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March 30 2010

07:57

New Guardian.co.uk homepage adds multimedia and flexible storytelling to design

The Guardian has today launched a new homepage for its website, Guardian.co.uk.

While the design is similar to other pages on the site, it has been revamped to give more prominence to long-running stories and to allow more flexibility for incorporating multimedia and breaking news coverage.

Explaining the changes in a blog post, Guardian.co.uk editor Janine Gibson also makes a dig at News International’s recently announced paywall plan for the Times and Sunday Times online:

We wanted to be able to convey the importance of stories using different methods of presentation and we’re aware that sometimes it’s been hard to find our coverage of a long-running story if nothing new has happened today so we’ve introduced spaces to keep important subjects alive. We also wanted to be able to embed live stats in the front page as we inch towards a UK election and, perhaps most importantly, we need the front page to be a more flexible space so we can change what we’re doing in response to events. In a way that seems incredibly symbolic in today’s context, but didn’t at all when we started thinking about the front page many months ago, we wanted it to be very open, and to change shape to reflect stories, communities and what the wider web is up to. The opposite of putting it behind a wall.

New features include a “trending” section, directing users to content on the key topics of the day, and a “campaigns and investigations” box towards the top of the page. The “latest multimedia” section gives audio and video content pride of place, while a “what you’re saying” panel further down the page gives users more prominence, says Gibson.

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March 17 2010

14:44

Users commission Guardian’s Comment is Free for the day

The Guardian’s online discussion site, Comment is Free, has turned four, and to celebrate the occasion it has opened up its commissioning process to the users, the results of which can be seen at this link.

CiF editor Matt Seaton writes today:

It seems a good moment then, this fourth birthday, to mark the evolution of Cif in this direction by having thrown open the commissioning of articles to you, our users. Obviously, it’s our selection of your ideas – not easy, as there were multitudes to pick from – and depending on what happens news-wise today, we may feel compelled to add a few pieces of our own devising. But essentially, we’re celebrating today by having you guys guest-edit the site. It’s a way of saying thank you, as the commissioning we do based on suggestions in the You tell us threads is really helping Cif- bringing a freshness and diversity to the site.

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January 21 2010

13:24

Audio: Alan Rusbridger on pay walls

The audio is now available for Alan Rusbridger’s appearance at Coventry University last week. It’s a little patchy in quality but worth a listen for his comments in full: http://podcasting.services.coventry.ac.uk/podcasting/index.php?id=298

As reported by Marc Johnson for Journalism.co.uk, the Guardian editor expressed optimism about the future of the newspaper last Friday, despite reported losses of up to £100,000 per day late last year:

Speaking at this year’s second Coventry Conversation talk, run by the Coventry University journalism department, Rusbridger said that despite significant losses the Guardian had no plans to put up pay walls.

Discussing Rupert Murdoch’s plans to charge for News International’s online content, Rusbridger said: “It would be crazy if we were to all jump behind a pay wall and imagine that would solve things.” He conceded that, whilst pay walls are unlikely to be erected around Guardian.co.uk, it was good that journalism was “trying different things.”

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