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Black Press website tweak: pass or fail?

February 25, 2011

We’ve seen hints of this over the past couple months, but this week (or maybe last?) Black Press tweaked their websites. The sites now feature, above the video bar: one top story with a photo, lede and largish headline; a secondary story with a thumbnail photo and a smaller, but still prominent headline; and 15 small headlines. The stuff below the bar remains the same.

What this does is place more news stories on the front page. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a very good tweak. There are more headlines to catch the eye and no longer will I have to click the “more news” tab when I’m feeling especially curious about what interesting stories the paper may have produced.

The only thing I’d change is that I would add a deck headline to the secondary story; although given that most of the stories are shoveled onto the sites by web folk far removed from the editorial process, that’s probably not practical.

Your thoughts?

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  1. February 27, 2011 at 10:31 am

    To add to what Kim said, at the Revelstoke Times Review we started uploading our own stories a while ago because the system they had would produce such terrible results. Stories that jumped from one page to another would have both sections uploaded separately, photos that were cropped on the page would show up too small on the website and some stories would show up in the wrong sections. It would take just as much time to fix everything as it would to just upload the stories ourselves.
    The other problem was that they would upload everything Monday night when the paper would come out Wednesday, so if we had a good, exclusive feature held for the paper, it would be spoiled by being posted online first. Doing the uploads ourselves means we can stagger when the stories get posted, meaning the website doesn’t “scoop” the paper and stories written for the paper get posted at different times rather than all at once, keeping the website fresher. Our page views used to spike tremendously on Tueday’s and decline from there; now they’re much more balanced.

  2. February 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Actually, within the next three weeks, all Black Press papers will be responsible for uploading their own content, so I expect the quality of the uploads to increase quite a bit.

    To be honest, because the people uploading our website(s) were so far removed from the process, often we would have to log on the next day to “fix” multiple stories. So, even though it will end up being more work for the editorial team, the website product will be better now.

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