A REVAMPED version of the most-read newspaper here hit news-stands islandwide early yesterday morning.
Most of the 20 people interviewed by The Straits Times (ST) yesterday said they were impressed by the changes, which include a brand-new layout, typeface and expanded content.
Said architect Yeo Hock Chai, 55: "The new font and layout has a crisper, cleaner look, and the large photos and spaces definitely make it much easier to read."
Mr Yeo, who has regularly read ST for over 30 years, also praised the new "What's Next" and "Why It Matters" features on Page Two of the paper, which he said are helpful for time-starved readers.
Executive Janet Koh, 52, thought the Home section's new daily features were a good idea.
"It helps to give more focus to the paper and is also good for readers who are interested in a particular topic," she noted.
But undergraduate Mohammad Sahil, 23, thought that the design could be better.
"The new design is definitely more business-like and serious. But it is not very eye-catching."
Besides liking the redesigned paper, some looked forward to reading their old favourites.
John Huntley, an American working here, said he has been reading ST since he came to Singapore in 2007. The 50-year-old lawyer enjoys crime stories written by senior law correspondent K. C. Vijayan and court correspondent Elena Chong.
"They write succinctly and clearly about the proceedings, without getting bogged down by too much legal jargon," he said.
Banker Alfred Wee hopes his favourite column by deputy editor Sumiko Tan will continue to run. Her fortnightly personal column in The Sunday Times, which she started writing in July 1994, is the paper's longest-running one.
The revamped Sunday Times, which starts on Sunday, will have three sections. The first will include local, international and sports news, while the second will feature news analyses, commentaries and investment tips. The third, Life, will have food, travel and lifestyle features.
Yesterday's relaunch also came with a $1.70 McDonald's breakfast deal, which includes one Sausage McMuffin and a cup of coffee or tea. The meal usually costs $3. The offer is part of the broadsheet's 170th-anniversary celebrations.
Full-time national serviceman Tow Ying Xiang, 19, was spotted at the McDonald's outlet at the Toa Payoh HDB Hub. Mr Tow has been reading the paper since he was in primary school. He found the new design refreshing but said it would "take time to get used to".
"I think the offer was a good idea, as people would usually grab a copy of the paper and read it over breakfast," he said.
Responding to the reactions, ST editor Warren Fernandez said: "By and large, readers seem to have welcomed the redesign. Many told me they found the new look refreshing. They liked the more visual approach, as well as the sense that they are reading the same familiar ST products across platforms.
"But a good newspaper is a constant work in progress, and we're happy to take on board all the feedback, and we'll keep working on it."
Additional reporting by Toh Ting Wei and Amos Lee
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