News Local

Take a look at your brand new Pembroke Daily Observer

By Anthony Dixon, The Daily Observer

Today marks a new beginning for The Pembroke Daily Observer as we introduce a new design to the Upper Ottawa Valley's premier news voice.

You'll notice that today's print edition looks and even feels different. The changes we made are in response to a few logistical needs as well as part of our ongoing effort to continually improve the quality and quantity of our local news content.

First, as one of the changes related to our joining the Postmedia family of newspapers, the printing of the Observer has changed from Mirabel, Que., to a location just down the road - the presses of the Ottawa Citizen.

We now have the same physical dimensions as the Ottawa Citizen and the National Post - which compared to our previous layout is just a little taller and a little narrow. We believe this makes the paper easier to hold and to handle while not affecting the amount of content.

The fonts in our print edition have also changed. The font to be used for our stories has increased in size in order to make the stories easier to read. Yes, you read that correctly. The font has increased from 9.15-point Utopia to 9.77-point Chronicle. Headline fonts are different as well and our masthead is now in the Minion typeface, a traditional newspaper font with a classic look.

That's what we're trying to do with the redesign - return to a cleaner looking, traditional broadsheet newspaper format. We've moved from a six-column page to a five-column format which allows for greater flexibility in page design. Gone are the multiple teasers and "throws" to content elsewhere in the paper, again giving the newspaper a more serious, traditional look. The index moves from the front page, to page A2. These changes result in more space for stories and photos on the front page.

The redesign effort was led by Susan Batsford, Postmedia Network's national graphic editor. She developed a new look for our paper that I feel embodies elegance and tradition.

We are proud to be among the first broadsheet publications in Postmedia to adopt this new design along with our sister publications in Cornwall and Brockville. We'd love to know what you think about these style changes. You can email me at anthony.dixon@sunmedia.ca or give me a call at 613-732-3691 ext. 509244.

You probably have noticed already this summer that we have reorganized the content in the Observer with an emphasis on local news where it belongs, up front. We've also changed to what we believe is a more logical flow for the news throughout the paper - starting with local news from Pembroke and Petawawa and the surrounding area of the Upper Ottawa Valley then progressing to Ontario and Canada. The whole of the A section is now focused entirely on news and comment.

Our B section continues to be led off by local sports coverage, followed by regional and national sports, entertainment, classifieds, lifestyles and wrapping up with world news in a prime spot, the back page.

Our comics and puzzles remain in their usual location in the B section but I want to reassure readers that while their location on the page has been shuffled, none of the comic strips, puzzles or horoscopes have changed.

I know that changes like these can take some time to get used to and I hope this note explains the reasons why they've been undertaken. My goal and the goal of our staff remains the same and that is to provide you with the best package of daily information you can trust here in the Upper Ottawa Valley.

anthony.dixon@sunmedia.ca



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