New and improved…all for you

Published 7:53 pm Monday, September 8, 2008

Well, what do you think?

After months and months of preparation, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald unveiled its new Web site on Saturday night.

It was scheduled to officially arrive at 11:30 p.m. I can’t honestly say if it up and running at that exact hour or not….I was fast asleep after a long day here at the office where I monitored the progress of Tropical Storm Hanna as well as using the time to complete my duties associated with the preparation of our special section dealing with this coming weekend’s Ahoskie Heritage Day (that tab is inserted in today’s edition).

I can say with all honesty that the new Web site is vastly different than the old one. The new and improved contains more news, photos, sports and opinion. Even more is on the way.

It’s also user-friendly from an interactive standpoint. Not only can visitors to the site read the stories, they can make comments. In other words you have the opportunity to speak your piece on the issues that shape our little corner of the world. If you like or dislike something in print, then, by all means, speak your peace.

Another neat feature of the new site is that you can sign-up for alerts to breaking news stories or articles pertaining to your hometown. Those alerts can be sent by e-mail or text message. By whatever means they are sent, you will remain up-to-date with all the news, all the time.

The new Web site also features video…meaning we become your local news and your local TV station all rolled into one. Those videos will cover both local news and sports. We have a couple of ideas currently being kicked around concerning the addition of even more video features.

But there’s even more to like about Did you just take a vacation; have a family member to marry; celebrate the birthday of a loved one; hold a family reunion or attend a high school class reunion? Did you take photos of such events? If so, you can share those images by posting them to the “Your Photos” link under the Multimedia Tab. Let your family, friends, neighbors and even complete strangers share in your special moments.

This new Web site is also a great way for local merchants to promote their products. Hits on our old Web site were numerous; the new one is destined to draw even more traffic. Those visitors aren’t just looking for local news; they are bargain hunting at the same time. With the high price of gas, finding the right item at the right price at the time you want it is the key to successful shopping without having to drive from store to store.

Meanwhile, our regular print edition remains as the foundation. We will not make any sacrifices on that product. As a matter of fact, we just made a few changes to the printed product in an effort to make it more eye appealing and freed-up a bit more space for even more news and sports.

We hope you like what we’ve done because it’s you, our readers, who we had in mind when we opted for changes. If there’s anything you feel we can do better to improve your newspaper and your Web site, please contact us.

(Cal Bryant is the Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald and Gates County Index. He can be reached at or 252-332-7207.)