Jessica Morse
May 3, 2013
Com 100: Final Paper on Hyperlocal News

Baltimore Brew

Site name: Baltimore Brew
Site URL: http://www.baltimorebrew.com/
Dates of Analysis:
Home page images:
April 2, 2013
April 3, 2013
April 4, 2013
April 7, 2013
April 8, 2013
April 9, 2013
April 10, 2013
April 11, 2013
April 12, 2013
April 14, 2013
April 15, 2013
April 16, 2013
April 17, 2013
April 18, 2013


Alexa.com Collection & Census Data: March 31, 2013

Geographic Reach: Baltimore, Maryland


baltimore map.jpg


Type of Site: Hyperlocal

Demographic Summary:

The viewers of Baltimore Brew are those living in the Baltimore area. Viewers come from the specific zip codes of 21201, 21202, 21205, 21206, 21207, 21208, 21209, 21210, 21211, 21212, 21213, 21214, 21215, 21216, 21217, 21218, 21222, 21223, 21224, 21225, 21226, 21227, 21228, 21229, 21230, 21231, 21234, 21236, 21237, and 21239. Averages from the United States Census Bureau indicate that in these zip codes, 43.43% of the population is white and 46.90% of the population is black. The remaining 9.67% of the population is Asian, Latino, Native American, or other. According to the United States Census Bureau, 47.35% of the population is male, and 52.7% of the population is female.

According to Alexa.com, the audience demographics for Baltimore Brew differ greatly from the area demographics. Alexa.com states that Caucasians are the only viewers of the news site. It also states that only females view the news site, ranging in ages from 25-54 years old.
Baltimore Brew Alexa Demographics.png
Baltimore Brew Alexa ethnicity.png


Representation:

Baltimore Brew is a hyperlocal news site created to deliver local news to those living in the Baltimore area. This hyperlocal news site contains long features, blogs, and a multimedia gallery. The top of the homepage of Baltimore Brew says “STIRRING UP NEWS AND VIEWS” and underneath in larger letters it says “Baltimore Brew”. The date is located to the left of where it says “Baltimore Brew” and to the right there are icons, which serve as links to the Baltimore Brew Facebook site, the Baltimore Brew Twitter site, and the Baltimore Brew Feed Burner site. In the upper right hand corner of the homepage there is a search bar for viewers to type in key words in order to find articles that they are looking for. The Baltimore Brew provides information about Baltimore specifically.

Topics covered in the Baltimore Brew are under the links of politics, business, city planning, education, food/living, arts/culture, environment, and transportation. Under these links, there are articles that are not too long, with the full stories shown, and pictures of current stories and events. Each article has an author. Underneath the article, viewers can post comments, their thoughts, and their opinions about the article. Comments posted by viewers are to be respectful, no racist remarks allowed, no sexist remarks allowed, and no inappropriate comments are tolerated, which is written out right above the comment box.

Advertisements do appear on the news site however, they do not take up much space. Most of the space on the news site is filled with articles and links to more articles. On the home page on the top right there is an advertisement that did not change within the 14 days that I analyzed the Baltimore Brew. The advertisement links to a website called Live Baltimore which is a website for buying homes in Baltimore. Scrolling down the home page, there is one more advertisement which is for a Baltimore bike shop’s website called Baltimore Bicycle Works. The visual of both of the advertisements featured on the news site do not have pictures, they only have words. The colors on both of these articles are white, black, and blue.

Within the 14 days that I examined the homepage of the news site, the homepage only changed 4 times. The daily screen grabs that I took of the homepage contained an article about six people who had been sleeping under a Baltimore expressway for months, the painting and construction of the University of Baltimore’s law school’s new building, attacks on bicyclists by groups of teenagers, and a car crash outside of Baltimore City Hall. All of these articles cover specific and current events occurring in Baltimore. Lower on the page there is a section called “Recent Stories” which contains articles about current events, and do not particularly fall under the categories of politics, business, city planning, education, food/living, arts/culture, environment, and transportation.

Sample Size: 14 home page screen grabs

Content Analysis


Male
Female
Don’t Know
TOTALS
White
7
6
3
16
Black
6
0
0
6
Hispanic/ Latino
0
0
0
0
Asian
0
0
0
0
Native American
0
0
0
0
Totals
13
6
3
22

Percentages

Percentages
Male
Female
Don’t Know
TOTALS
White
32%
27%
14%
73%
Black
27%
0%
0%
27%
Totals
59%
27%
14%
100%
Production:
The production of Baltimore Brew is not updated daily. It claims to be a daily online journal however the homepage updated and changed four times within the 14 days that I analyzed the site. In addition, the advertisement on the homepage did not change over the 14 days analyzed. There are multiple authors who write articles for the Baltimore Brew. Some articles have the author “Brew Editors” while others articles provide a person’s name as the author. Each article contains a picture, which helps the viewer understand the article more clearly, and gives a perspective of what is being discussed in the article. For example, under the arts/culture section, this picture below is included in an article about a beautiful and bizarre bathroom in Baltimore.



bathroombaltimorebrew!!.jpg

The website is produced in a way that makes it easy for viewers to read articles that they are interested in. Viewers simply need to click on one of the links at the top of the homepage, and they have the opportunity to read about politics, business, city planning, education, food/living, arts/culture, environment, and transportation. In addition to the simplicity of navigating around the website, viewers have opportunity to leave comments or opinions after reading an article, which other viewers can read and respond to. The way that ads were designed for the website does not appear to have much of a strategic production effect because there are two ads on the website which do not change. Production techniques such as pictures being a part of articles, and the ability for subscribers to comment and engage in conversation, keeps Baltimore Brew and interesting news site, and keeps the viewers involved.

Sample Home Page:
BaltimoreBrew_April2,2013.png
http://www.baltimorebrew.com/



Identity:
Baltimore Brew is a news site viewed by many people in the Baltimore area, as seen through the multiple zip codes that view this site. It is evident from looking through articles on the website that the site was created for people interested in events occurring in the city that they live in, which is Baltimore. All of the viewers have one thing in common, their care and desire for knowledge about Baltimore. The viewers differ in the sense that the articles they choose to read and identify with is not the same from person to person.

There are many different articles, and topics covered on the site, which appeal to different types of people. Viewers can identify themselves with one of the areas covered, which include politics, business, city planning, education, food/living, arts/culture, environment, and transportation. On one hand, someone who is interested in and could identify themselves with politics in Baltimore may have never bothered clicking on the food/living section of the website. On the other had, some viewers may enjoy exploring the entire website, reading articles from a variety of areas.

The viewers of this website are people who want to learn about events occurring in Baltimore. There are many different areas covered on the website which makes the Baltimore Brew appealing for people with all different types of interests. The people of Baltimore can identify with this website, and find their interests throughout the different sections on the news site. Viewers have high interest for knowledge about events occurring in Baltimore, as seen throughout their comments and opinions posted on the articles. The Baltimore Brew covers many areas, which attract many different types of people, and make it easy for the viewers to find something that they are interested in and can identify themselves with.


Consumption:
Baltimore Brew is a hyperlocal news site used to inform those living in Baltimore about stories occurring in their community. The viewers of this news site are able to learn about current issues or situations occurring in the city that they live in. The viewers of Baltimore Brew simply click on a topic that interests them, and they are provided with an article and picture(s) that go along with that article. Many community members find something they are interested in. For example, the education section can be useful for parents who would like to be informed about what is going on with the education systems in Baltimore. Or, the arts/culture section can be very intriguing for someone passionate about art and culture.

In the “About” section, it says that the Baltimore Brew is for anyone living in the area or anyone interested about what is occurring in the Baltimore area. Gender and race is not included in the section explaining who views the Baltimore Brew. However, from demographic data collected from the United States Census Bureau, we can analyze if the Baltimore Brew delivers to its stated audience.

The daily screen grabs of the home page changed four times throughout the 14 days that I analyzed the homepage. This makes it difficult to come to a conclusion about whether or not the site truly delivers to the stated audience. Some of the homepages did not include any images with people. Based off of the demographic research I completed on the zip codes that view the Baltimore Brew, a large percentage of blacks and whites live in these areas, roughly an even amount. The area is 43.43% white and 46.9% black. A smaller percentage of Asians, Latinos, and Native Americans live in these areas. The images displayed on the homepage throughout the 14 days did not properly represent this. The images were 73% white and 27% black.

Statistics from the United States Census Bureau indicate that in the areas viewing the Baltimore Brew, 47.35% of the population is male and 52.7% of the population is female. On the homepage images collected, 59% of the people were clearly male and 27% were clearly female. It was unclear if the remaining 14% of the people were male or female, due to how small the pictures were. Therefore, the Baltimore Brew does not deliver to its stated audience.

Alexa.com provides information about the people who view the Baltimore Brew. According to Alexa.com, only females view the site. Since there are both females and males on the homepage images, Baltimore Brew fails to deliver to its stated audience of only females. In addition, Alexa.com states that only Caucasians view this news site. On the homepage images there are both whites and blacks. Based off of the Alexa.com statistics, Baltimore Brew fails to deliver to its stated audience.

Regulation:
The comments posted by viewers on articles posted on the Baltimore Brew are regulated by the editors of the website. There are specific conditions that the bloggers must respect such as not posting racist remarks, sexist remarks, blatant commercial self reporting, or comments that are obscene, or include viscous personal attacks. The comments are regulated and reviewed by the editors before they are posted on the news site. Inappropriate comments are not posted. The way the comments are regulated impacts the development of the website because it keeps the Baltimore Brew an organized, appropriate website.

Baltimore Brew challenges public and private space. Baltimore community members have the opportunity to read articles about specific people in Baltimore. Personal stories and information are shared about members of the community to the public. People both a part of the Baltimore community and not part of the community have access to the Baltimore Brew news site and can read personal articles which breaks private and public space.

Evaluation:
The site demographics from Alexa.com do not match the area demographics. Alexa.com says that the site viewers are Caucasian females. Demographic data from United States Census Bureau indicates that there are roughly equal amount of both whites, blacks, males, and females in the zip codes provided that view the Baltimore Brew. This is not represented on Alexa.com. Therefore, the site demographics do not match the coverage area demographics.

The site visuals do not do a good job with matching the coverage area demographics. In the coverage area, there is an even amount of blacks, whites, males and females. This is not properly represented by the site visuals. The site visuals have 73% whites and 27% blacks. I do not think that this represents the coverage area demographics of 43.43% whites and 46.9% blacks. The website images are 59% male, 27% female, and 14% unknown due to the size of the images. I do not believe that this is proper representation of the area. Based off of statistics from United States Census Bureau, the population is 47.3% male and 52.7% female. I do not believe that the site visuals match the coverage area demographics.

I think that the site does a good job with providing news and information to its geographic audience. As seen, the images provided do represent males, females, blacks and whites. Although I do not believe that the percentages shown are close enough to have proper representation, I believe that it is good that the site shows males, females, blacks and whites. In addition, the stories provided are intriguing and of high interest to those in the Baltimore area since the events are occurring in the Baltimore community.Primarily for that reason, I believe that the site does a good job providing news and information to those living in Baltimore about the Baltimore area.

Bibliography

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved May 31, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 3, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 4, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 7, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 8, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 9, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 10, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 11, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 12, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 16, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 17, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Brew. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/

Baltimore Count, Maryland. Chesapeake Bay Visitor’s Guide. Retrieved May 7, 2013, from http://www.chesapeake-bay.com/westernshore/baltimore/.

Brew Editors. (2013, April 27). Bizarre and Beautiful Baltimore Bathroom on TV Tonight. Baltimore Brew. Retrieved May 5, 2013, from http://www.baltimorebrew.com/2013/04/27/bizarre-and-beautiful-baltimore-bathroom-on-tv-tonight/.

Statistics Summary for Baltimorebrew.com. Alexa. Retrieved March 31, 2013, from http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/baltimorebrew.com.

United States Census Bureau. Retrieved from United States Census Bureau Website: http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml