'Franconian News' embraces new browser-friendly format
April 4, 2013
ANSBACH, Germany (April 4, 2013) -- "The Franconian News," the weekly news source for U.S. Army garrisons Ansbach, Bamberg and Schweinfurt, has a new face at www.army.mil. The home page for the already digital newspaper adds a new dimension of interactivity, accessibility and immediacy for the reader.
Print journalism has changed drastically over the 20th century, not merely in content and production but in form and distribution. Possibly the largest shift in its form has been the near-universality of home computing, which has allowed readers the opportunity to read news stories online from their computer screens or mobile devices rather than from a traditional paper media.
"The Franconian News" (or "On the Scene" as it was known before October 2011) has straddled the line between digital and print for years. In its digital format it mimics the traditional tabloid layout, lacking only the physical paper upon which to be printed.
This format is still available. Readers can browse through a "flip book" that simulates the pages of a newspaper. They may also download the paper as a portable document format or PDF. Organizations can print this version of the paper and leave it in the lobby for guests to read as they do at Brainard Hall in the Urlas community.
Below the header of the "Franconian News" website is a body section sandwiched between two sidebars. The body contains news stories from around the Franconia Military Community. The top pane of the body section features a general interest news story from the garrisons. Below that are sections each for Ansbach, Bamberg and Schweinfurt. Below those panes is a section on stories from around the FMC and more.
The left sidebar contains links to various relevant websites, including the home pages of each of the FMC garrisons, each garrison's Facebook page as well as Ansbach's community relations page, the announcements for each garrison as well as a list of off-post activities, several army.mil news links and more, and links to USAG Ansbach's ICE Comment form and a crime-reporting link.
The right sidebar contains U.S. Army Europe videos, the Installation Management Command and FMC mission statement, a message from the FMC command and the biographies of the command team.
For the readers, the vast difference between the older layout format and the newer website format is one of preference. Once opened, the newspaper format has available every story, standalone picture, announcement and poster; the reader has only to turn the page. In the website format, readers can scan titles and, in the case of featured stories, brief descriptions to choose which story they will open.
There are, however, other significant differences between the website and the tabloid format.
With all the major news stories available online separately, and each one shared with different army.mil news sites across the globe, the possibility increases of greater visibility for local stories in the global Army community.
The new format also allows for greater immediacy. As "The Franconian News" is a weekly product compiling all stories from a week's time, if an event were to occur on a Monday, the story or photograph would not be available as a news item until Thursday when the layout format was published online. Now the contributors from Ansbach, Schweinfurt and Bamberg can upload stories as soon as they are finished writing them, making the site continuously relevant throughout the week.
To learn more about the Franconian News' website, visit it at www.army.mil/franconiannews.