Note: We experienced a bit of a glitch over the last two or three days, and some of our published stories did not make it to mobile. We are re-posting a couple of them over the next 24 hours; this is the first.
As part of 1812Blockhouse’s coverage of other local media (we believe we’re the only one that does that, by the way), we share news of change at the venerable Mansfield News Journal.
Not a change in the print version, at least as far as we are aware. Instead, we refer instead to recent changes to the News Journal’s online home.
The News Journal on the web has come a long way since this edition which was published on May 2002. For some time, the paper has been owned by Gannett, the country’s largest media chain. This week, the website has been updated with a new design and presentation, one which apparently is being adopted in most if not all Gannett locations.
According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, for instance, the new uniform look is described using adjectives such as “faster,” “simpler,” and “clearer.” The Shawnee News-Star in Oklahoma adds “blazingly fast,” “efficient,” and “nimble.”
A trip to the new News Journal site reveals that the organization of information has not changed, although there does appear to be an easier user interface.
Although the recent Gatehouse-Gannett merger gave rise to speculation that the new combined company would require all local outlets to use a common content management system (CMS), large Gannett publications, such as the Columbus Dispatch, appear to have not yet gotten that memo.
It has been said that this type of common website is part of large media’s attempt at “scale” — dramatically reducing costs by making everything more or less the same and having centralized production and marketing. One of the key strengths of local independent media, which exists here in Richland County (you’re reading one right now, of course), is that they plug into the uniqueness, character, and personality of the communities they serve.
Still, it’s best of luck to the News Journal.