A new paradigm in local sports reporting

As you’ve likely noticed on other pages and read in other columns, the News-Democrat has made an overhaul aimed at meeting the dramatic shift in the media paradigm.

In no section of the BND can the changes be noticed more plainly than in sports.

We’ve changed the pace of our reporting, added several new features and continue to perfect initiatives we’ve already launched so that you will continue to come to us for local sports information, whether you like it on your phone and tablet, or in print with your morning coffee.

Here’s a list of what’s new and different as of Wednesday:

  • Obviously, we’ve moved. You’ll find the sports section here, packaged inside Lifestyle, Monday through Friday. This is merely a press change that accommodates a new daily “Insight” section. We’ll publish the same number of sports pages we have been and you can still enjoy them as a free-standing pullout section. Sports will be back on the front of the section each Saturday and Sunday.
  • The daily scoreboard page is categorized and printed in a larger font to make the items you want easier to find and read.
  • The scoreboard also includes expanded standings for Major League Baseball and the NFL. Expanded box scores for the Cardinals and Rams will provide you greater detail as well.
  • We’re making the coming week in sports easier for you to manage and predict. A weekly “5 Things to Watch” column will break down anticipated highlights for the week to come. This feature will begin Monday and publish weekly both in print and online.
  • A “Five-Game Planner” on the sports section’s second page replaces the daily broadcast grid that used to accompany the scoreboard. We’ll continue to publish the daily TV sports schedule below it.
  • Veteran sports reporter Dean Criddle will add some fun to the section with his daily “Criddle’s Riddles” column. Each day, Deano will include a new sports trivia question. You just have to come back the next day for the answer.

Not everything is brand new, though.

We have already added video and photo galleries to our digital coverage, and we’ve included live updates and a Tweet aggregator on the home page so you can follow the action on game night. We’ve expanded notebooks and rankings so you know which are the top teams and who are the top players in all local high school sports. Local colleges are getting greater attention, too.

The boss reminds us constantly that today’s new multi-media design launch is not the end of our year-long project. It’s really a beginning.

Please take some time to get used to the changes. If you don’t already, activate your access and explore all the extras that we provide digitally. That’s the best way to get more bang for your subscription buck.

Then let us know what you think.

Sports Editor Todd Eschman: 618-239-2540, @tceschman