Recent posts in my Daily Mirror Category

May 5, 2010

The digital general election - online design slideshow and video

During the course of the election campaign I've been making a gallery of screenshots of online news coverage, with a particular focus on the design of interactive tools and maps. I've put them together into a Flickr set, and made a short video compilation of them.

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January 26, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 1 - UK

During the course of this year's African Cup of Nations tournament in Angola, I've been reviewing news coverage in the UK and in Africa itself. In the first part of this series, I look at how, before a ball was kicked, the terrorist attack on the Togo team made print front pages in the UK.

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June 5, 2009

Spector Twitter hoax shows online honesty gap between bloggers and newspapers

Earlier this week Joanna Geary blogged about the Birmingham Mail's decision to hold a story about ex-Villa player Gareth Barry back from the web in order to maximise exposure in print. That story is interesting enough in itself, but I wanted to look at something about the culture of blogging that was revealed. Joanna initially got her facts wrong.She'd got the time the web version of the story had been published wrong, and in a great display of social media...
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April 3, 2009

The PCC turns a deaf ear to complaints about press coverage of Alfie Patten

As a result of my blog post last week about the Alfie Patten case, I found that another related issue cropped up regarding the PCC, and the self-regulation of the British press. I received a comment from 'Pat H', who had written to the PCC to complain about The Mirror's apparent breaching of the initial reporting restrictions. Needless to say, since she is not directly involved in the story, her complaint was, as usual, dismissed out of hand. Just like...
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March 27, 2009

Press silence on Alfie Patten DNA test result broken by Google News

Yesterday, The Mirror was reporting a further development in the story of the 13 year old boy named as a father. The initial coverage of this story was a significant factor in boosting The Sun from #5 to #1 in the UK newspaper online charts. Today, The Mirror has pulled the story from their site. It is an interesting test case of whether legal deletions should also cover SEO-orientated keyword stuffed URLs. They might have pulled the story, but I...
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February 9, 2009

Wireframing the front page: Part 1 - The "homepage"

I've been giving a lot of thought to the way that people navigate through newspaper websites, and it has made me consider the different functions that the homepage and the front page serve. Navigation, for example, is mostly redundant on the printed front page. Occasionally a paper might have something like "Turn to Page 7" to link to the continuation of a story, or a promo for the sports section, but generally the front page functions to sell one major...
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February 3, 2009

Navigating newspapers: Part 4 - The 'red tops' and the 'middle market'

Last week I started publishing a series of posts about the primary and secondary navigation on 9 of the UK's national newspaper websites. Today I want to look more closely in depth at the red tops and the 'middle market' papers.  Daily Express Alongside The Sun, the Daily Express is the only paper I looked at to still utilise a left-hand navigation. There are a lot of links, and I didn't include in the study a second similar panel of...
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September 4, 2008

The Mirror re-design review: Part 4

I've been reviewing the recent re-design of I've been impressed with some things, like the organised site map in the footer of the page, a forgiving tag 404 page, and the RSS feeds of tags. I've been less impressed with the gambling strip design, colour-coding and lax taxonomy. Yesterday I looked at some aspects of The Mirror's site search. Mixed horoscope feeds The Mirror has made nearly all of their online content available via RSS, including the full content...
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September 3, 2008

The Mirror re-design review: Part 3

Over the last couple of days I've been reviewing The Mirror's recent re-design. I've looked at some of the good and bad in the navigation, and examined their use of tags. Today I'm looking at some of the aspects of the site search design. Lack of detail I noted a distinct lack of detail in the way that The Mirror presents search results. In Amsterdam in September I'll be giving a Euro IA presentation about the ways that you can...
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September 2, 2008

The Mirror re-design review: Part 2

Yesterday I started a review of the recently designed site. I was impressed with the way they had organised links to content in a site map at the footer of the page, but less than enamoured of some over-enthusiastic colour-coding, and a 'gambling strip' across the top of every page. Today I wanted to look at the site's use of tags. Story tags The Mirror applies a selection of tags to each story to provide lateral and related navigation....
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September 1, 2008

The Mirror re-design review: Part 1

Earlier this year The Daily Mirror re-vamped their website, giving it much more of a visual-led magazine feel. At the time I didn't get the chance to do a review, but as I recently reviewed the re-design of The Telegraph, I thought I would have a look at how the new Mirror design has settled in. Old Mirror design New Mirror design Global navigation and mouse-over As seems to be the fashion at the moment, The Mirror has gone for...
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May 5, 2008

'Sorry - this page cannot be found': How newspapers handle 404 errors - Part 1

A comment when I started my recent 'Newspaper Site Search Smackdown' series of posts prompted me to go and have a look at which British newspapers use sitemap.xml files. As it turned out, it was only the Daily Mail and The Scotsman which did (well, and The Telegraph and The Mirror and Metro), which meant that I got to have a close look at the 404 error pages generated by the others. I thought it might be worth running through...
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April 10, 2008

Newspaper "Site Search Smackdown": Round 3 - The Guardian vs The Mirror

I'm running a series of smackdowns between British newspaper site search engines, to test how fresh their indexing is. In Round 1, The Sun was put down by The Mail. Yesterday's Round 2 saw a perfect 10 from The Independent, and the lowest score so far, from The Telegraph. Today it is the turn of The Guardian and The Mirror to face the test. The rules The rules of the contest are quite simple. Go to a newspaper homepage...
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February 25, 2008

'Achtung! Surrender' from The Mirror - Get your Euro 96 newspaper xenophobia here

The other week when I was looking at the websites of the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finalists, I mentioned in passing that were England to ever reach such a stage of a tournament again, you could guarantee the press and the official FA website would be in a patriotic frenzy. It called to my mind the coverage of the Euro96 semi-final between England and Germany at Wembley. In Mark Christopher Watkin's excellent 2002 analysis of the relationship between hooliganism and...
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November 8, 2007

How accessible are Britain's online newspapers? Part 3 - Daily Mirror

This week I'm looking at the level of accessibility built into British newspaper websites. I started with the Daily Express and Daily Mail, and today I want to look at The Mirror. I'm assessing the paper's homepage and top story page against a number of accessibility criteria. Text resize One of the simplest tests for accessibility is to see whether a site uses relative font sizes or fixed font sizes. Relative font sizes means that users can control for themselves...
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August 16, 2007

Is Britain’s brightest A-Level student a boy or an anonymous photogenic teenage girl?

This one is as regular as clockwork on the site - the A-Level results come out, and I start moaning about the depressing and sexist coverage of it - here’s one I made earlier in 2003. Who’d think that boys even took A-Levels these days? And if teenagers do manage to perform well in the exams, well, then they are obviously worthless bits of paper anyway. And everybody wonders why teenagers in Britain appear to suffer from low self-esteem...
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June 5, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: OPML files for The Telegraph and The Mirror blogs by author

Interesource (not Intersource as I kept calling them) have been very pro-active in responding to my comments about the blogs on The Telegraph and The Mirror that they provide. One of the team was quick to point out some innacuracy in my table of newspaper blog features, where I'd missed out, amongst other things, that they offered navigation by tags. He also pointed out that some of the blogs, like Shane Richmond's, did offer blogrolls, and not only that, that...
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April 25, 2007

Newspapers 2.0: How Web 2.0 is The Mirror?

I've been looking at the extent to which the online versions of British newspapers have adopted the technologies of web 2.0 - things like RSS feeds, blogging and social bookmarking. So far I've looked at The Express and The Times, and today I'm looking at The Mirror. The Mirror's most recent redesign on the web has been without doubt one of the ugliest attempts yet to spray-paint a little web 2.0 gloss on a postively web 1.0 user experience....
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April 18, 2007

Add nothing to your basket at

When The Mirror recently redesigned their website, it looked like someone had just broken out the crayons in a box marked "Crazy Web 2.0 Photoshop Gradients". As you can see, the effect has also spread to This is the Mirror's site where customers can purchase copies of famous Daily Mirror front pages from throughout the paper's history. Or not, in the case of recent titles. Despite the fact that you'd expect it to be easier to lay your...
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July 4, 2006

Searching The Daily Mirror

Over the course of the last week or so I have been looking at how search works across various different British newspaper websites. Yesterday I looked at The Independent's search systems, and today I am going to return to red-top tabloid territory, with a look at the Daily Mirror. didn't get into my good books to start with, as an invasive advert for Currys prevented the page from rendering properly in Firefox, which meant that I had to fire...
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May 15, 2004

Another one bites the dust

First Greg, and now Piers. Another Editor-in-Chief in the UK loses their jobs for allowing allegations of mis-doings in the "War-in-Iraq-affair" to be broadcast or published without sufficient fact checking to prove the stories are correct. Without wanting to rake up old ground, it's just a shame the same standard of fact checking doesn't seem to apply if you publish front page stories supporting the official line on the war. For example, The Evening Standard on 24 September 2002...
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