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ProPublica's redesigned site puts more emphasis on individual investigations

ProPublica's redesigned site puts more emphasis on individual investigations

ProPublica, leader in the US nonprofit investigative journalism field, has launched a newly redesigned website. "We've tried to take everything we've learned, and everything we've added, and put it together into one nice, clean site," wrote Scott Klein, editor of news applications, in an article on the site.

New elements include a 'story so far' section for each investigation, which summarises the reporting that has been done so far to put the investigation in context for new readers, and a feature inspired by Google's Living Stories that allows readers to more easily see what articles within an investigation that they have or haven't read.

The new site also includes all elements of a story on a single page, regardless of whether it is text or multimedia. "The pages now have interactive boxes at the top that can pull in live data from our news applications; below that there's a running river of stories," wrote Klein. ProPublica's 'Tools & Data,' such as the recovery tracker, or the stimulus speed chart, are all gathered on one page, along with selected interactive news applications.

The general feeling of the site is more investigation-led, with links to major ongoing projects along the top of all pages, as well as an 'Investigations' tab and a 'major projects' box on the home page. The 'Reporting Network,' which constitutes ProPublica's efforts to incorporate citizen journalism, is also given a more prominent position on the site, with a tab leading directly to it on all pages, alongside the investigations and tools & data tabs.

According to Nieman Lab's Megan Garber, the site redesign has been worked on since November, and much of this time was spent making sure that the designers, from Mule, were thoroughly familiar with the organisation. Klein explained to her that the idea behind many of the changes was "to give users several paths into, and among, stories and topics."

Garber also noted the increased prominence of 'Donate' buttons: there are three on the home page and there seem to be two on most other pages. ProPublica was founded in 2008 with a large investment from the Sandler foundation, but seeks donations from others also. Various nonprofits have sprung up in the US in recent months, ProPublica being the largest of these, and it has been debated at length whether the nonprofit model will become a significant part of the news landscape.

Source: ProPublica, Nieman Lab



Emma Goodman


2010-07-01 13:42

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