Online Journalism Review website redesign showcases its engaging content and dialogue



Posted February 26, 2013

USC Annenberg's Online Journalism Review went live yesterday with a new website that OJR editor Brian Frank said better reflects the site's tremendous quality of content and commentary.

Online Journalism Review editor Brian Frank"OJR opens a new chapter today with a fresh look and even more of the content you’ve come to trust," Frank wrote in an announcement about the redesign. "Not only that, but we’re looking to involve the greater journalism community in the discussion. We are now accepting submissions from reporters and media observers who can offer keen insight into the future of news."

Online Journalism Review started in 1998. Since then, it has developed a strong reputation for "thoughtful, in-depth reporting and commentaries on the changing media landscape," Frank (pictured, left) said.

The featured article when the new website launched is a prime example of the dialogue-inducing articles for which OJR is known. School of Journalism Director Geneva Overholser wrote an op-ed about the need for public interest to trump secrecy in gun control coverage. Overholser's article sparked a rich commentary among journalists, editors and concerned citizens about one of this era's most controversial issues. She then responded to readers' comments, which kept the conversation alive. One comment came from Dwight R. Worley, the journalist who wrote the original article in New York's Journal News that started the controversy over publishing information about handgun permit holders.

Among OJR's new features is a section called "The Repeater," which links readers to interesting stories about journalism on other sites. Online Journalism Review fans can also interact with OJR on its Twitter and Facebook pages, which have also been refreshed.

Frank wrote:

"With these advances, we will be able to build on our continuing commitment to help our readers understand and contribute to the revolution taking place in news.

And that’s where you come in. Defining online journalism has never been more interesting. Is it about the ever more important role of data? The burgeoning reporting potential of social media? The ever-richer conversation between communities and journalism? The changing role of professionals amid the convergence of news platforms? We want to hear from you. Maybe you have a topic you’d like to see discussed, or maybe you have an article to pitch. Either way, we want to hear from you.

If you have a question, a story idea, or you’re interested in contributing, send your pitch to editor[at]ojr[dot]org. Or feel free to just leave a comment below to share your thoughts about this new direction for OJR.

As a large, vibrant and diverse undergraduate and graduate School of Journalism, USC Annenberg is grappling with all these questions. They play out in our multiple newslabs, they inform our teaching (and learning!), they determine the nature of our research. We will continue to draw on all these experiences with contributions from our faculty, staff and students, and we hope you’ll join us."

Director of Web and Instructional Technology Services Wendy M. Chapman and her team of Patricia Lapadula (graphic designer) and Web developers Chris Guitarte and Jeremiah Bautista were instrumental in the new design and functionality of the site. The entire redesign was handled in-house among Chapman's team with leadership from Frank, Overholser and journalism professor Marc Cooper.

"Our intent and goal is to make sure OJR continues to be a strategic voice in the national conversation and dialogue about digital journalism," said Cooper, who also  founded Annenberg Digital News, which publishes the online news site Neon Tommy. "That’s the important role that OJR can and does play."

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