A weekly recap of happenings on NewsOK.com in the third week of March.
The Digital Desk — a new era
First things first. Let’s talk about this blog … I launched this blog in October of 2008 when we last did a major redesign of NewsOK. It started as a way to communicate daily changes to the NewsOK redesign with our audience. Over the years, it’s kept the same basic theme of communicating updates about NewsOK. However, we started a new era this week. A host of new authors have joined the blog and will be posting weekly. The idea is to give the NewsOK audience a window into the hearts and minds of those who work on NewsOK — or other digital initiatives — every day. There are a wide variety of authors on the blog now, and I hope it increases the reach of this blog and helps showcase the talent behind the digital curtains.
SXSW — the NewsOK coverage
I ran into George Lang in newsroom halls on Tuesday. He was fresh off his trip to Austin with video director Dave Morris to cover the SXSW for LOOKatOKC and Static. George was tired. We talked briefly about the multitude of videos and articles that were produced while they were there. It was a lot.
Here is just one example: A story about local band Skating Polly.
And an exclusive video interview with Skating Polly:
NCAA Tournament coverage
It’s that time of year. Every year, you can expect that The Oklahoman’s sports staff and the NewsOK sports pages will cover the local teams very heavily in their NCAA Tournament run. You can also see the brackets of all the NewsOK sports writers and their hand-written picks. (Berry picked Gonzaga; Jenni picked Louisville). And our most popular annual contest is the U Pick’Em March Mayhem picks contest, where you can make your picks and compete for a national prize.
‘From The Oklahoman’
NewsOK is evolving in 2013. Well, it has always been evolving, but 2013 will be an interesting year as we expand the reach and scope of information on the NewsOK home page. One of the recent changes is the introduction of the list of headlines in the middle of the home page, near the top. It’s called ‘From The Oklahoman
,’ and it features some of the best articles from reporters in The Oklahoman’s newsroom. We call these our ‘enterprising’ articles, meaning exclusive content and focused reporting efforts.
Around the Web
Another recent change this week is the ‘Around the Web
‘ section along the right rail of the NewsOK home page. We’ve actually been showing our readers some of the more interesting stories from various news sources in the world for a couple of months. We even had a list of headlines on the home page. But now, we have a pretty display of those headlines in the right rail. It helps set that list of stories apart from our normal list of NewsOK headlines and headlines from The Oklahoman’s newsroom.
New design elements
We also released new presentations for headlines at the top of the NewsOK home page. You can thank creative director Scott Horton for cleaning up the mess I and the other web editors have made at the top of NewsOK in recent months. Now, we have pretty headlines at the top of the site.
This does two things … it keep our stories that are high-traffic and high-interest at the top of the page while still allowing us to show a multitude of other headlines on the the same screen.
The Guthrie Tunnels
I’ve had many favorite feature stories through the years, but last week’s nDepth — Stories of the Ages on the Mystery of the Guthrie Tunnels is my absolute favorite. The piece was well designed with illustrations from Todd Pendleton.
The piece was written by correspondent Ron J. Jackson, Jr., and it dives into the legend of the labyrinth of secret tunnels under the city of Guthrie. If you like good story-telling, read this story.
And if you like good videos, watch this video: