Blog Review: Chicago Blackhawks

22 Feb

The blog I will be reviewing is the Chicago Blackhawks blog through ESPN.com. Being a Blackhawks fan, I read this blog to learn about the latest team news. I will be taking a closer look at the blog to determine its strengths and weaknesses compared to other news outlets.

ESPNChicago (Blackhawks Blog)

A screen shot of the Chicago Blackhawks blog. The blog runs through ESPN Chicago, and its main contributor is Scott Powers. Credit: http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/blackhawks

Nuts and Bolts:

  • The blog follows a traditional format, with most recent stories appearing first. On the right side of the page, there are features such as the next game, including links to tickets, a game preview and conversation. There are a couple advertisements, such as a download of ESPN Radio and finding a local bar. There is a brief “About This Blog” section, which talks about the blog’s primary journalist, Scott Powers. He is “an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997. He has been a reporter for ESPNChicago.com since 2009.”
  • There are menus for categories and the blog’s archives, as well as a “Recent Updates” section which lists the most recent publications. In addition, there is a Twitter feed with access to latest news and updates. A schedule of upcoming games and team leaders for certain statistics are included as well. Other team resources — such as schedule, stats, roster, rankings, transactions, tickets and forum — are on the right side, too. It appears as if the blog is mainly supervised by Powers, but because it is run through ESPNChicago.com, I would think he receives assistance with editing, multimedia, etc.
  • Powers posts on the blog on a daily basis. Most days, he will post about three stories.

Tone and Language:

  • Powers uses simple language and targets Blackhawks fans, mainly those who are up-to-date with the team. He views his audience as educated, and his insights provide readers with further knowledge about the team. Some stories are long. Others are short. It all depends on the significance of the story and how many details the reader needs to be fully informed. He includes many names, statistics and other information to familiarize readers with the players, coaches and team in general.
  • For example, in his brief article about Goaltender Corey Crawford backing up Ray Emery against the Sharks, Powers says, “Crawford has missed the Blackhawks’ last three games due to an upper-body injury. He is 7-0-3 with a 1.65 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage this season. Emery will be making his fourth consecutive start. He has a 6-0-0 record with a 2.27 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage this season.” This provides the readers with information enabling them to compare the two goalies and make their own assumptions as to how the team will be affected.

Use of Multimedia:

  • Powers uses various forms of multimedia, including text, video and photos, although most of his content is text-heavy. Powers includes links that say, “Read the entire story,” taking readers to a location where they have additional content at their disposal. Multimedia typically enhances posts, but Powers relies on his words to help readers understand the main point of the story. His use of multimedia is rather dispersed, and he uses it as a tool to add more insight and perspective to stories that are hard to describe using only words.

Comparison to Competition:

  • Because ESPN is the most prominent media outlet in the sports world, Powers does a good job reporting stories in a timely manner. However, other sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, beat Powers to the news in many instances. Social media has the upper hand for breaking news stories. For example, the news about Marian Hossa being available for tonights’ game against the Sharks was released on Chicago Blackhawks Nation’s Facebook page before it was reported on the blog. That being said, Powers reported that Steve Montador has practiced with the team for the first time this season, and the Chicago Blackhawks Twitter feed did not even report that.
  • Powers’ stories include more in-depth reporting and have more credibility than either Facebook or Twitter, both of which report the initial news quick but without further details. Twitter is better for in-game updates, while the blog is better for post-game analysis. They work together to give Blackhawks fans everything they need to know. In comparison to other sites, like secondcityhockey.com, there is not a noticeable difference between which is the first to report a story. Both do a good job with in-depth reporting and consistent delivery to their respective readers.

In conclusion, the Chicago Blackhawks blog through ESPNChicago.com is an effective outlet that provides reliable news. Its only problem is social media often breaks news stories before it, but it makes up for the issue with more detail in later reports. The battle against social media is to be expected with any blog. Overall, this blog is a great way to consume news about the Chicago Blackhawks.

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