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2014 General Excellence in Online Journalism, Large Newsroom winner

latimes.com

 

About the Project

The Los Angeles Times rethought our entire approach when we decided to reinvent latimes.com to answer the needs of a modern audience. The result was a bold reinvention of our site, from the articles to the section fronts to the infrastructure that makes it all possible.

With a flip of the switch, the entire latimes.com changed overnight, going to a responsive design that delivers all of our great journalism no matter how you come to it: desktop, mobile phone and tablet. The goals: Drive reader engagement, create tools to make high-level storytelling available on everything we produce, and encourage readers to share our great content. More than 300 neighborhood pages organize stories by location, pulling in general news, food hot spots, crime and demographics. And we invited readers to help us define what makes where they live special, an outgrowth of our groundbreaking Mapping L.A. project.

We like to say we put the journalism back into online production, allowing the newsroom to select and place video, quotes, related stories, photos, photo galleries and more to enhance the reading experience. We streamlined articles, staying out of the way of those who just want to read, but still making comments and related stories easily accessible for readers who want to engage more deeply.
The new latimes.com makes dynamic layout changes possible with just few a clicks. This gives us the ability to spotlight the types of news and features desired by readers at different points of the day. When readers wake up wanting to know what happened overnight, we have headline heavy templates for a quick scan. In the evenings and weekends, we can highlight our long reads and photojournalism, giving readers a break from their busy work days.

Our great voices — Sandy Banks, Jonathan Gold, Michael Hiltzik, Steve Lopez, Mary McNamara, Bill Plaschke and more — can now can be called out prominently. Bio pages for all our reporters emphasize the breadth of experience in the newsroom and make it easy for readers to connect with and follow their favorite writers.

A fixed navigation bar reminds readers of the scope of our coverage, no matter how they find our stories. Visual browse gives readers an alternative view of the news, capitalizing on the growing familiarity online of discovering information through images.

And we brought back much of the serendipity of flipping through the print newspaper. An endless scroll drives readers seamlessly from story to section and back again. The new format underscores and enhances our core mission: to bring our readers the news, features and watchdog journalism that they’ve come to expect.

Mario Garcia said the new site was a “textbook case study of how the modern newspaper website should look.”

“All good editorial design emphasizes appropriateness, a point of view (attitude?), and that instant moment where we associate the look & feel with the product. The new latimes.com excels in all three.”