Dear readers,

We want to tell you about some changes coming to our digital and print products beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23. All of these changes were designed with you in mind, many of them based specifically on reader feedback. Simply put, we want to give you the news you want, when you want it, and how you want it.

The changes include redesigned digital and print products, a greater emphasis on in-depth reporting, new ways to tell stories, added Lifestyle and Sports features, expanded commentary and opinion offerings and more.

Our new digital design will reflect the needs of today’s busy readers, presenting the news in a way that gives you a choice of reading the highlights on each story and moving on or taking a deeper dive into the details. We’re making our mobile-friendly digital products easier to navigate and we are using a new typeface to improve readability.

The design will emphasize the most important breaking news, followed by our expanded video lineup, in-depth reports, high school sports, our best Features stories, photo galleries and other local news.

What won’t be changing is our core mission: To be the first, best and most trusted source of local news in Southern Illinois, to be a watchdog over public institutions, public officials and tax dollars, and to shed light on community issues from all sides.

The improvements coming Sept. 23 build on that mission, especially our expanded lineup of in-depth reporting, including a prominent home on our website and a Monday-through-Saturday print section called Insight. The new section will include articles that look beyond the daily headlines, explaining the ``why’’ and ``how’’ behind the news and exploring local, national and international issues with deeper reporting and more context. We also are adding a second opinions page that will offer commentary from diverse points of views.

You will also see improvements in our print presentation, building on the redesign introduced last spring, with a new typeface, bolder headlines and more consistency throughout the newspaper.

We’ll tell you more about these changes and introduce other improvements in the days ahead as we continue keeping you connected -- just as we have for the past 157 years.

Thank you for reading and the Belleville News-Democrat.


Jay Tebbe, president and publisher

Jeffry Couch, editor and vice-president