In this day in age when people use the Internet as a main form of communication, do their shopping online, and even fill out their taxes online, having a Web site for your business is more important than ever. Students at Castleton State College had this in mind when they set out to create a Web page for the school newspaper, The Spartan.
These students, hoping to find useful information to build the ultimate Web page, interviewed 85 students and 34 faculty members who get their news on line. The subjects were asked where they get their news, and why.
The results from students differed greatly from the faculty.
The most popular Web site to find news for students is Yahoo.com, which was cited by 16 percent of students interviewed.
Many of these students said they use Yahoo because they go to the site for other things, and when news headlines grab their attention they click on the links.
“Yahoo is my homepage, so before I check my mail I see it and read anything that catches my eye,” said student Ashley Given.
Many other search engines ranked high among students as well, including MSN.com (12 percent) and Google.com (6 percent) along with others.
Web sites of local newspapers were also popular among Web surfers.
“I read the Burlington Free Press Web site because it is my local paper and I can find out news that is happening around my home,” sophomore Travis Kimball said.
Other popular sites named by students include CNN with 15 percent and the New York Times at 9 percent.
“I watch CNN news on TV, so it is just the first thing I think of for a news source on line,” Castleton senior Chris Centola said of his preference for CNN.com for Web news.
Faculty members partaking in the survey didn’t share the students’ love for search engine news, choosing more mainstream news producers. The New York Times was cited by 26 percent of faculty members, Fox News 15 percent and BBC 12 percent.
English professor Andy Alexander said he starts with the New Yotk Times Web site.
“I trust that they are the main stories worth reading,” he said
The survey was also broken down between gender among students, and the results differed greatly for some sites. The survey included 45 male students and 40 females.
Female students apparently prefer MSN.com with nine citing it as their first stop compared to one male. Similarly seven women said they prefer the local paper’s Web site compared to only three males.
More males read the New York Times, however, with a five-to-three ratio.
And although numbers weren’t tallied for those who said they don’t get news from the Web at all, student reporters said roughly one in four gave that answer.