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TMZ

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3/5 User rating

tmz.com

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TMZ is a very big name in the entertainment news industry. Their coverage has always been swift and mostly accurate. TMZ has broken news about celebrity run-ins with law enforcement, breakups, and other drama.

TMZ was launched in 2005. It’s rise to popularity is largely contributed to their quick headlines. The website won awards shortly after its launch. In 2007 Newsweek named TMZ “Breakout Blog of 2007.”

Website Design

The TMZ scheme is red, black, and white colors with a stylized text. The logo is simply the name – TMZ in red. The aesthetic looks very tacky, but it is what the company has always used, so at this point, it would be confusing to change it.

The layout is clean and organized. The overall vibe of the website screams tabloids. However, despite the funky style of the pages, the website functions well. There is a very small advertisement in the header, but it is barely noticeable.

The social buttons are at the top and easy to find. The website navigation is another good feature. Not only is the website organized, but the homepage is a great example of how entertainment websites should set up their breaking news. Beneath the header is a strategically placed lineup of popular news stories.

Content

TMZ focuses mainly on celebrity news and gossip. The website claims to report Hollywood as it “truly is.” The website doesn’t hold back on criticisms of celebs, nor do they spare any details. Apart from celebrity news, TMZ also covers sports and offers tours.

The website hosts a large number of photos and videos. The photos are often paparazzi-style without celebs having knowledge of being photographed. Sometimes they get nice candids of them in public, but in other moments it seems like they invade the privacy of people trying to live their lives. The videos section includes a lot of interviews. TMZ Newsroom is a portion of the videos. This segment fuels controversial celebrity news with references for the basis of their claims. An unfortunate issue with the website’s videos is that the closed captioning on it is incorrect.

TMZ Sports covers a variety of sports-related topics. There are videos, photos, and articles released about fans’ favorite sports teams and players. Currently, on the front page of the sports section is a video of a women’s college basketball teams brawling. Other stories report players that have found themselves in hot water or relationship woes.

The website also hosts celebrity tours. Clicking the tours button on the main menu directs viewers to another website. The homepage has a large bus with the TMZ logo on it and passengers smiling and waving with cameras in hand. The tours are throughout Hollywood and promise passengers they may see celebs on their two-hour route. Tickets are available for a whopping $50 apiece for adults. For children that are accompanying, the ticket price is $29. There is a large slideshow of celebrity encounters and interactions.

Desktop & Mobile Accessibility

The desktop version of TMZ is flawless. The website may look tacky, but it functions very well. There aren’t many issues with the website. One of the only ones I could find after digging was the incorrect closed captions on videos.

The TMZ mobile browser is also formatted well. The browser is optimized for mobile viewing. It collapses the sidebar that is on the website and sticks to only one column. The main menu is made slightly smaller, but the collapsing menu more than makes up for it. The font size is large and easily readable. There is one small advertisement that floats near the bottom of the webpage, but it is not very noticeable.

At the top of the mobile browser, TMZ prompts viewers to download their application. It has very high ratings in the app store with a 4.78-star score. The app is formatted similarly to the mobile browser but appears cleaner and more streamlined.

Positives

There are a few positive features of TMZ. They do a very good job of updating their social media. Their ability to break news quicker than most websites is also very impressive.

The webpage hosts very few advertisements, which is always a plus in my book. There is a small header advertisement that is usually tailored to viewer interests. There are also a few ads in the sidebar. Overall, there aren’t very many.

There is such a large amount of content to choose from on the website it can be overwhelming. The news is never-ending and constantly being updated. Readers have the choice of scrolling through photos of their favorite celebs, watching video interviews, and reading up on the latest drama.

Negatives

Although TMZ is one of the front-runners in the entertainment news business, there are a few negative features about them. Firstly, the website design and color scheme reek of sketchy tabloids. The design feels like I can’t trust the news source. Some of the headlines are also very tasteless.

A negative feature I discovered on the accident was that the closed captioning is often incorrect. I am unsure if they use software to transcribe the audio to text or if someone does so manually, but unfortunately, there were many errors. This is troublesome for viewers with hearing impairments. Hopefully, TMZ will work on bettering this feature in the future.

Lastly, possibly the worst part about TMZ is some of the actions reporters take. Recently, the website has come under fire for releasing the news of a celebrity’s death. Typically, this is not a problem. However, in this situation, the website released this news before the family was made aware of the situation. Due to this, they were given devastating information from an entertainment news outlet.

Improvements Needed

TMZ could use a few improvements. Their website design is not the worst, but their color scheme and overall look feel sketchy and reminiscent of tabloids. There is a balance with this particular entertainment news website. There are some things they get really right and a couple of things that they get wrong.

One major improvement TMZ should do is correct the closed captions on their videos. At first, I didn’t realize the mistake, but the further I watched the TMZ Newsroom videos the more I realized the issue. Fortunately, I was listening to the audio and could understand the interview. However, hearing-impaired individuals would not be getting the correct information in these videos. TMZ should remedy this mistake quickly. A quick review before posting would be extremely helpful.

Next, TMZ has always been the first to report on large scale celebrity drama, breakups, and deaths. It is one of the reasons the brand is so successful. However, the recent controversy over them breaking news of a celebrity’s death before their family was contacted by authorities is unacceptable. This behavior has put a ding in their reputation and I can only hope that they will do better and show more respect in these situations going forward.

Summary

There are many entertainment websites that focus on celebrity drama, break-ups, and more. At the top of the list is TMZ. The website is quick to report news, frequently provides updates, and manages to get their hands on information no other websites can find.

There are positives and negatives about TMZ. Some of the positives include their incredibly fast news coverage, the plethora of content online, and their overall website functions. A few negative features are their skeezy way of releasing information that should not be public yet, their respect for boundaries in some situations, and their broken closed captioning on videos. Overall, the website is good. It is the best place to watch for new headlines and stay updated.

Likes & Hates:
There is a wide variety of content
The headlines are interesting
Photo galleries are a positive feature
The website functions well
The mobile viewing is good
The closed captioning on videos are captioned incorrectly
The website has a tabloid vibe that feels unprofessional
TMZ has released news about celebrity deaths before their family has been made aware
Their respect for boundaries is questionable