NewsLocal has undertaken the first major overhaul of its 20 community newspapers since 2011 with a new logo, redesign and a revamp of its sections.
The NSW local newspaper arm of News Corp Australia launched its redesigned mastheads this week with the aim of delivering more of its content in a “clean and easy to read” format.
NewsLocal editor-in-chief Kathy Lipari said the redesign made it easier for audiences to consume content in print, online and through social media and reflects the division’s commitment to local.
“We wanted to have a look at our sections, modernise the content in our sections and make it a little more dynamic and respond to reader feedback and market research about the types of things people want to see in their local papers,” Ms Lipari said.
As part of the redesign, more features will be included in page layouts surrounded by smaller articles and editorial devices such as “’Can you beat this?’ or ‘Have you seen?’ – little tidbits to help keep readers entertained throughout our pages”.
The division’s new logo conveys the theme of “starting a local conversation” and includes a speech bubble, change of colour from red to blue and change from upper-case to lower-case type.
NewsLocal general manager Michael Wilkins said the rebrand provides the opportunity to refresh the division’s face to both readers and advertisers.
“We already know the importance of regional and community newspapers in framing local issues and we look to grow on their value by continuing to evolve the NewsLocal brand and mastheads,” he said.
NewsLocal’s various sections have also had a major revamp including the pets, homes, education, food and drink and what’s on sections.
Ms Lipari said not all sections were completely new, but would have new content and a new way of displaying the content.
The revamped sections will feature columnists writing across all 20 mastheads, some new and some existing NewsLocal writers. These include:
- Greg Whitby, described as an education innovator, and executive director of schools in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, writing for the education section
- Miranda Murphy, journalist for The Australian and mother of three, whose column brings “a witty and entertaining look at parenting in the modern era”.
- Ed Halmagyi, Better Homes and Gardens’ chef, writing for the food section
- Dr Anne Fawcett, a veterinarian, who will write for the pets section
A marketing campaign to support the redesign will feature 20 videos shot in the local areas of each NewsLocal masthead.
The videos will feature residents discussing what they love about their local area and what they value about their local newspaper.
The redesign was significantly guided by extensive market research conducted between the end of 2014 and early 2015 under the title, “Project Sunshine”.
NewsLocal was rebranded from Cumberland Courier Newspapers in 2011 and publishes 20 newspapers including Inner West Courier, Manly Daily, Parramatta Advertiser, Central Sydney and North Shore Times.
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