Metro-East News

Major changes are coming to the BND starting Sept. 23

Welcome to the new BND

In this file video, Belleville News-Democrat Publisher Jay Tebbe and Editor Jeff Couch discuss the changes coming to the newspaper and BND.com to put you at the center of the reading experience.
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In this file video, Belleville News-Democrat Publisher Jay Tebbe and Editor Jeff Couch discuss the changes coming to the newspaper and BND.com to put you at the center of the reading experience.

Good morning. We want to let you know about some improvements coming to the Belleville News-Democrat and bnd.com, starting Wednesday.

They include a greater emphasis on in-depth reporting, new features in Lifestyle and sports, an expanded lineup of commentary and opinion offerings, a reorganized newspaper, new print sections, redesigned print and digital editions and new ways for you to get the news at a glance during your busy day.

All of these improvements are designed to meet the changing, diverse needs of our readers. We want to give you what you want, when you want it and how you want it on all four of our platforms — print, cellphones, computers and tablets.

What isn’t changing is our core mission: To be the first, best and most trusted source of 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.

In fact, all the improvements in our print and digital editions will build on that mission, especially our expanded lineup of in-depth reporting, including a new, daily print section called Insight. The new section, running Monday through Saturday, will include articles that look beyond the daily headlines, explaining the “why” and the “how” behind the news, and exploring local, national and international issues with deeper reporting and more context and analysis. The Insight cover will feature Roger Schlueter’s Answer Man column on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Insight will also be the home of a new, daily second Opinions page that will offer commentary and editorial cartoons from diverse viewpoints. Our regular daily editorial, your letters and Glenn McCoy’s editorial cartoon will run on a facing page.

Many of you have asked for more articles about good kids. In response, we are launching a new education-themed Lifestyle section that features a profile of an outstanding student each Wednesday.

In sports, we’re adding a daily sports trivia question by veteran sportswriter Dean Criddle and a weekly look ahead with an accompanying video at bnd.com. Sports Editor Todd Eschmann will tell you about other lineup changes in a column next Wednesday.

To make room for Insight, we are combining Lifestyle and Sports into one section Monday through Friday, with Sports as a pull-out section so people can share. While the sections will be combined, the amount of content will stay the same. Sports will remain a separate, stand-alone section on Saturdays and Sundays.

What isn’t changing is our core mission: To be the first, best and most trusted source of 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.

Our Sunday edition will remain pretty much the same, but we will be considering improvements later this year or early next year.

You’ll also see improvements in our visual presentation in print, building on the redesign introduced last spring. The changes will make the newspaper easier to use, with a new typeface, bolder headlines and more day-to-day consistency. The typeface, incidentally, will be the same size as we use now, but sharper with improved readability.

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

The new digital presentation will emphasize the most important breaking news, high school sports, our best Lifestyle stories, in-depth reports, an expanded video lineup, photo galleries and other local news and information.

We hope you like these changes and other improvements as we continue keeping you connected — just as we have for the past 157 years. Thank you for reading the BND and bnd.com.

Jay Tebbe is president and publisher of the BND and bnd.com. Jeffry Couch is editor and vice president.

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