A few years ago I wrote a column noting how the front page story selection of our printed newspaper has evolved in the past 15 years.
For years, the front page was dominated by the top national and international news. That’s reversed today, with news from the Roanoke and New River valleys featured prominently every day.
Why? You can get national news from dozens of sources — but our newsroom uncovers and tells the stories of Western Virginia better than anyone else.
We used the same philosophy when we launched roanoke.com in 1997 with the goal of making it the destination Web site for news and information about the Roanoke region. The Gateway page of the site is designed to showcase content produced by our staff, content you can’t find anywhere else online.
You might be underwhelmed if you come to roanoke.com hunting for the latest national and world headline. It’s there — look for the link in the left corner of the gateway — but it’s hardly prominent and, if you click on it, you get a text-heavy listing of stories.
We receive calls from readers looking for a non-local story that published in the paper but not on roanoke.com. Currently we don’t archive stories from the Associated Press on our site. But that could change with the redesign.
Do you think it should?
We have an opportunity to rethink how we package and display news from the Associated Press. It will never be the focal point of the site but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better than now. Your feedback to these questions will help us moving forward:
Do you look at roanoke.com for national and international news?
Are there specific topics of content — politics, education … — that you would like to see more prominently displayed on roanoke.com?
Do you have suggestions of other local/regional news Web sites that better integrate national and international stories on their sites?
If not roanoke.com, where do you go online for national news? Why do you like that site?
What other comments do you have in regards to our national and international coverage on roanoke.com?