ST website gets fresher look to showcase content

The Straits Times has refreshed its website - - so that the best of its content is better showcased. A key feature is the introduction of full-fledged section pages.

Readers can now go straight into Singapore, Politics, Asia, World, Business, Opinion, Sport, Digital Life and Lifestyle from the homepage to get a full menu of stories and videos.

These section pages are further divided into topics for easy navigation. The Singapore page, for example, is arranged under key topics like Transport, Education, Courts and Crime.

The Politics section pulls in content directly from the Singapolitics microsite, and the Asia Report microsite is prominently linked in the Asia and World sections.

Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez said: "We have updated the site, and added more features to it, to serve our readers better across platforms. This is a continuing process, and we will have to keep striving to improve and develop our products in the months to come."

The Straits Times Digital team, which produces the website and content for the newspaper's mobile apps, has also launched "Web specials" in each section.

These are stories exclusive to the digital platform and include interactive graphics, photo galleries and blogs.

Earlier this month, the team made its foray into long-form multimedia storytelling with Lost: Untold Stories Of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

This Web special captured the milestones in the search for the missing plane through a narrative told in six chapters, with videos and interactive graphics.

Associate editor Sumiko Tan, who is digital editor, said Lost is just one example of how ST is going digital in a bigger way.

"We're working on even more exciting ideas," she said. "We hope readers will follow us on the digital platforms as they have been following us in print."

Coming up soon, for instance, will be a new ST Communities microsite where readers can post their views and stories alongside ST writers. The first of the ST Communities was Entertainment, which won gold in the Best in Social Media category at the 2013 Asian Digital Media Awards.

According to data analytics tool AT Internet, ST garnered more than 77 million page views across all its platforms last month, with more than 6.4 million unique visitors.

Since the start of the year, ST has also raised its presence on social media platforms Pinterest and Instagram.

Its Twitter account - @STcom - is the most followed account by users in Singapore, with close to 300,000 followers. It has more than 273,000 "likes" on its Facebook page.

Over the years, the newsroom has also transformed itself, with journalists now reporting across all platforms.

Straits Times news editor Ignatius Low said: "Reporters are no longer simply focusing on the story in print the next day. They are tweeting, snapping photos on site with their phones and also appearing on video clips."

These new digital avenues, said journalist Melody Zaccheus, help add dimension to her stories. "We can tell a better story and break news like never before," she said.

Sport editor Marc Lim added: "Sport stories often cry out for dramatic pictures and videos. Having our own dedicated section page allows us to showcase more of what the glorious world of sport has to offer - especially with the exciting climax to the English Premier League season and the World Cup coming up."

This article was published on April 21 in The Straits Times.

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