Tuesday, February 22, 2005

YNet: An early verdict

As every Jblogger on the planet seems to have noted, YNet, the electronic version of Israel's most popular newspaper Yediot Aharonot, has now launched the long-awaited beta-version of its English website. You'll find good reviews here and here. To add my two cents (or pence, where I'm currently sitting), the site's main advantage is that it seems well-designed, a definite advantage over the Jpost and Ma'ariv's NRG, which is not easy on the eyes. It's also good to have access to Yediot's news coverage, which is often scoop-ridden.
My main two criticisms, however, are that:
  • I am surprised that it isn't a little more geared towards the overseas audience it wants to attract. Where is its 'Diaspora' section? And why no 'Judaism' section? And what's with the rather random 'Singles' section about the Israeli dating scene which, if it's not actually helping get singles together (which it's not), is probably more of a local interest?
  • Compared to Ha'aretz, the feature articles still feel too liteweight -- although that's only to be expected.
I'd also like to see how YNet handles its (print) weekend magazine and supplement -- at the moment there doesn't seem to be one single page for those and it would be nice to know all that good material was online in one place.
In any case, do check it out. It has plenty of potential and it will be interesting to see how it develops over time.

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