Trinity Mirror will start the overhaul of its regional newspaper websites this week with the relaunch of the Liverpool Echo and the Liverpool Daily Post sites.
Trinity Mirror director of regional digital media David Black said the new web templates followed research which included observing 15 readers as they used the old and the new sites.
The new sites will have greater emphasis on both multimedia content and encouraging user interactivity, said Black. Editors will have the option of enabling user comments on selected news stories, and readers will be able to rate stories with a five-star scale, with the results featuring in a ‘most popular stories’panel on the front page.
The sites make increased use of online forums and blogs and Trinity Mirror has opted not to pre-moderate the comments made on the new community features.
‘It wouldn’t be feasible to moderate everything, and also the legal advice we’re getting, which is probably the same as all the major publishers get, is that it’s actually legally safer to post-moderate than to pre-moderate content,’said editorial director Neil Benson.
In 2006, the Liverpool titles were the first to have their websites rebranded under their newspaper names, as Trinity Mirror sought to make better use of its newspaper brands online.
l Trinity Mirror is rolling out a multimedia training programme for journalists across its regional division.
The programme includes week-long video journalism courses and one-day online journalism workshops.
More than 50 Trinity Mirror journalists have already attended a week-long video journalism course run in conjunction with the University of Teesside, and the group hopes to increase this to 70 by the end of this year.