September 25, 2016

Journal launches new website design and merges two sections of the paper

You will notice a few changes to the print and web edition of The Journal this semester. The first change you will notice in this print edition of the paper: we merged what used to be the Lifestyle and Sports sections.

The merge doesn’t mean that we will cover any area of campus or the community less than we covered it the past. The merge is simply an attempt to keep providing contextual information to our readership while serving as a learning platform to our staff. We, like many professional newsrooms in the country, are facing challenges. We are understaffed. We have a strong team, but a small one.

We are a learning platform. We do not want to limit our staff’s experience based on what we as a paper need to fill space. The reporters and the stories they tell deserve more than that. For the remainder of the semester, you will find sports features and traditional “Lifestyle” section content in the section titled “Life & Sports.”  Game coverage and some other traditional “Sports” section content will still be online in a section titled “Sports.”
The next change  pertains to our website. Our webmaster worked on a redesign of websterjournal.com throughout last semester. I’m excited to announce that we launched the new design at the start of this semester. I think and hope readers will find the new website to be more user friendly. Social media and multimedia are more visible in our new design. Also, the responsive aspect to our new website allows readers to more easily view and navigate our content on their mobile phones and tablets.

One of my personal favorite elements of the new design is the ease  with which it aggregates content of stories we regularly cover. This way readers can more easily stay caught up on specific stories that interest them.The new website design allows readers to subscribe to receive a PDF of our print edition every Wednesday morning we publish. To sign up, simply click the “subscribe to our print edition PDF” option; it is a constant bar that appears across the bottom of the screen.
Our online event calendar is easier to search, making it significantly more user-friendly. The Journal will better utilize the calendar with this new design. To submit entries or events to our online event calendar, email the information to websterjournalcalendar@gmail.com

Websterjournal.com’s comment system is also more user-friendly. We strongly encourage readers to voice their opinions and ask questions in comments on our site. Websterjournal.com received an Online Pacemaker Award at the ACP/CMA National College Media Convention in the fall of 2012. More than 16,000 readers visited websterjournal.com in November 2013. I’m confident that our new website design will continue to be successful.

The Journal aims to consistently provide the Webster University and Webster Groves communities with the most current and contextual information using both print and multimedia, while serving as a learning platform for our staff and a forum for our readers. The changes to our website and the merge of our Lifestyle and Sports sections were done in an effort to better serve this vision.

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