LTN staff reports
Online readers of the Lincoln Times-News may have received a pleasant surprise when they checked out the newspaperâ€™s website starting Monday morning.
The Times-Newsâ€™ online presence has been reinvented with an entirely new format and look. The new site was launched quietly this week.
â€œWe wanted to roll it out without too much fanfare while we made sure the major features were working correctly,â€ Managing Editor Frank Taylor explained.
â€œWeâ€™re still in the process of adding components and tweaking a few things. Itâ€™s a bit like weâ€™ve moved into our dream house, but still have to finish furnishing it.â€
The site replaces an older version that was based on outdated 1990s technology, limiting its versatility.
The new site is designed to be much easier to navigate, allow easier searches for older content, be more aesthetically appealing, offer a gallery for viewing photos and provide advertisers a much more sophisticated platform to reach their customers.
One important change is the inclusion of â€œBreaking Newsâ€ prominently on the main page.
â€œWe rarely updated the old site between editions of the newspaper,â€ Taylor said. â€œThe old technology was just too clunky to bother with most of the time.
â€œNow we are dedicated to updating with news briefs of interest whenever a story breaks. Readers will still get the full story in the print edition, which will post online on our Monday, Wednesday and Friday publication dates. But weâ€™ll be able to provide valuable news online at all times.â€
That â€œBreaking Newsâ€ feature took on a special meaning this week as a violent storm lashed Lincolnton on Sunday, hurling a tree through the roof of the Post Office.
â€œWe didnâ€™t plan for our re-launch to coincide with coverage of Sundayâ€™s storm,â€ Taylor said.
â€œBut that kind of unpredictable story â€” which also knocked out our office power for several hours â€” gave us both a challenge and an opportunity. Among our first â€˜Breaking Newsâ€™ items Monday afternoon: â€˜Post Office reopens.â€™Â â€