December 16, 2006

How come every time the Phoenix does a Web Redesign…

Carroll Andrew Morse

…they make the Providence section just a little harder to find? Are you paying attention, Adam Reilly of the Boston Phoenix? Here’s at least one blogger encouraging an established media organization to make its web content a little more visible to help facilitate an open and robust civic discussion between old media, new media, and readers. Give people the chance to spot Ian Donnis’ latest, without having to click through two words of 8-point text, rendered in a powder blue font against a white background, buried in the middle of the Phoenix’s crowded top-level page.

Also, the new web design of the Projo is not great. News stories should have a much more prominent position on the website of a newspaper.

And if the folks at the the Pawtucket Times, the Kent County Daily Times, the Warwick Daily Times and most of the other Journal Register newspapers could contact the staff of the Woonsocket Call to learn how they mastered the technique of inserting blank space between paragraphs, that would be nice too.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

CAM said:
"Also, the new web design of the Projo is not great."

that just might be the understatement of the year.

the new is about an inch away from being a ron popeil infomercial. thanks, belo.

Posted by: johnb at December 16, 2006 11:32 AM

ProJo's new site is god awful. Since they're losing paper readership you'd think they'd go after the web audience hard by creating a terrific website. Guess not since their new site is awful.

Providence Phoenix is an outstanding liner for a litter box or a bird cage. Has little value otherwise.

Posted by: Tim at December 16, 2006 12:05 PM

Ditto everyone's comments about changes to the ProJo website.

There is a completely unsubstantiated rumor floating around that Belo is looking to sell the ProJo. If this is true, it is not clear how driving readers away from their website makes the paper more attractive to potential buyers.

Posted by: SusanD at December 16, 2006 11:25 PM

"Also, the new web design of the Projo is not great." -- Yeah, and Saddam Hussein had problems getting along with others. An understatement, indeed.

Megadittos! Finally, something we can all agree on. Talk about turning back time -- like to 1999. The Projo's "new" web design is just awful. If I didn't know better, I would think (and do think) that they are intentionally trying to make the site less attractive and more difficult to use, so as to (in their minds) "promote" the paper. Perhaps they think that their previous site provided too much convenience and "free" content, which they perceive to be in direct competition to the paper (and their ad revenue).

I am a subscriber to the paper, but I also like to use the website, especially when using it for source material. Anyway, I'm hoping that enough people will complain to them loudly and clearly. Let's see if it makes a difference.

Posted by: Will at December 17, 2006 1:12 AM

Tim, thanks for the thoughtful critique of the Phoenix. You really backed your case up with a lot of detail and well-informed reasoning. Kudos for showing your appreciation for a range of media in Rhode Island.

Do ever actually read the Phoenix? If so, perhaps you'd realize that it is the best source of coverage of other media in Rhode Island, and, among other attributes, periodically breaks significant stories ahead of the ProJo (for example, Cicilline's effort to remake the Providence City Council, the push for Clean Elections in RI, and how the 110 Westminster St. luxury development will include a hotel).

Posted by: Ian Donnis at December 17, 2006 2:05 PM

Lighten up, Ian. He didn't insult your family, just the website of your uber-liberal newspaper and its ability to bury the Providence paper entirely.

Posted by: Greg at December 17, 2006 4:40 PM

re projo....its abvoius that they are making it harder to read on line on purpose...

but you can forget about me paying for the journal . its just not worth the 50 cents,

funny how they are changing strategy. they get everyone on the web abd loses hard copy. now they want to trash the web abd get everyone back to hard copy. wont happen. once its gone, its gone

Posted by: johnpaycheck at December 18, 2006 7:51 AM

What does 'abd' mean?

Posted by: Greg at December 18, 2006 9:01 AM

"abd" means "and".

johnpaycheck is right. Except for occasional items referred by friends, I have stopped reading the ProJo online. And being a devout tree-hugger, I refuse to buy the paper paper.

(Hopefully, this post did not exceed Tim's quota for use of first person pronouns and adverbs ...)

Posted by: SusanD at December 18, 2006 4:00 PM

Here I was thinking it was like "LOL"...

I read the Projo online but only the blog for the latest news.

Perfect example of how out of touch the paper and website's owners are with their readers? There's an ad on the page for an Alltel Wireless cell phone. If you find it, click on it and put in your zip code. Yeah, that's right... They don't offer service in Rhode Island.

Posted by: Greg at December 18, 2006 4:32 PM

I agree 100%. Both the new BeloJo and Phoenix websites are hack jobs. They are clearly designed for maximum advertising revenues and minimum consumer enjoyment. But, more reason to read blogs who put consumers of the news first!

Posted by: Matt Jerzyk at December 19, 2006 11:17 AM


Yes I've read the Phoenix and yes it sucks. Brian Jones? The flamer twins Chip and Rudy? Liberal fossil Mary Ann Sorrentino? Give me a break! In general the media in Rhode Island is weak, second rate and very predictable. Your paper fits right in and is hardly cutting edge given the sharp liberal left slant on the ProJo news pages over the past few years.


You're fine with your I-ME-MY quota. lol
You're not throwing a pettiness filled hissy fit like Jim Bob Scott Bill was when I reprimanded him.


When you develop a first rate blog get back to us. Yours is strictly a high school cut and paste bulletin board.

Posted by: Tim at December 19, 2006 5:35 PM

Sharp left liberal slant on the ProJo news pages? Last time I looked, Belo still owned the paper, and that company is no propagator of liberalism (and can fire anyone who does stray too far from the right-to-work ranch).
Regardless of how you feel about the Phoenix' political stance, it's the only place in Rhode Island you'll ever find news about one of the state's largest and most prominent businesses (ProJo). Don't hold your breath waiting for the TV stations to do anything when news for which the ProJo should be covered as a business entity happens.
And if a simple cut-and-paste bulletin board (this and RIF are nothing fancy, really) serves our political discourse best, c'est la vie.

Posted by: rhody at December 19, 2006 6:48 PM

Last time I looked the ProJo news pages were filled with weekly tear jerker sad sack illegal alien stories, they routinely highlight the activities of every nutjob leftist organization (janitors for justice (lol) the we love poverty crowd at RIC etc) and they report on every muscle twitch involving the ACLU. Belo ownership brings us Komrade Kerr, Charlie Bakst and Scotty flaming lib union wank McKay and they will not touch Providence City hall and dirty David Cicilline with a 100 foot pole.
rhody put down those union talking points you were given on Belo and read the actual content of the newspaper.
The ProJo is a liberal newspaper and has been for quite awhile now.

Posted by: Tim at December 19, 2006 7:19 PM

rhody do not insult the contributors on this blog by placing them in the same company as RIFuture.
The Anchorrising team gives very detailed, insightful and well researched opinion on a wide range of topics.
RIF produces nothing that comes even remotely close to the intellect and quality of this blog.

Posted by: Tim at December 19, 2006 7:27 PM

Tim, I feel no need to bash anybody's blog here.
What you and other people who complain about you perceive as liberalism in the ProJo don't understand is that big corporate interests (which are not liberal at all!) ultimately call the shots, deciding what gets covered and what doesn't, who gets hired and fired, etc. Trust me, the "Komrades" don't make those calls.
If the word came down from Texas (or Howard Sutton, who doesn't strike me as a lefty, either), Kerr, Bakst, McKay, etc. would be out the door by lunchtime. They do not have nearly the power you give them credit for.

Posted by: Rhody at December 20, 2006 11:17 AM

rhody your big business corporate boogey man stereotyping is hilarious. Do you actually read the ProJo? I don't think you do. The content of that paper is very left leaning politically and has been for quite awhile. You greatly overestimate the amount of input corporate injects into the newsroom re: actual news/op-ed content. Hope you caught the semi-annual ProJo feature on Henry Shelton and his we love poverty group. Think there were 5 or 6 people with Henry picketing National Grid and the ProJo thought that was big news and did a feature along with a photo in yesterday's ProJo. Why would corporate allow such coverage of a flaming lib nutjob like Henry Shelton rhody? How long has Belo owned the ProJo? Circulation is down and the paper is losing money. rhody can you explain why these corporate boogeymen would keep lib wanks like Komrade Kerr and Charlie Bakst and Scotty McKay on the payroll under these conditions if they're such a conservative paper? Why do they feature far more liberal writers and liberal stories if they're controlled by corporate conservatives?
rhody try reading the paper. Your stereotypes are silly and not based in reality.

Posted by: Tim at December 21, 2006 5:15 PM

Tell me this, Tim: If the ProJo is the liberal shamrage you claim it is, why did it endorse Bush in '04 and Carcieri this year? Also, if its endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate had won, the GOP would've kept control of the Senate.
As for your deep-seated animus against Henry Shelton, I won't bother going there.
If you feel strongly enough that Bakst, Kerr, McKay, etc. are a danger to Rhode Island's morals and Belo's profit margins, here are the people to talk to:

Posted by: Rhody at December 22, 2006 11:26 AM

rhody, the news dept. of the ProJo is very liberal. Why are you not addressing that but instead you run to their wacky and all over the political map editorial board? Concerning that editorial board I have no idea why they endorsed Carcieri. (other than them wanting to be on the winning side) The ProJo has never been a friend to this governor. Did you read their attack editorial on the container port and the governor's biting letter back to them? The governor has had a very strained relationship with the ProJo since the Staion fire when he refused their reporters access to the families at the Crowne Plaza. You've never read one word of praise from the ProJo about our governor's handling of that tragedy. The Boston Globe abd LA Times praised Rhode Island's governor in editorials but not the hometown newspaper.
They're very petulent and petty on Fountain St.
rhody, any idea why the conservative cabal running the ProJo endored (gulp) Patrick Lynch?????
The source of my "deep-seated aniumus" (lol) towards Henry Shelton, besides the fact that he's a longtime union wank and poverty lover, is that jet black dead animal he misplaces on top of his head before he goes out into the world.
Mr. Shelton needs a psych eval at Butler.

Posted by: Tim at December 24, 2006 10:26 AM

Even if I were to agree with you about the news department being liberal (which I don't, but for the sake of this argument, I'll pretend it's true), the news department doesn't write the checks. They serve at the pleasure of a conservative corpration which can fire them at any time if the powers that be perceive them as too liberal (as MSNBC did when it canned Phil Donohue even though he had, at the time, that network's most-viewed show).
And the news department and news coverage has been shrunk considerably due to corporate decisions. Liberals didn't have a hand in those decisions.
The free press is only truly free for the man who owns one. And liberals can't claim ownership of the press at 75 Fountain St.

Posted by: Rhody at December 24, 2006 12:44 PM

just give up, tim. this one's too brainwashed to save.

Posted by: Greg at December 26, 2006 12:07 PM