The new website for Press Gazette coincides with this week’s relauch of the print edition.
Designed by Jody Willis at Abacus E-Media, the new site takes full advantage of today’s larger monitors with a 1,024-pixel page width. In keeping with the redesign of many other news sites, it will also dispense with a left-hand navigation column in favour of a two-column design and horizontal navigation elements.
The relaunched site will give us far more flexibility about how we present images. The wider screen width will allow us to use larger photography and will also give us plenty of space to include videos and other multimedia features.
Each story in the new site will automatically connect to related content in the site’s archive, which includes more than 16,000 Press Gazette stories dating back to the late 1990s. The site’s search functionality, long a leading source of complaints both among readers and staff, is also drastically improved.
While Press Gazette’s existing blogs will continue in their current form, the new site allows readers to leave comments at the foot of certain stories.
A second stage of the relaunch, due to be completed later this year, will integrate a revamped online recruitment platform for journalists and related professions.
While we’re very pleased with the new, cleaner design of the site, much of the improvement will be invisible to the reader.
Abacus’s WebVision content management system will allow Press Gazette to more effectively integrate our print and online workflows.
Like many magazines, Press Gazette still repurposes its printed content by manually stripping copy out of PDF documents after they have been sent to the printer. Using the WebVision CMS should make this tedious and labour-intensive process a thing of the past.
Reporters will file their stories and pictures directly into a database that feeds content both to the website and the magazine sub-editors, speeding up the production process.
In print, Press Gazette has had more new looks over the years than David Bowie (whose career spans back nearly as far). Launched in newsprint on A4 in 1965 as UK Press Gazette, it went on to become a full-colour magazine tabloid in the mid-Nineties, briefly becoming UKPG (a name which has stuck for many readers) before dropping the UK altogether and becoming Press Gazette.
The new look, masterminded by designer Michael Crozier, sees a new logo in place which places greater emphasis on the word “press” and incorporates our new slogan: “For all journalists”.
This underlines the fact that “press” in our case is meant in the broadest sense of the word, encompassing all journalists wherever they work.
And unlike the early days – when this magazine was exclusively available to bona fide journalists – we hope that all those interested in the fascinating machinations of the fourth estate will find it worth their while to read Press Gazette.
Inside, the design packs more stories to the page, with a heavier and punchier headline font and includes new sections such as The Knowledge – a double-page spread of essential training tips.
On page 2, we have created a new digest section called “seven days” and a forward-looking section called “agenda” which both aim to give busy journalists an easy-to-use round-up of all they need to know.
The abiding philosophy behind the relaunch is that – as well as continuing to report the news behind the news, without fear or favour, and standing up for journalists and journalism – Press Gazette will also be an essential guide to help journalists navigate their way through an industry which is changing incredibly fast.
Editorially, we can also promise more campaigns such as Don’t Kill FoI, which earlier this year helped persuade the Government to shelve plans to drastically water down the Freedom of Information Act.
We considered switching back to A4, but decided to stick with the tabloid size because we felt that news carries more impact on the bigger page.
After going out of business for a week last November, when previous owners Mathew Freud and Piers Morgan failed to find a buyer, Press Gazette is now looking firmly set for the future.
The relaunch, both online and in print, represents a major investment from new owner Wilmington and a commitment, as launch owner Colin Valder wrote back in 1965, to “provide journalists with a weekly newspaper devoted exclusively to the problems, personalities and practice of our craft”.