Unlike their competitors the NPR rolls with change

Earlier today I wrote a post wondering if radio and newspapers joining forces could save them each from oblivion and now I just spotted this post at the New York Times about the NPR, the public radio network, moving to reboot its approach to the web. Unlike like much of their brethren in the business NPR is revamping its web site, NPR.org, to make navigating easier for their users as well as emphasizing written reports over audio reports.

The idea is to raise the level of their journalistic output and at the same time make public radio more widely available. Ms. Schiller, NPR’s president and chief executive, says “We are a news content organization, not just a radio organization“. As well these changes to their web site is intended to make finding NPR news reports easier on a less cluttered main page, or to easily jump to other areas of emphasis like Arts and Life as well as Music.

To make the site more of a news destination breaking news is being posted faster helped along by a merging of NPR’s radio and digital news desks. Further rounding out this change the searching for, sharing and commenting on NPR articles has been made simpler. As well for the first time there will be free transcripts made available.

The Web site changes are part of a strategy meant to increase NPR’s share of the midday audience, between its “Morning Edition” and the late afternoon “All Things Considered,” when listening to NPR stations drops considerably, said Kinsey Wilson, senior vice president and general manager of NPR Digital Media.

Instead of short paragraphs that direct users to click on links to audio reports taken from NPR’s programs, the Web site will now offer fully reported text versions of articles, so users can click from their cubicles. “We think the midday experience is much more text-driven,” Mr. Wilson said.

The Web site will flip “from being a companion to radio to being a news destination in its own right,” Ms. Schiller said.

It will not be as comprehensive as some sites, like CNN’s, are, Mr. Wilson said, but will “concentrate on areas where we can be particularly authoritative.” He added, “We’re not in a battle for share with established players who’ve been doing this for 15 years.”

Source: New York Times – NPR Moves to Rewire Its Approach to the Web

Here is a screen shot of the new look for the NPR site, and I must say they sure have seems to have taken to the new “white” look we are seeing on a growing number of tech blog sites.

Click for a larger view