Nicole Zagorski
May 4, 2013
Com 100: Final Paper on Hyperlocal News

Aspen Daily News
Site name: Aspen Daily News Online
Site URL: www.aspendailynews.com
Date of Analysis:
Home page images: April 3
April 4
April 5
April 6
April 7
April 8
April 9
April 10
April 11
April 12
April 13
April 14
April 15
April 16
April 17
April 18


Alexa.com Collection & Census Data: April 3



Geographic Reach: Aspen, Colorado (81611, 81612)


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Type of site: hyperlocal

Demographic Summary:


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Representation:


Aspen Daily News Online is a local site that covers the small town of Aspen, Colorado. It uses maroon, green, and an off-white background to establish a calm, outdoorsy setting. At the top of the page, you can find four different tabs that allow you to go to the site ‘home’, ‘letters & opinions’, ‘time out – arts & entertainment’, and ‘AND classifieds’. There is also a link to submit a news tip to the writers of Aspen Daily News. Just below the tabs is a section for advertising, which rotates between five different ads. These advertisements are all related. Today, they are promoting shows at the Aspen 30 Theatre and how to purchase tickets. They even advertise where to get dinner before the show. To the right of the title section and flashing advertisements, there is a box with links to twitter, Facebook, and Feed Burner. There is also an option to enter your email address to receive updates and subscribe to this online newspaper.

Below this is another advertisement, followed by different links to ‘outdoor recreation’, ‘movies’, and ‘games’. The daily weather is listed as well followed by a calendar, more advertisements and a visitor guide. On the left of the page, there are links to an online e-edition of the newspaper, a ‘time out’ option that leads you to an arts and entertainment section of the Aspen Daily Newspaper, a 2013 winter guide, search archives, and an option to ‘submit your letter online’. There is also a “most viewed” section, where you can choose from 5 different
popular articles and a photo gallery. Below that, you see a quick poll, which changes daily. There is also a link to the last 5 days of the newspaper in case you need to catch up on Aspen news.


In between all of these choices are articles posted a blog format. When there is a picture accompanying the article, it is always posted at the top of the page with a caption. The articles on the main page only allow you to read about two paragraphs, with links to the full story if you choose to read more. Various Aspen Daily News Staff Writers write these articles.


Based on the demographic information gathered about Aspen zip codes and analysis of the pictures on this site over a 14-day period, it is clear that Aspen, Colorado is a predominantly white neighborhood. After 14 days, only one male and one female displayed on the site were a race other than Caucasian. Although this is true, a lot of the pictures collected over the two weeks did not have people in them. Many featured equipment, scenery, or animals. An example of a picture from the screen grabs collected is below.


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Sample size: 14 home page screen grabs

Content Analysis:



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Percentages:

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Production:



The home page stories on Aspen Daily News Online are updated at least once a day. Once in awhile, there will be more than one article on the “front page” of the online newspaper in a single day. Because this is a real newspaper that is printed, there tends to be only one “front page” article though. You can view the Aspen Daily News in regular newspaper format (an e-edition) if you would rather view it that way. There tends to be images with most of the stories, but there was a 4-day period during my analysis where there were no pictures on the ‘front page’ of the newspaper. When this happened, an advertisement would take the place of a picture. An example of one of these articles is pictured below.

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Various Aspen Daily News Staff Writers write these articles on Aspen Daily News Online. Some articles are even listed as “From the Associated Press” and “Aspen Daily News Staff Report”. Articles tend to be long and informative. By allowing community members to submit a news tip to the writers, the staff of Aspen Daily News is attempting to let the neighborhood take part in their site. They not only want community members to read the news, but to help provide it. They also make their site very readable because you can easily skim the beginning of stories to pick out which ones you want to read in full, instead of having to scroll down through full articles. This site is clearly directed for those that are not looking to read a whole newspaper, but rather skim the news or search for specific topics.

Sample Home Page:
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Identity:

The writers of Aspen Daily News are keen on keeping community members up-to-date about local news. It is more of a news site rather than a place for community members to put their input or comment on topics. They keep the community involved in their “letters & opinions sections”, in which members can write to the editor. Because the topics written about on this site are so local, anyone from Aspen or traveling to Aspen can relate. This site may even be a good read for locals in towns bordering Aspen because it talks about entertainment, government, campaigns, and accidents on highways that go through or near Aspen.
The option to read the newspaper as an e-edition is a great option for people who like the original newspaper format, but who do not get the paper. Many older people do not know what a blog is, and may find the format of Aspen Daily News Online unfavorable, but this option gives them a way to also benefit from the site. Vacationers can also identify with this website because it offers a whole section, called the ‘Visitor Guide’, dedicated to tourists. They have a section on real estate, services, lodging, and more. The outdoor recreation, movies, and games links up top could also benefit an Aspen visitor, as well as residents of all ages.


Consumption:

This website is used to update readers on a variety of topics and issues in Aspen, Colorado. It is meaningful to the lives of the consumers because the stories are happening in their backyards, and the news reported may affect them or their friends and family. Updates about the weather, schools, and crimes may directly affect readers. The different format options appeal to two different kinds of readers – those who like the online blog format, and those who would rather read Aspen Daily News as an ordinary newspaper.
The site is directed towards the citizens of Aspen, Colorado and visitors. Based on the demographic data for the two zip codes this site covers, the population is between 89%-93.8% Caucasian. This stands true in the images on Aspen Daily News Online. 87.5% of the images showed white males and females, while 12.5% displayed Hispanics/Latinos. These are the two most populous ethnicities according to Alexa.com data. The images also tended to be of men, which matched the demographic data on Alexa.com. Based on the Alexa.com demographics, there should have at least been a few Blacks, Asians and Native Americans to correctly represent the population of the community. Although they only account for a very small percentage of the population, they are still part of the Aspen community.


Regulation:

Aspen Daily News is a for-profit newspaper because it has advertising on it. They make limited revenue. They also seem to have an online version of their news, or at the very least they have an online version of their site in a newspaper format. They do not have an “About” section on their site – in fact, they have very little information about themselves except for a bit of contact information. All of the content they post is appropriate, and is screened by Aspen Daily News staff writers. This site does not allow comments on their site. The only kind of interaction viewers can have on the site is to write letters & opinions to the editors of Aspen Daily News. This creates a more serious and professional atmosphere, rather than a communal atmosphere.



Evaluation:


The demographics of the neighborhood in Aspen and the site demographics are the same. Based on the demographic data for the two zip codes this site covers in Aspen, the population is between 89%-93.8% Caucasian. This stands true in the images on Aspen Daily News Online. 87.5% of the images showed white males and females, while 12.5% displayed Hispanics/Latinos. These are the two most populous ethnicities in Aspen, Colorado according to Alexa.com data. The images also tended to be of men, which matched the demographic data on Alexa.com. Based on the Alexa.com demographics, there should have at least been a few Blacks, Asians and Native Americans to correctly represent the population of the community, but the analysis only covers a 14-day period. Although these other ethnicities only account for a very small percentage of the population, they are still part of the Aspen community and should be represented.
Aspen Daily News Online definitely delivers information to the exact geographic audience that it targets. For example, on May 7th, the first few articles all talk about “Aspen man…”, “City of Aspen…”, and “three local governments…”. They are targeting their audience of Aspen, Colorado citizens by discussing news close to home that will have an impact on readers.



Bibliography:

April 3, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 4, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 5, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 6, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 7, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 8, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 9, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 10, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 11, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 12, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 13, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 14, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 15, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 16, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 17, 2013. Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 18, 2013) Aspen Daily News Online. Retrieved from http://www.aspendailynews.com

April 3, 2013. Alexa The Web Information Company. Retrieved from http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/aspendailynews.com

May 2, 2013. Google Maps. Retrieved from https://maps.google.com