local newspaper rantings

August 28, 2002

Our only actual print newspaper in town has frequently been a pain in my…er side. While I prefer reading Chattanoogan.com, I need some of the little stories about the region. So, I have to read our local paper either in print or their online version.

When they redesigned, it was a change for the better, until they mention that they are going to charge for subscriptions to both the html and “uber” versions. The “uber” version is laid out exactly like the paper and allows you to see the paper as you would hold it. Good huh? Maybe. While I can go to top national news sources like the Washington Post and New York Times for free, aside from registration, I have to pay for our local paper’s online version or don’t read it.

They’re the top paper in town and voted the “Best Newspaper in Tennessee”, but their online version is lacking. Poor web standards and just layout in general.. If I was going to design a newspaper site for the 21st century I would do something different. After experimenting with Movable Type, I would use it to power the site. This would also enable people to comment on the stories and I would love to use the trackback feature to enable more discussion on local events…..after heavily adding a disclaimer. While The LA Examiner isn’t a publication, per se, it’s a good example of using simple tools to put news into an easy format.

Just for grins, I’m going to put together a prototype in my free time (ha!). I need another site in my portfolio 🙂