For the last few weeks we’ve been updating you on changes happening across the Chalkbeat network. But while we’ve teased our staff and our new reader-engagement initiatives, we haven’t yet shown you what will change most dramatically: our website.
We’re excited to announce that Chalkbeat will launch new websites in each of our four bureaus on Jan. 7. The relaunch will be the first change to Chalkbeat Indiana since we went live with our current, very basic, site in October — and the overhaul is designed not just to look great but to improve the way we connect with readers.
Today we’re sharing a sneak peek of what articles will look like on the new site. Check out the screenshot above, then read the annotations below.
1. In the article highlights, we’ll give readers a way to understand the bottom line for each story at a single glance — sort of a “tl;dr” for longer and more complex stories.
2. The backstory will offer a snapshot of the broader context behind the article, to help readers get up to speed when they’re new to an issue such as teacher evaluations or the high school admissions process. The backstory sidebar will link to more detailed descriptions of important topics and offer readers a quick way to get to the most important related stories.
3. A big photo will let us tell stories visually, giving readers a sense of place when they read articles.
4. Our logo will have a drop-down menu with our other bureaus — Colorado, New York and Tennessee — so readers can easily jump from one site to another and see how education issues are playing out in different places.
5. Social sharing icons will allow you to easily share stories that you like with friends and colleagues on social media networks.
All together, the new site is designed to highlight the most important stories of the moment, give our readers the context behind the day’s big stories and new ways to engage with the stories, and present our reporting more clearly. Stay tuned.