidential election, the crises in Turkey, Syria, and Iraq due to ISIS, and crazy weather stories, to mention a few. I didn’t realize until part of the way through that I wasn’t bound to just the stories on the left sidebar; in the lower right corner of the video, I could click “+4 related” and four related stories on the video I was currently watching would pop up. The stories that peaked my interest the most were the international stories relating to the Middle East or ISIS. I felt like these were covered well by the journalist.
I liked that CBSN kept playing; when one video ended, another would begin automatically. I do wish, however, there were more stories listed in the sidebar. I felt like there weren’t enough videos, and even though I can find similar videos on a topic in a video I was currently watching, as mentioned above, there weren’t very many listed there either. I think a way to improve this would be to have categories listed in the sidebar, with each category holding videos from the past week or two. I think this would improve navigation, and maintain viewer activity and interest.
I found CBSN to be very lackluster. I wasn’t as impressed with it as I was hoping to be. I found myself getting distracted by the live news video playing in the bottom left corner, and I was scrolling the video sidebar in hopes that more videos would appear. I believe that the NPR One app has an edge over CBSN: it’s portable, easy to use, and has limited distractions. I like how the NPR One app picks stories for me, and I end up listening to a story I might not have picked for myself. With CBSN, I have total control of what videos I watch given the videos in the sidebar. I would not recommend CBSN to my friends in the way I would recommend the NPR One app.