President Barack Obama is sworn in for his second term as the 44th President of the United States.
While most of the United States was tuning in to President Obama's inauguration speech, I was working on a story for the Marquette Tribune and therefore was not able to watch the ceremony. It forced me to rely on the coverage provided by the Detroit Free Press, and  I was pleasantly surprised by the coverage. 

The Free Press did a good job of using multimedia for telling the story of Obama's inauguration. An example is the above piece, which provides a video along with a written story by Todd Spangler. The video does exactly what it should do; give the viewer the story of the President's swearing. The text piece tells the same story, but tells it in a completely way, which makes it feel like a second piece. The video complements the text story, which is what a video should do.

Another piece that I found interesting was the top 10 moments from the inauguration. It was a more pop culture piece that would appeal to those that do not take an interest in politics, while still giving them the necessary information. I think this is a great awareness as to the majority of America receives its information, and what Americans place an importance on. While I'm not particularly proud of it, it was also the first piece that I clicked on. 

There was one aspect of the Free Press's coverage that I didn't particularly care for. As I was reading pieces, I noticed that many of the authors had USA Today as their company, not the Free Press. After some googling, I found out the owner of USA Today owns the Free Press and thus could have cross-platform reporters or stories. I don't think the Free Press should use USA Today's stories because it doesn't promote their own stories or reporters. I would have liked to have read more pieces by reporters working for the Free Press. 

Overall, I found the Detroit Free Press's coverage of the presidential inauguration to be good. The reporting was good, stories were extensive and had many angles and pieces varied so people with different interests could read different stories and still get the necessary information. Multimedia was utilized, but I would have preferred more original reporting from the Free Press. 
The Detroit Free Press takes pride in covering the Detroit Auto Show, as it features the coverage at the top of its homepage.
With another semester of #loweclass, there comes another beat assignment. Last semester I covered the Los Angeles Times, but this semester I have been assigned the Detroit Free Press. Part of me is really excited for the site because Detroit is a hockey hot bed and I should be seeing a lot of hockey on the site. The other part of me is not happy to get the Detroit Free Press because it forces me to care about the Detroit Red Wings, one of the bitterest of rivals of my St. Louis Blues.

As I looked at the site, the Detroit Free Press isn't anything extremely impressive visually. The ability to read the actually newspaper online is a very cool feature that I wish more sites would use, as it would probably be better than navigating the site. Everything seems cramped too, as you have to scroll down a pretty good ways to get passed the news sections. It would be nice if they could expand the width of the website so it doesn't seem so cramped. 

One thing I do like about the site is how it presents special topics, such as the Detroit Auto Show. The Auto Show is going on this weekend, and the Free Press has coverage of the show at the top of the page. The coverage itself is impressive, as there are a lot of stories and photos about the car show. With Detroit's emphasis on cars, it's not too surprising to see a lot of coverage of the auto show.

Finally, I wanted to take a look at the coverage of the Detroit Red Wings and the NHL in general. As luck would have it, the Blues and Wings would play each other in the season opener, which was on January 19. The Blues won 6-0, and the coverage of the game was not so kind to the Wings. Much of the story was about how the Blues dominated in every aspect of the game, and how it seemed that very few players actually showed up to play. Jimmy Howard, the Red Wings' goalie, let in five goals, but the Free Press pointed to the complete lack of effort from the now Lidstrom-less defensive core for the goals. The Free Press focused more on the Wings than the Blues, which is understandable and wrote the story from an aspect that fans would see the game from. I like to think that writing from a fan's perspective is the best way to write a sports story because it allows for more passion in the writer, while still being objective. 

Overall, I think the Detroit Free Press is a good enough site. There are things to work on visually, but I think the writing is good. I am looking forward to covering the Free Press as the semester goes on.