The Highlander staff revamped the newspaper website to offer web-exclusive features and information, audio and more.
The makeover will allow readers to interact with with news, sports and information on the site.
Editors said they knew the site needed to change.
“I think the website was underutilized and really just not publicized,” said print editor-in-chief and senior medical imaging major Donya Forst. “A lot of people on campus don’t even know we have a website. Now that we are working on it and trying new things, we want to promote it because we are proud of it and the work we all put into it. We really just can’t wait for people to see it and to hear feedback on what we can do to make it even more appealing to the student body.”
Cori Aull senior accounting and math major, said she was not aware of the newspaper’s website. “I am glad that I now know that this site exists and is a resource that I can turn to.”
The old website offered only a duplicate version of the printed paper, known in the industry as “shovelware,” which forced viewers to wait two weeks to get new and updated information. Now staffers will regularly post content so readers can enjoy timely information.
“The website was not getting the attention it should, and quite honestly I don’t believe in the past it really highlighted particular events that students were really interested in. It was just a duplicate of the paper that came out every week,” Forst said.
The new site will include web exclusives and shorter versions of the stories on the web to make sure readers are getting information quickly and staying interested.
“It would be really good to get more information in a smaller read because at times I lose interest when a story is too long,” Aull said. “So, having the stories be shorter on the website would be really helpful because I can quickly go into the site read the story fast and get all the information I want to have in half the time it would take me if I were to be reading it from the physical paper.”
The hard copies are staying put for those who want more detailed and comprehensive stories. “If they want the down and dirty version for a quick glimpse on the way to class, online is the way to go. They can get the basic facts and summary of the article with a more visual approach,” said Forst.
Photos will be web-exclusive content.
Aull said a photo “really draws” her in because if it relates to a topic that interests her, she would be “more inclined in reading that story.”
For the first time, users will also be able to listen to sound clips. Music clips on the web will complement a new local music column in the print version of the newspaper.
“I do not really know about the local bands, but having the ability to listen to their music straight from the site would be something that would most definitely interest me because I am always looking for new music, and I can broaden my playlist by listening to those sound clips,” Aull said.
Forst said the web and print versions will complement each another and serve to direct readers back and forth between platforms.
“Maybe readers will check out our new column on local bands, listen to a song posted on our website, and immediately be searching for where the band is playing next because they love the small piece of music they heard. It will be a good way to not only connect Misericordia with the community, but also to give students on campus an idea of something fun and exciting to do,” said Forst.
Additionally, the site will feature a sports schedule so students can keep up with their favorite teams, and staffers will add game scores to keep users up-to-date.
“Having the sports teams’ schedules and the scores of games posted to the site would be really helpful because I would know when my friend’s games are and know the outcome of the game even if I could not physically be there to see it,” said Aull.
Another new feature is a widget on the homepage, which will allow easy access to sports schedules, scores, game highlights, and the regular Athlete of the Week feature.
Forst said students love sports, and the site will feature exclusive information about teams and coaches, and students can learn a little bit more about the players in the Athlete of the Week section.