O-R launches new website

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After more than a year of planning and development, the Observer-Reporter announces the launch of its redesigned website.


The new site was rolled out in a soft launch last month, and figures prominently in the newspaper’s strategic vision as the company advances in the digital publishing arena.


Lucy Northrop Corwin, director of news, noted that while digital publishing is key to the newspaper industry’s continued viability, the print product remains an important part of the business.


“We have no intention of abandoning our print product,” she said. “But we do know that we have to grow digitally from all of our platforms, including social media, to deliver a complete news package to our readers.”


Using cloud-based technology, the new site enables the newspaper’s award-winning journalists to deliver stories real-time as they develop. Plus, stories now can be enhanced with more photos and videos for a complete multimedia experience.


Among new home page additions are a rotating gallery of the top stories of the day; expanded sections devoted to news, sports and opinion; a daily “Spotlight” feature showcasing a special story or video, and a multimedia section to highlight the work of our photojournalists. An Energy section front was created to help readers stay abreast of developments in the gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar and power distribution industries. The sports section has been organized into pages dedicated to high school, college and professional sports and the Steelers. And the obituary page – one of the site’s most visited – now includes photos and is better organized for reader useability.


The popular commenting feature has returned to the website. Registration is required for posting comments, and can be done one of two ways: by providing a name and email address on the site or through Facebook.


The newspaper’s social media presence is also prominently displayed, with Twitter and Facebook feeds appearing on the home page and news and sports pages.


The site will continue to be developed and enhanced in the coming months, with mobile apps targeted for launch sometime in 2013.


We welcome feedback and comments about the new website. Send them to Lucy Northrop Corwin at lnorthrop@observer-reporter.com or Liz Rogers at lrogers@observer-reporter.com/.


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