April 12, 2010

The Revolution Will Not Be Printed

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As you may have noticed when you picked up today’s Sun, the front page is a little different. Today, The Sun’s redesigned website (www.cornellsun.com) is officially launching, and we took the opportunity to use today’s front page — and many of the stories throughout the paper — as a pointer to guide our print readers online.

“Why?” you might ask. “The print edition is a Libe Cafe/Terrace Restaurant/Trillium staple! And there’s no sudoku on the website!”

Both are valid points, but rest assured, the print edition of The Sun is not going anywhere. This fall will mark The Sun’s 130th year of informing Cornellians and the Cornell community, and we intend on sticking around for another 130, at least. But, the internet is forcing us to re-think the ways we can fulfill our duties as the voice of the Cornell community and the newspaper of record for everything that happens on the Hill and beyond.

From the minor details (including more and more links in our online stories) to the major overhauls (today’s redesign), The Sun is constantly shifting to better adapt to the realities of providing information on the internet. The effort our staff put into today’s innovative web features — audio slideshows, mini-documentaries, original documents and, above all, the redesigned theme of the site itself — is unsustainable on a daily basis. But, get used to seeing these features more and more often as we push the boundaries of traditional journalism and storytelling methods.

So check out our new-look website, www.cornellsun.com. It should be easier to navigate, cleaner to view and generally a better experience for our readers. Poke around today’s stories and features, and hopefully you’ll find something that interests you. Hopefully you’ll come back tomorrow and the day after. Maybe you’ll even check the website a few times each day, expecting fresh, interesting content each time. As always, let us know which features you like — the ones that make you want to come back to the website — and which ones you hate.

In addition to the slick new website, today The Sun is also rolling out an iPhone application (download through the iTunes store) that enables on-the-go users to access our news, arts, science and sports stories, in addition to columns and photo slideshows. More and more people are accessing the internet through mobile devices than ever before, and this iPhone (and iPod touch) app is only the beginning of our expansion into the mobile realm.

As Google CEO Eric Schmidt pointed out in a speech to the American Society of News Editors: Due to the internet, today’s newspapers have more readers, more sources and more ways to report the news than ever before. Our job at The Sun is to figure out how to leverage these additional readers, sources and reporting methods into a better product. Your job is to keep reading — in print, online and on your mobile devices — and staying informed and interested in the goings-on at Cornell. We hope today’s re-launch makes your job easier and more enjoyable.

— K.S.W.