Starting Monday, The News-Gazette will begin a transformation of its Web site.
The site, www.news-gazette.com , was redesigned in-house with a new appearance and revised menus that are intended to make navigating easier.
"While our Web site draws tremendous traffic from the public, the look and feel of the site were growing badly dated," said John Foreman, News-Gazette editor and publisher. "Visitors will surely find this a more attractive, more friendly, more usable site."
In addition to a new look, the online site will focus on breaking news. Two reporters, Mary Schenk and Tim Mitchell, already are working full time as breaking news reporters, covering crime, fires, weather emergencies, power outages and other public safety matters. The site also will use the resources of the weekly newspapers owned by The News-Gazette Inc., as well as radio station WDWS.
The site will remain free.
"Our goal is to provide an unduplicated source of news for the convenience of our subscribers," Foreman said. "Those who read the paper in the morning will be able to check back in during the day or the evening to find updates and summaries of new events that have developed throughout the day.
"Bringing together the resources of the outstanding WDWS news team, our regional community newspapers as well as The News-Gazette will ultimately create the most comprehensive site for breaking news anywhere in East Central Illinois."
The site is expected to evolve during the next several weeks to include more ways for users to interact with one another. Feeds from The News-Gazette's Twitter users will be together on the site, and commenting will be allowed on more stories than has been the case.
Some features of the previous site will not be immediately available on the new site.
An improved version of The News-Gazette's "green" edition, an online version of the printed paper, will be available soon.
Columns and blogs by News-Gazette staffers will begin to appear on the site as well.
Over time, interviews recorded as audio and video files will be available online. N-G photographers will post galleries of additional photos, and users will be able to upload their own photos as well.
The site also will collect and post government and other documents to help provide information and background for users, as it did in the Kiwane Carrington and Category I investigations.