Boston Uncovered

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The past two weeks I had the opportunity to explore Boston and get to know its sites and people in ways I haven’t on my own. This scavenger hunt made me open up to seeing the city in a new way, even though I’m still relatively new to living here.

 

City Snapshot – Luckily, I have some friends who live in an apartment on Salem Street with a rooftop that has panoramic views of the whole city. I like looking at the old buildings of the North End compared to the downtown skyscrapers.

Food/Drink – The Friendly Toast has a special place in my heart with their breakfast/brunch menu. They have 4 locations with 2 of them right in the city. In this post I visited the Back Bay location on 35 Stanhope Street and ordered their Caribbean waffle with a mimosa. The food and drink menus are filled with a variety of different tastes and the portions are big so you’ll never leave hungry.

Student on the street – I met Alex on Suffolk University’s campus to see why he decided to attend school in Boston. He really enjoys having access to all the museums, restaurants and landmarks in the area. I found out he’s experienced the city life before and hopes to live in Boston after graduation. This video was taken near Park Street T station.

Academic Excellence – 730 Commonwealth Ave. is now home to the Build Lab, a new innovation center for students from all colleges at BU to share their ideas in business, technology and science. It’s an entrepreneurial experience but anyone is welcome to attend their events and receive advice from mentors. I did a news package here a week ago when they started hosting events and the one I attended was called, “Launch Series: Opposites Attract Showcase” that involved over a dozen startup teams that have established programs or are currently in the works looking for advice. Students and alumni shared skills and teamwork methods to collaborate and develop better ideas. There was also some team bonding games and activities to partake in.

Weather – Today’s forecast was unusual for the time of year but it was welcomed by everyone. I took this picture on Snapchat of students lounging outside on the COM lawn in shorts and t-shirts. This area is a popular spot in the warm weather because students prefer the grassy areas of campus.

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Scenic Spot – Charlestown offers a lot of picturesque spots like the Bunker Hill Monument. This site is centered around community so a lot of events like outdoor yoga and museum tours take place here. It’s also part of the famous Freedom Trail.

Sports Talk – Brian is a Everett, Massachusetts native and avid Boston sports fan but when I asked him what team is his favorite of all, he went with the Red Sox. In his opinion, the history behind the MLB American League team and their home at Fenway Park is unmatched by any other team.

An Olympic Moment – I had the chance to shoot this interview of Brandan when he was attending the Olympics Watch Party held by the BU School of Law Student Government. He prefers a sit down experience when watching the games so he was happy to hear it was being shown on a giant projector screen and free food was provided.

Off the Beaten Path – I visited Saint Clement Eucharistic Shrine because I’ve seen the outside structure and was curious to view the inside. It did not disappoint. This church is right next to Berklee College of Music’s campus, which is only a short walk from the Fenway neighborhood and easily accessible from the green line on the T.

Freestyle – An unknown location to many BU students but serves many purposes is the Kenmore Room, found on the 9th floor of Questrom School of Business. Most of the time it is a conference room but also hosts plated dinners, networking events and panel discussions. The setup in this Instagram post is for a panel discussion followed by a networking event. The large windows show views across the Charles River and above Kenmore Square, hence the name of the room.

My Top 3 Favorite Tweets by Classmates: 

#1 – Kyler’s mural shots were my favorite because you wouldn’t know the mural was there unless you wandered, especially since it only covers the bottom floor of the building.

#2 – I like the collage of Matt’s pictures because he showed the real presentation of the food and atmosphere of the restaurant.

#3 – Laura’s post was nice to include a Thornton’s special deal for readers to go try out for themselves.

My Responses: 

#1 – I appreciated Yasmine focusing on the outside design of the Museum of Fine Arts because some people may overlook its features and walk past it all.

#2 – Still on the hunt for my favorite pizza place in Boston and Rickie convinced me with his awesome collage to give T Anthony’s a try.

#3 – I like Pamela giving us a look at the fashion and support for Black Panther in theaters this past weekend.

#4 – Eve’s mom has a really good excuse for not focusing on the Winter Olympics.

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Axios offers simplified and straightforward news

Axios is a site established in 2016 by Politico co-founders that specializes in news about politics, business and technology. The primary audience is professional adults with its article themes and native advertising. It’s a simplistic format that anyone can understand without the typical internet trend ads, click-bait titles and visuals that distract from the actual stories they are posting. Their company motto is, “Media is broken — and too often a scam”.

The layout of the Axios desktop website is very easy to navigate and looks similar to a blog post with a scrolling layout for articles. The colors are clean and simple so there’s not too much distraction to the site and it focuses on the headlines and visuals.

The mobile site also resembles a blogging format similar to Tumblr with a scrolling feature and social media sharing links at the bottom of every post. When I looked over the articles for today, there have been several posts every hour.

I noticed on both the mobile and desktop sites that their approach to advertising is different than most news sites. The posts are the same size and style as a regular article by Axios but they’re titled “A message from …” (ex. Bank of America).

Their social media offerings are lacking a little. The Instagram page @axiosnews has 1 post of their logo without a caption, hashtags or any user comments from 2017. They have 56 followers but aren’t following anyone. The only line of text on their Instagram is in the biography section that says “Smart brevity” along with the link to their website.

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The Twitter page is better but still has its problems. The biography has more description by expanding on their instagram phrase, “Smart brevity worthy of people’s time, attention and trust. Subscribe: signup.axios.com”. There’s a link below the description with the website url “axios.com”. They are following 721 accounts but have 157.6k followers. The tweets are consistent but I found them posting articles several times.

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Overall, their Twitter is a more interactive space with readers but still has its bugs. Their Facebook also has a similar design to every other format of theirs but also posts video content and shows the comments and “likes” from readers, giving them more of a voice.

The desktop and mobile websites are successful in providing an easy to use design for all readers but lacks the connection with readers through social media. This is a downfall because a majority of young, professionals that they’re targeting as readers usually get their news from social media applications and notifications.

Axios’ Mission

 

Axios is a newbie in the reporting game, but its staff is stacked with news veterans. The company’s mission is a reflection on news coverage of the past and how they are moving forward.

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Source: https://www.axios.com/about

 

In my opinion, Axios is a fresh approach to digital news reporting because it’s a no-nonsense kind of operation. The layout of the website is clean and easy to navigate but what does their media coverage do for its readers? The cover a wide range of topics and a “Special Features” tab on their homepage that includes pages like “Smarter Faster”, “Facts matter” and “Axios Visuals”. Each page has a theme like “Smarter Faster” which is run by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and offers lifestyle views and opinions from leaders. “Facts matter” focuses on breaking down the importance of a trending story and why readers should know about it. “Axios Visuals” gives an easier display of information like a company’s financial loss in a timeline. Also, the company hosts the event “Axiso360” which has sit-down conversations with Axios writers, government leaders and fellow journalists.

 

Here are some Twitter opinions on Axios reporters and events: