Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Daily News tinkers with its online presence

Prince Rupert's Daily newspaper continues to try and find the right mix for its on line portal to the world wide web, with a refurbishment of their recently launched website.

The new re-launch seems to have taken effect over the weekend, with content from the Thursday and Friday papers posted to the Daily News site, gone for now it appears is an archive of the recent online issues, which if it should be a permanent decision is unfortunate, especially for chroniclers of the ebb and flow of life in Rupert on a day to day basis. We would imagine this is only a temporary absence while they work out the bugs in the new format for their online delivery and switch over to their latest option for information storage.
Still in effect on their site however is the two day embargo on news, with an advisory still prominent on the welcome page advising that stories won't be posted for a full two days after their publication date, a process that perhaps protects their print version but then would seem to be leaving them to bring up the end of the news parade, especially when it comes to the instant, "News Now" era of the Internet.

Also, it appears that some of the stories that go to print don't make the cut for the online edition, which may leave Rupertites wondering about what is and what isn't considered important news in the community by the on line editorial gurus, as well the sports section still doesn't get it's own space in the daily updates, only featured on the top masthead, which will be frustrating for sports fans on the north coast.

There is the potential for better linkage it seems with the new launch however, for example the Friday edition's on line version of the Canpotex story features a working link to the template for the letter of support that the Chamber of Commerce was urging locals to send to the Potash corporation, though as the item was being posted to the website, the deadline for the letters to be sent had already passed, making the article seem just a tad behind the times on the issue.

Still, it's that kind of connectivity that makes the delivery of the news current and relevant so the opportunity for the reporters to provide background links to the online stories, if they continue to utilize it, that will enhance their reporting of those stories.

The relaunch appears to be a work in progress, so we'll be watching and reading their offerings with interest, anxious to see how things move forward as the paper tries to come to terms with the Internet and how best to present their product on it.

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