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Hollywood Reporter

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hollywoodreporter.com

Nowadays, there are so many websites out there to choose from when it comes to staying in the loop with entertainment, film, television, and music news. In fact, one could argue that there are almost too many sites to choose from. To the point where it can be a daunting task to pick just one.

Of course, you don’t have to pick a singular entertainment news site. In fact, some film and TV buffs would claim that the most productive way to get the latest in entertainment news would be to keep track of several entertainment news sites simultaneously; perhaps even subscribing to updates and newsletters from a few of them would be the best way to go.

That being said, there is certainly something to the idea of having a main go-to resource. Why worry about juggling 5, 6, 7 (or more) different news sites when you could, in theory, find the best one on the web – the one that is the most dependable, contains the best-written content and skews towards the mediums and celebrities that you care about the most?

Sure, there are some entertainment news junkies out there who will claim that the only news outlets worth keeping up with – especially considering the oversaturation of entertainment news that has come with the opening of the floodgates of information that the social media age has resulted in – are the ones that have passed the test of time … the ones that are tried and true. There is something to this, for sure, a longer-running publication is, in a very empirical sense, much more likely to have higher-quality writing and content. After all, they have longstanding reputations to uphold.

Those who use longevity as the litmus test might point to institutions of the entertainment news industry when asked which publication is the best. They will be likely to cite periodicals that have dominated the 20th century as well as maintained their status throughout the shift to digital news of the 21st. If this is something that you tend to value in a news outlet, you might be prone to favoring publications such as Rolling Stone, People magazine, or Entertainment Weekly. All of these news outlets have been in business (and consistently publishing quality content) for at least 40 years now.

However, one publication that I think tends to get overlooked (albeit unjustly) in this discussion of institutions of the entertainment news world is The Hollywood Reporter. As one of the longest-running entertainment news rags in the world, The Hollywood Reporter has so much to offer – both online and in print.

History

Believe it or not, The Hollywood Reporter was originally founded in 1930. It was created by Las Vegas real estate developer, William R. “Billy” Wilkerson, and it existed as Hollywood’s first-ever daily trade newspaper. The Hollywood Reporter’s first issue was put into circulation on September 3rd, 1930, prominently featuring Wilkerson’s front-page column, “Trade Views,” which would become one of the most influential formats in the Hollywood trade newspaper format. The paper would go on to be put out every day, from Monday to Saturday, for the first 10 years of its existence (save for a brief period in which it only appeared Monday to Friday in 1940).

Billy Wilkerson would end up working on The Hollywood Reporter from the day he founded it until the day he died in September of 1962. Upon his passing away, The Hollywood Reporter was taken over by Wilkerson’s wife, Tichi Wilkerson Kassel. She served as publisher and editor-in-chief, too, until her death. The Hollywood Reporter, for all intents and purposes, is one of those rare publications that has remained family run and operated for much of its run – with a level of commitment and dedication seldom seen in the world of journalism (let alone entertainment journalism).

The Hollywood Reporter, however, and Billy Wilkerson in particular, does have a bit of a sordid history as well. The publication played a pivotal role in identifying potential communists during the days of McCarthyism in the United States. Wilkerson infamously, according to his obituary in The Hollywood Reporter, “named names, pseudonyms and card numbers and was widely credited with being chiefly responsible for preventing communists from becoming entrenched in Hollywood production.”

This resulted in the arrests, imprisonments, and largely unjust trials of numerous Hollywood actors, writers, and producers. “Billy’s List” led to the arrests of, for instance, Dalton Trumbo and Howard Koch for allegedly holding communistic ideologies. This is something that, apparently, both Wilkerson and The Hollywood Reporter have held a great deal of pride over. Today, though, it appears as if The Hollywood Reporter – rather wisely, in my opinion – has, for the most part, kept their noses out of politics and instead where it belongs: covering the latest stories in the Hollywood, films, television, celebrity, etc.

Design

I am quite fond of The Hollywood Reporter’s overall look and feel. It has taken the essence of a trade newspaper into the digital space. I always respect when a historic publication such as this one is able to fold some of their classic aesthetic into their web design. As far as a news site is concerned, The Hollywood Reporter looks exceptionally professional and crisp. More so, I would say, than many entertainment news sites out there.

Unlike many clickbait junk-sites, The Hollywood Reporter is not overly cluttered with content, unnecessarily flashy, or sophomoric in the way that it presents itself. Frankly, it looks more like The New York Times than it does, say, Pop Sugar or something like that. Which I love. I don’t know where this idea came from that entertainment news is to be held to a lower standard of journalism than any other kind of news. I definitely appreciate that The Hollywood Reporter takes themselves seriously as a journalistic enterprise, regardless of the kind of content that they tend to report on.

Content

Perhaps the best way to convey the kind of content that The Hollywood Reporter has to offer would be to bring you on a trip through the site’s menu bar, which is conveniently and clearly located at the top of the page – easy enough to navigate without bleeding too much into the actual design of the site proper. Here, you will find a slender and sharply designed portal to everything that The Hollywood Reporter has to offer. I think that you will be pleased, too, with the breadth of content that this site covers.

Navigate the site simply by clicking on any of the following: Movies, TV, Business, Style, Tech, Awards, Culture, Politics, Video, or Sites. As you can see, there is no shortage of content on The Hollywood Reporter. Even if your sole concern is not entertainment news, there will likely be something for you to enjoy on this site – whether it is political or cultural news, fashion or the latest in technological advancements – readers of all walks of life will probably be able to find something of interest.

Mobile and Desktop Experience

As I have already gone on and on about, I love the desktop experience of the site. And, I must say, the site is very well optimized for mobile browsers as well. You will have to deal with a few more pop-ups and ads when accessing the site on your mobile device, but that is to be expected for most news sites like this.

One thing that does bother me, however, is the fact that The Hollywood Reporter doesn’t have an app. This seems like a huge misstep in the year 2020. An app seems all but necessary these days, especially for a news site. In-browser layouts do not always make for the best reading experience on a cell phone. An app could definitely raise The Hollywood Reporter to the status, potentially, of the number one go-to entertainment news site, in my opinion.

Pricing and Plans

The Hollywood Reporter does not offer a monthly subscription option the way that many news outlets are wont to do. Instead, they offer three-yearly subscription options. The options are the following:

-All Access: $199/year; offers archive access, weekly print and digital publication, and exclusive daily publication

-Digital All Access: $129/year; offers all of the above minus the print copies

-Print/Digital: $99/year; just the weekly publication, digital and print

Suggestions that I have for The Hollywood Reporter

Well, as I have sort of elaborated on already, I would like to see this site offer an accompanying app. This is the one thing, in my opinion, that The Hollywood Reporter is truly missing.

Conclusion

If The Hollywood Reporter created an equally well-designed app, as well as cut down their yearly subscription fee, I think it could have the potential to be the perfect entertainment news outlet. As it stands currently, though, it is definitely one that is worth your time.

Likes & Hates:
Tons of content
Constantly updated news
Entertainment, political, cultural, etc. content
Great site design
No app
Kind of pricey