I was browsing Inquirer.com Friday morning and noticed that something was different.
The layout changed. The font is new. Tabs have been reworked at the top of the page.
Looks like the powers that be made some minor tweaks to improve the experience, as explained here:
The first thing you should notice is that we chose all new fonts, which are specifically designed for an easier reading experience across your different devices.
The most important thing you probably won’t notice is lag time. Our new articles load twice as fast, so you can quickly get the information you need — even if you’re on SEPTA or in the Poconos.
We also introduced clearer labeling of Opinion content across the site and mobile app, so you know exactly what you’re looking at and who you’re hearing from.
Once you finish a story, we’ll introduce you to more of our journalism through recommendations starting with the latest news. This feed will include stories related to the topic you just read about, as well as a mix of other stories from across our site. You’ll find a few tweets interspersed there, too.
That line about “opinion content” is telling. It used to be pretty much understood what was straightforward news and what was editorial, but in 2021 the lines are really blurred. There’s a lot of bleed and crossover and readers seem to have a difficult time separating reporting from opinion sharing on all platforms.
As a sample, here’s the top story on the opinion page:
It says opinion in two different places there, so that looks pretty clear to me. If people can’t figure it out from here, they’re hopeless.
You see they also added some color to the headline and subheading, which just helps to differentiate and block things out more clearly. The font looks lighter as well, but I’m partially colorblind so don’t take my word for it.
Speaking of color, there was a recent report about the Inquirer saying that the staff is too white. This was a result of the newsroom revolt that followed the Buildings Matter, Too headline, which saw the resignation of editor Stan Wischnowski.
The Inquirer writeup (it’s very transparent and commendable) is at this link right here if you want to read it: