ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
A much-changed Web site will greet online readers of the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review today, one with an aim to be more regionally expansive and more interactive.
The new site also reflects a change in the philosophy of daily production. The sections of the newspaper and the corresponding sections on the Web site will be overseen and managed by the same editorial teams.
“This is actually not so much a new Web site as it is a reorganization of the entire news operation to produce a newspaper integrated with the Internet,” said David Judson, the Daily News’ editor-in-chief. “It’s kind of like asking the musicians in a band to play two instruments at once. It is difficult, but this is what the making of journalistic music demands today.”
The changes reflect the introduction of a great deal of new technology, most of it invisible to readers but now very much a part of the life of reporters and editors. Creating both a newspaper and a Web site from a common design platform, or “extranet” in industry jargon, has been much discussed in the news business but seldom successfully implemented, according to Judson.
He added that a primary advantage enjoyed by the newspaper is a young staff that is deeply familiar with technology and its uses. While most newspapers cope with the “legacy” of entrenched technologies and ways of using them, the Daily News is faced with the opposite, he said. “In place of so-called legacy challenges, we face a challenge that might be called a ‘net generation premium.’ Our task is to put that premium to work.”
For readers, some of the changes are largely aesthetic such as the matching of the colors, logos and headline styles of the newspaper with those of the Web site. Some of the changes, including easier access to the main thematic stories, are designed for ease of use. And some innovations involved bringing elements used in the newspaper into the Web site for the first time. These include the introduction of regional international news grouped by river basin and the organization of business news by industrial sector for the first time. The regional international news, under a new section name “Regionscape,” is largely gathered through a network of new partnerships with organizations ranging from the daily Kathimerini in Athens to the Khaleej Times in Dubai, with many others in between.
The overall Web site has also been reorganized to accommodate new technological applications, from interactive blogs to reader surveys to multimedia reporting that can blend text, audio and even video.
“Like everything at the Daily News, this is a work-in-progress, we are learning as we go and we don’t expect everything to be perfect on Day 1,” Judson said. “But this is a dramatic step for us, and it takes us into a deeper and more communicative relationship with our readers.”
Judson emphasized that the changes will also mean changes in the printed newspaper. For example, he said, with the greater emphasis on breaking news and updates online, the Weekend newspaper should become home to longer and more narrative journalism, and this will be a goal in coming months.
The newspaper, founded in 1961, joined the Doğan Media Group as the Turkish Daily News in 2001 and formally became a subsidiary of the DMG flagship Hürriyet in 2006. In late 2008, the newspaper was renamed the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. In addition to its collaboration with parent Hürriyet, the Daily News also works with its other sister newspapers, including business daily Referans and general interest dailies Milliyet, Radikal and Vatan.