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In our house we tend to buy The Express however my partner has often bought home The Sun. I have often used the website however have got more into the habit of reading the paper itself in recent months. However, I am still a regular user of the Sun Online and will continue to use it well into the future.
The homepage is predominantly red and white in colour. The red helps to liken the site to the newspaper. There is a large Sun logo to the upper left hand corner of the page. Next to this is a large advertisment and under this there is a toolbar including links to 'Home', 'My Sun', 'Sun Lite', 'Site Map', 'News Alerts' and 'Sun Talk'. The middle of the homepage contains links to the top news stories of that day including showbiz news. To the right hand side of the page there is a handy little box which shows you the just published stories, the most read and the most discussed. There is a very handy toolbar to the left hand side of the page which allows you to quickly get to the part of the website that you want to. There are various titles under a number of headings. Headings include News, Sport, Showbiz, TV, Live it Woman, Health, Fun and Games, Virals, Page 3, Mystic Meg, Dear Deirdre, Motors, Travel and Mobile. There are also links to their sister sites The Scottish Sun and News of the World. The middle section of the homepage whilst also housing a number of the headlines contains a lot of pictures and is primarilly showbiz news. The pictures help you towards what you want to read and I imagine the homepage is primarilly home to showbiz news due to the readers reading this most.
If you click on the link to News on the left hand side of the page, you are greeted by a page with a very similar layout to that of the homepage. The majority of the page is again home to pictures however there are a number of headlines alongside these. This section is where the majority of the more serious news can be found such as news concerning afghanistan, the royal family, the government and headlines of the day. There is the toolbar on the left hand side allowing you to quickly go to other sections of the side. There is also an opportunity to watch videos concerning some of the main headlines, for example music videos or TV appearences. It is worth noting that the video here is not like TV news and will not tell you the news story. Depending on how big the story is, or infact how much information the Sun have on the story determines how long the story will be. Usually, you are greeted by a large headline with a picture underneath and then the story. The news tends to be written in casual language and contains a lot of quotes from those involved and information within a short space. Alongside the news story are often links to stories which link with this story.
I rarely visit the sports page as I am not a big sport fan however I have popped on to have a look for review purposes. At the top of the page there are all the football teams logos and I am told that if I click on one it will take me to the Premier League club page. You are then taken to another section of the Sun site which contains all the news regarding your team. I imagine this is really useful for followers of a specific team as it allows you to find the news you want to read easily. Towards the right hand side of the team page it also gives you information about the team such as manager and cups they have won. Back on the sports home page, it provides headlines of all the days sports news. The layout is similar to the rest of the Sun page. You also get the opportunity to watch a number of sport videos such as goals or match highlights.
This section of the site allows you to listen to 'Sun Talk' and a podcast. Again, the main TV headlines are on this page along with large pictures. People featuring on the page today include Jordan, Kerry Katona, Holly Wiloughby, Fern Cotton and Sophie Reade (BB winner). You also get the opportunity to watch X factor auditions.
The news here is very similar to that on the TV page. I do find that the news here is mixed up though and the more important showbiz headlines are towards the bottom of the TV page.
Fun and Games
This is the page with competitions, puzzles, jokes and cartoons on. You can click the links to access what you would also find in the paper.
This is a part of the website which I believe makes it different to all the other news websites out there. As you probably know, Deirdre is the Suns resident agony aunt. Her section of the page has a lot on it including a video casebook of problems that people write in with, the photo casebook from the paper and also sections on Teen Worries, Problem Pages and Forces Penpals. I find that some of these links rarely change and the stories do not change for a long time. There are also a list of phone numbers to a variety of helplines and the opportunity to download guides.
I regularly use this website however I still prefer to read the news in a paper. I do regularly use it to look up celebrity news simply because I know that I will be able to find it easily and there will also be a vast amount of news there. I rarely use the website to find out about more serious topics as I know from the Suns style I may not actually find out what I wanted to and it may not be completely focussed on what I wanted to know. However, I do enjoy the way the news stories are written, primarilly because they are written in everyday language which means I find it easier to understand what they are trying to say. I enjoy the number of photos on the website because it makes it easier to pick what I want to read and also makes the website more interesting and colourful. There is a lot of crude news on the webpage so I wouldn't recommend reading it if you dont want to read about sex. I also wouldn't recommend letting your children read the website. I occasionally watch Dear Deirdres video casebook and find it very fake! Although the stories may be real, I find that the way they are acted out is not realistic and I don't believe the actors are very good. I think the website is fab for quickly checking the news, especially if you dont have a lot of time to read the actual paper or want to check the news throughout the day. I would not recommend substituting your daily newspaper for it, but only if you are an avid reader and read it from cover to cover every day, otherwise you may find it is fine for you. I often find that the Sun puts showbiz news over main headlines meaning therefore that I often miss out on the main news of the day simply because I do not see it.
I would recommend this site, but only as an additional source of news or if you only want to read bits of the days news. However, I do think it is very good for celebrity news and would recommend it for that.