Readers of the print edition of The Beachcomber have likely noticed that its look has changed, with a new black masthead on the front page and different typefaces throughout, among other changes.
This new look is part of a larger effort that Sound Publishing, which owns The Beachcomber, is taking with all its 16 newspapers in King County. They have been redesigned to look similar to one another — now clearly all part of the same family. But the appearance of the paper is just a small change among larger ones. Most significant for the staff of The Beachcomber is that we will no longer lay out the paper ourselves, working late into the hours of Monday nights, trimming some stories, lengthening others, placing photos, writing headlines — and making all the pieces that make up the weekly puzzle of the paper fit together. Now, our pages will be laid out in Everett by designers there, a type of change that is gaining traction in the newspaper world.
We have moved into this change with — it is safe to say — some trepidation, but are hoping that soon it will all work smoothly. Regardless, the change has ramifications for our deadline, which is now earlier than it has been. This means we will be trying to work faster and have most of our writing done by end of day on Fridays. Readers can help as we adjust to this new system by sending letters to the editor earlier in the week, even though the deadline will remain noon Friday; volunteering to write commentaries both in the near and not-so-near future; sending us news tips with plenty of notice — and, whenever possible, getting back to us quickly if we call.
Sound Publishing has made other changes as part of this process as well. It has begun creating podcasts, reworked the papers’ online calendars — and most significantly in our eyes — strengthened its focus on what is happening in King County, with the idea that many or all of the King County papers may wish to share those stories. We have many of the articles on our website in the Northwest section, with last week’s selection ranging from a murder trial in Oso to crews working to free a gray whale in La Push.
With this change, we want to hear from you. How do you like the redesign? For people who are using the online calendar, how is it working for you? And, in the print issue of the paper, would you like to see more stories from around the region or have our focus remain here at home? Sound Publishing owns The Beachcomber, but the paper belongs to the community, and your thoughts matter to us, so please be in touch.