When your newspaper wants to make a big statement, make sure you’re making it online too

Indiana’s passed a bill that many say allows state-sanctioned discrimination by businesses against gays and lesbians, and it’s led to a huge backlash. The state’s dominant paper, The Indianapolis Star wants to take a strong stand on the matter, so it pulled out perhaps the biggest weapon a newspaper has — a front-page editorial:

Here is our front page today. #RFRA #WeAreIndiana #SB101

Read the editorial here: http://t.co/VClq5d1azI pic.twitter.com/y1Pcno3Jtn

— IndyStar (@indystar) March 31, 2015

The move worked, getting the Star’s position a huge amount of attention — many times more than a standard editorial would have. (I must have seen that image of today’s front page at least 30 times in my Twitter stream last night; the editorial has been shared on Facebook more than 18,000 times.)

If you’re going to do a blowout presentation in print, you’d want to do the same online, right? After all, a huge part of the discussion around the subject is happening far outside the Star’s print circulation area. Not really:

Good to see @IndyStar put as much thought into the web version of their “Fix This Now” editorial as their front page pic.twitter.com/IRmUYsg0bN

— dan sinker (@dansinker) March 31, 2015

The blow-out print presentation got slotted into a standard Gannett-made template. That included a hard-to-read headline on mobile, with Gannett-standard cluttered presentation and location-seeking modal:

@dansinker @indystar well mobile version doesn’t have flyover at least pic.twitter.com/kQtK2VUxwO

— Ted Han (@knowtheory) March 31, 2015

@dansinker @indystar although it does have this :P pic.twitter.com/PStdXkh5Cc

— Ted Han (@knowtheory) March 31, 2015

As the @MayorEmanuel-creating Dan Sinker put it:

if you’re a newspaper and you know you’re publishing something that will garner a lot of attention, ask: WILL THIS LOOK LIKE SHIT ON THE WEB

— dan sinker (@dansinker) March 31, 2015

The followup discussion to that tweet includes some back and forth about some flexibility in the Gannett CMS that the Star apparently didn’t take advantage of.

Still, it’s remarkable that, in 2015, a story that got so much thought and attention for print apparently didn’t get much for online.

Via: News

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