Viewpoint

On Wednesday, the Observer will introduce changes we hope will engage you

Your new Charlotte Observer

Observer Publisher Ann Caulkins and Editor Rick Thames give a preview of the newly redesigned Charlotte Observer. Video by Todd Sumlin
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Observer Publisher Ann Caulkins and Editor Rick Thames give a preview of the newly redesigned Charlotte Observer. Video by Todd Sumlin

People who love reading their Charlotte Observer in print often ask us for reassurance that it’s here to stay.

In an age when you can follow breaking news by the hour, even by the minute, is there still a place for a newspaper that is published once a day?

You bet there is. And here’s why.

Newspapers don’t stop at telling you what happened. They also explain the how and the why. Our journalists are trained to sort through the facts behind breaking headlines and help you actually understand what it all means.

That’s always been an underlying strength of newspapers. And we will build on that strength as we debut a new look for the Charlotte Observer on July 15.

We’ve redesigned the printed Observer to bring you a richer and deeper understanding of the news. If you missed a headline online or on TV, no need to worry. We’ll still catch you up with summaries of the day’s news. But the real plus of this new format will be context on local issues that you can’t find anywhere else.

Our digital editions – both desktop and mobile – will also get a new look on July 15.

That context will be most apparent in a new section called Insight. Here, you can expect to find revelations and perspectives that tackle the unexplained and speak to the unanswered questions. Our goal is to leave you better informed and better prepared. The stories, columns and graphic illustrations in this section will focus largely on our region, but we’ll also draw from the best of our Washington bureau and wire services for national and global context.

Insight is a reader-inspired idea. Earlier this year, hundreds of readers were interviewed in Charlotte, Raleigh and other cities served by our parent company, McClatchy. Again and again, those readers told us they place a high value on explanatory and investigative journalism. They said they count on newspaper journalists to get to the bottom of things.

Readers also said they wanted a newspaper that was quick to figure out. Don’t make us hunt to find the best you have, they said. Make it easy. That inspired us to rethink our front page: Present one to two of the biggest stories of the day, plus a guide to the best content inside. At a glance, you will know where to go for what interests you.

Our digital editions – both desktop and mobile – will also get a new look on July 15. Same as with print, we’ve reshaped them to take full advantage of those formats. Our digital emphasis will be on breaking news exclusives, timely updates for ongoing stories and more video to meet our readers’ needs to be informed at all hours.

Why do this now? It’s simply that we are following the lead of a vast majority of our readers. We’ve watched as many of you move freely among the various ways we deliver the news in the course of a day: the phone when you wake, the newspaper at breakfast, the desktop at work, the tablet during the evening.

Each of these experiences has its own benefits. Beginning July 15, we’ll strive to deliver more consistently on those distinct advantages.

Among those advantages: having an actual newspaper in your hands.

More to come on our changes in a column on Tuesday.

What’s new

New design

so you can get your news quickly or dive in deeper

Greater visual impact

so stories are easier to read and more engaging

Diverse approaches

taking advantage of the strengths of print, online and mobile

In-depth coverage

with our compelling new Insight section

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