Vancouver Sun gets an update

The Canwest-owned Vancouver Sun has made some changes to the structure and content of its print edition. On Oct. 4, editor-in-chief Patricia Graham explained the changes to readers in a column called “A new Sun is rising.”

Graham writes:

“The new array of delivery platforms and tools has led us to rethink the print product, to develop a deeper understanding of what you, our customers, value about the newspaper and to assess how the paper and the Web best co-exist to ensure we give you what you need. To do this, we embarked on a significant piece of research conducted by Ipsos Reid. We engaged current and past readers to determine just what you want from your newspaper in today’s fast-paced, multi-platform world. After all, when we come in to work every day, it is you we are working for; that means you should be telling us where to focus our energies.”

Some of the changes include:

  • local news has been moved to the A-Section, while national and international news moves to the B-Section
  • the Sun now promises more “analysis and contextual content” and one staffer’s column on the front page every day
  • a new item called “News on the Go,” which provides headline news summaries, now appears on A3 every day
  • the books pages have been put back into the Weekend Review section

On his Notes from a Teacher blog, Vancouver journalism instructor Mark
Hamilton takes a look at the changes to the print edition, but also bemoans the state of the Sun‘s website. “What I would have
liked to have seen, in conjunction with the changes to the print
edition, is some work on the Sun’s website. It’s a CanWest
cookie-cutter site and among the worst sites for a major daily that
I’ve seen,” he writes. One Sun reader (Joe E) left a similar comment on Graham’s column: “We also want a Vancouver Sun website that was designed AFTER 1995.

When is that coming, Ms. Graham?

It sounds like changes are afoot for the website too. Sun managing editor, and J-Source contributing editor, Kirk LaPointe talks about some of the latest changes on his blog and also mentions plans to revamp the paper’s website later this year. He writes:

“In the last year we’ve brought our Web site up several notches with
video, audio, blogs and user-generated content. That effort will deepen
later this year, but it’s also important to shift the newspaper so it
emphasizes what it does best.  Today is our first step.”