Hot Off the Press: The Burlington Free Press

This is today’s Burlington Free Press in Vermont; click on the image for a bigger view. Online, the Free Press desperately needs the major website redesign coming to all Gannett newspapers with the introduction of the new template already in use at papers like The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif.

Burlington’s site, just to start, seems to use every typeface and font color known to man, plus a few more. (See screenshot, below.) It’s such a jumble that it’s hard to tell the difference between advertising and news content. While that might be delightful to our friends on the business side, it weakens the newsroom’s editorial independence.

The Free Press’ videos sure reflect life in a rural state. For a cityslicker like me, watching hunters bringing in deer on the first day of rifle season didn’t go down so well with my Cheerios this morning! I can’t link directly to that video — or to any of the paper’s videos, however. Without those permalinks, videos are far less likely to go viral. And that’s a missed readership and revenue opportunity. The Free Press, like I believe all Gannett newspapers, still uses the Feed Room platform that’s about to be replaced with the new system supplied by a company called thePlatform.

The Free Press at a glance:

  • Publisher: Brad Robertson
  • Executive Editor: Mike Townsend
  • Founded: 1827
  • Joined Gannett: 1971
  • Employees: 272

[Image: Newseum]

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