Feeding the beast: Quality vs quantity

Last updated 11:38 10/09/2012

Our news website is a hungry beast and our readers demand and consume a constant stream of fresh content. Like any hungry adolescent though, you can't just feed it crap. If we want to grow and attract new audiences, we have to provide the right mix of - as our web editor Luke Appleby put it - carbs (the day-to-day news sustenance), protein (the deeper, investigative pieces), and sugar (the nice photos and things that make you smile).

Someone asked our digital editor Joanna Norris at a recent workshop - "Do we plan to publish more content?"

Her response was: "No, it's about more nuanced content and a constantly evolving content mix."

This is a new approach for us.

Only a year ago our digital team was a bit like the wimpy kid no-one wants to sit by. We were so desperate for content we took the scraps. Whatever came in, we loaded it up, and we sometimes juggled around lesser stories at the expense of good ones, just to find something fresh.

We've grown up a bit now. Every day we get better and better at understanding what our readers want.  And we need to make sure our website reflects those wants.

Nowadays we don't simply load up every story that comes to us. We believe it's better to cover a few issues well, than a lot of issues less well. For dompost.co.nz that means covering our region well and dominating the key stories on transport, civic issues, weather, business and culture.

Sometimes readers ask us why we haven't covered a particular international or national story, and the reason is that we're focusing on the issues most important to our region and readers. It can be a tough decision, but we have to play on our strengths and and that strength is serving up quality local content.

Do you agree with our approach? Is there a story you're wondering why we didn't cover it? Do you think we've got the mix right in the range of stories we run? Leave a comment below.

- The Dominion Post

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