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Friday, 22 January 2016 12:03

To our readers: Redesign months in the making

Written by 

Welcome to the redesigned Walworth County Sunday, Stateline News and Janesville Messenger.

The new look papers will arrive at your home this weekend.

We hear a lot of talk about the decline of the printed newspaper and what the news business will be like a few short years from now.

Will there be a printed newspaper delivered to your home in the near future?

When people ask me that, I wonder about the companies that started buying up radio stations when TV first gained popularity.

It turns out that radio didn’t die; it evolved and remained a profitable business.

I expect the same will happen to the printed newspaper. In fact, our current advertiser-supported, free community newspaper model may be the way of the future.

For me, it’s a great time to be part of the news business.

Over the past few years, we have evolved from a newspaper that publishes twice a week to one that covers news daily on our websites, instantly through social media and in greater depth in our weekly publications.

In fact, our overall readership remains consistently strong. Growth in our communities means growth in our print distribution, and we continue to grow readership online from throughout the country.

It’s within that context that we unveil this, your newly redesigned Janesville Messenger.

In many ways we’re more like a magazine than a traditional newspaper by providing a snapshot of life each week in our communities.

With that, we connect our readers with our advertisers who are the key to our financial success and our future.

Our goal is to make our print product easier to use for readers and advertisers, as well as integrate it with our online platforms.

Here are some of the highlights:

The front page has a new look, which better reflects our strong commitment to photojournalism and the in-depth focus of our main stories.

The navigation at the top now lies above the fold to entice a glance into the turn of a page.

Layout has been improved to draw readers through the whole paper -- from page one to the end, so readers can find value in the stories, photographs and advertising on each page.

We’ve simplified our font set to make the flow of the page easier to follow from top to bottom. The basic text font in our stories appears larger and is easier to read.

Our graphic elements are inspired by recent trends in design for mobile devices.

Online, we’re focusing on optimizing our stories for mobile devices. During the busy evening hours before bed, regularly 80 percent of the readers who come to our websites are using their phones or iPads.

We’ve also added the ability to place classified ads for the paper directly online. Classifieds always have been our bread and butter because they are so effective, and this is one new tool for our readers.

In a way, our new design is a celebration of our confidence in the future of the news business.

Of course, improvement is a continual process, so please give us feedback on our new design.

We appreciate that you took the time to read this week’s paper, shop our advertisers and we hope to keep serving you well into the future.



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