Tahlequah Daily Press

September 18, 2013

Pardon our dust while we grow


staff

TAHLEQUAH — When it comes to producing the newspaper and maintaining our online products and social media sites, it’s been business as usual this week at the office – but with a twist. We’ve been replacing the carpeting, following on the heels of an interior painting project that was on tap last month.

By now, almost everyone in Tahlequah has noticed that new carpeting, paint and bold signs, both indoors and out, aren’t the only changes we’ve made. A few months ago, we started building our social media presence, starting with Twitter; our Facebook page had already been in place for a couple of years. We’ve added other sites – like Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ – to the mix, and created a colorful digital logo. Multimedia Editor Sheri Gourd is developing a plan of action that will offer readers more ways to connect with us.

But the most dramatic change came last week, when we unveiled our new print design. We’ve spent a couple of months looking at other standout publications, selecting fonts and building graphic elements to incorporate into our new “look.” No newspaper can be all things to all people, and there are always going to be folks who don’t like what any given publication is doing with its look or content. But so far, the vast majority of opinions we’ve heard on our redesign have been positive.

Readers will have immediately noticed the most obvious transformations: a bold new front-page “flag,” the addition of more graphics, larger photos, a spotlight on our online presence, and crisper standing heads and column blocks. More subtle, but just as important, is our move away from the old “Times” body copy to a more modern font. Almost everyone we’ve talked to has commented on the improved readability, though they might not be able to put their finger on exactly what’s changed about the text. In a nutshell, we’re using a clearer, cleaner and more “open” typeface. If you compare our current editions with one from earlier this month, you’ll see what we mean.

Another addition to the lineup is our “online exclusives” component. This is a bonus feature especially for print subscribers, to help familiarize them with our website, www.tahlequahTDP.com. Our website offers a selection of the “best of the best” from each day’s print edition, but it also boasts sidebars to stories in the paper, as well as standalone features, that you can’t find anywhere else.

Enhanced digital products have augmented our multimedia company in other ways, too. For instance, in the past, high school football fans had to wait two days to read all about it in the Sunday edition. But this season, Sports Editor Ben Johnson is posting game stories Friday night and Saturday morning to our website – which means readers can now get their prep football recaps at least 24 hours earlier than they have in years past. And folks who follow Ben on Twitter (@BenJohnsonTDP) can get play-by-play action through his tweets.

It’s a changing world when it comes to the media, and the Tahlequah Daily Press is changing with it. Stay tuned and watch us grow!