Bob Stepno's Other Journalism Weblog
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The new color scheme of the News Sentinel's KnoxNews is cool-for-summer, but the redesigned home page takes forever to load on my antiquated home dial-up connection, which is not cool. I'll just bookmark Michael Silence, Georgiana Vines and Sam Venable instead.

Besides, that home page only delivers headlines, not story summaries. It's hardly worth the wait, compared to various alternatives in the area. You do get a large Flash slide show, just in case you haven't seen enough pictures of Kenny Chesney and Renee Zellweger. And you get big animated ads, in case you haven't seen enough of those on TV.

Those headline links also do continue to use the shortest line of the newspaper's two-line headlines, even when that deck is almost free of information. For example, which of these two lines tells you what the story is about? "Strong, Silent and Steadfast" or "Women in Black mark 3rd year of marching for Middle East peace."

Anyhow, I think I know what the company is trying to accomplish with this redesign. If it really is a subtle attempt to get me to re-subscribe to the printed newspaper, it might just work.

But there's competition: delivers News Sentinel summaries (and more), with a Knoxville news feed aggregating TV and newspaper stories that mention the city (or Johnny). In case you don't get to read the news daily, it keeps more than a month of story summaries available, even after the full versions have expired into the archives.

I had to go back to check, but the News Sentinel's E.W. Scripps is not one of the news conglomerates that bought into Topix earlier this year. I wonder how long it will take for them to block the feed somehow.
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