The 25 Best Hotels of 2015 (data driven)
Gold Standard Hotels (written by editors)
Consider the differences. If the purpose and audience is similar, how does the way the information is structured and presented make a difference to the way it might be received?
The two articles appear to be similar in purpose and audience, both are trying to show potential world travellers the best hotels in which they can stay in multiple countries. However, their presentation of this data or information is vastly different, and therefore both articles have a very different style.
The list of hotels on the article ‘The 25 Best Hotels of 2015‘ on tripadvisor is generated by star reviews out of 5 by users of the website. This content was not curated by any editors, and therefore no real editorial decisions were made in the collation of the data and content of this article. Instead, members of the audience itself voted on hotels based on their own personal experiences, and therefore were the generators of the content. The problem with rankings used in data driven journalism is that rankings can be difficult to understand and analyse (Diakopoulos, 2014). Diakopoulos (2014) suggests that for rankings to be authoritative, they still require editorial decisions to be made as to what should be included or excluded, and what algorithms need to be used to determine the data. The problem with this article is that unless these editorial decisions were made, the top ranking hotels could potentially be any hotel if they had received a good overall score. For example, if a small hotel had only received one or two reviews, but they had both been perfect, five star scores, it could potentially be included on the list along with huge hotels that have had 100’s of reviews both good and bad that had averaged out to a higher score.
Because of this, the article does not appear to be very personal in its delivery, and readers are unable to see a written description that describes someone’s personal experience at the hotel. It appears less like a genuine recommendation and more like a automated list that contains a few photos that only just manage to capture the feel of the hotel.
The ‘Gold Standard Hotels‘ article, however, is written by editors who have collated the data that they have found, but have then taken the extra step to give the article a more personal tone by focusing more on generating their own written content to accompany the list, depending on what they believed would be of most interest to their readers (Ames 2015, p. 1). They also made editorial decisions on the inclusions of photographs, where they presumably narrowed down their selection of photographs for each location to just one photograph that best supported the mood that they were trying to express in the written section.
This style of article is more likely to appeal to people looking for a descriptive review of the hotel, and it may have a higher influence on them due to the personal nature of the writing.
Ames, K 2015, Week 9 –Content generation vs content collaboration, COMM11007 Media Writing, CQUniversity e-courses, http://moodle.cqu.edu.au/
Condé Nast Traveller 2015, Gold standard hotels 2015, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.cntraveller.com/awards/the-gold-list/gold-standard-hotels-2015/viewall
Diakopoulos, N 2014, ‘How news organizations can rethink rankings’, American Journalism Review, 24 October, viewed 22 September 2015, http://ajr.org/2014/10/24/rethinking-news-rankings/
tripadvisor 2015, Top 25 hotels — world, viewed 22 September 2015, http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/TravelersChoice-Hotels-g1