When the topic of discussion is newspapers, it’s easy to get bogged down with depressing stories of disappearing ad revenue and shrinking circulations.
However, the shift to digital has also resulted in many positive developments, including innovative approaches to online publishing. Here are five dailies that have innovative and successful digital versions.
Winner of the 2012 Editor & Publisher EPPY Award for Best Newspaper Website, The Salt Lake Tribune is a daily publication with 25 million page views per month. Using Digital Technology International’s DTI Content Publisher, The Salt Lake Tribune is able to share all digital content for web, print, mobile, and social media using integrated digital newsroom technology. With apps for iOS and Android, the paper reaches mobile users and the regular website is easy to navigate, well organized, and pleasing to the eye.
The Guardian’s website is one of the top newspaper websites in the world, and has long been at the leading edge of the digital transition. A redesign effort in the fourth quarter of 2012 embraced responsive web design, ensuring that mobile users have a good reading experience tailored to their viewing context. The redesign allows the newspaper to push updates and enhancements to several platforms simultaneously. The website is content rich, but not cluttered, and it’s easy for readers to find the content they want.
The South Bend Tribune serves northern Indiana and southern Michigan, and does an especially good job with multimedia reporting, including video reporting. The parent site also includes InTheBend, a local entertainment site that’s easy to navigate, and SBTCars, a dedicated automotive section. The South Bend Tribune also gets high marks for being a strong local community presence, filling a niche that national news sites cannot. Clean typography and easy navigation also make the site a winner with readers.
The Cape Cod Times is really a community portal with a huge variety of content in all formats, including video. It has also made a real effort to integrate with social media, with features like reader polls and photo galleries that appeal to residents and to the large tourist population that visits Cape Cod every year. The overall site presentation is clean and makes content easy to find. This newspaper has made extensive use of databases to create an extensive site that appeals to a range of readers with breaking news, reader blogs, and searchable databases.
Publishing from McHenry County, Illinois, the Northwest Herald has a clean, easy-to-read interface and plentiful news feeds. It includes daily video news, local sports, and special features like in depth documentary videos. In fact, it’s the professional videos covering local stories (like a 2013 blizzard and local high school football teams) that really connect with readers, giving them the stories that they won’t get from the Chicago newspapers.
All five of these innovative newspapers are dedicated to great site design and high quality online content that readers won’t get from other sources. Many of them are making concerted efforts to integrate with social media and use video in their reporting.
As you build your digital publishing strategy, you can get ideas from successful sites like these to help with traffic development and monetization. If you’re building your website’s revenue development strategy, RealMatch invites you to check out their recruiting advertising solutions for media companies and digital publishers. Their custom job board software increases site stickiness and works beautifully with your audience development strategy.