Today we’re unveiling a major redesign of CBCNews.ca as well as launching mobile apps so that you can keep up with the news that matters to you — whether you’re at home, at work or on-the-go.
The online version of CBC News has been growing and changing since the original CBC Newsworld site launched back in 1996 — a lifetime ago in digital terms. What you’re seeing today is probably the biggest change we have gone through since then — and we’ve done it in response to what you have told us about our service and what you need from us.
We have a fresh new look and have made it easier to find the news you’re interested in.
When we surveyed you, our users, you told us what you want and need from us as your news provider. You asked for more breaking news, more local news and better access to news on your phone and other mobile devices.
What you are getting starting today is the most comprehensive package of digital news in the country, with more features, more multimedia elements and more ways to connect than anyone else — all still with the CBC News promise of providing more depth and context.
And there is more — read below to find out more about the changes. Please take the time to explore the site and let us know what you think.
Rachel Nixon, director of Digital Media, CBC News
Jennifer McGuire, general manager and editor in chief, CBC News
Our news team works around the clock to keep the site up to date with the latest local, national and international news — and now we’re making it easier to find and follow that content.
We recently introduced a breaking news "ticker" on the homepage that displays the latest developments. On our top stories we’re using red text "flags" to let you know what’s new or breaking since your last visit to CBCNews.ca. And since news can change and develop while you’re on the site, we’ll be offering more live streaming video of news events and tracking stories in real time — and often direct from the scene, as our reporters did recently from Cairo. Inside big, fast-moving stories, we’ll be using a box called "Need to Know" that highlights the major developments.
On our old site, it was hard to make full use of all the multimedia content available to us for our storytelling. As Canada’s public broadcaster, we have a lot of great video and audio from our local and network programs, as well as content that we create exclusively for the web. We’ve changed how this is presented, so you can watch video or listen to audio without leaving the story you’re reading.
We’ve also revamped our photo galleries, which can now be found throughout the site — on story and section pages, in large and small formats. They’re easy to scroll through using thumbnail images, and viewable in a large-screen overlay for those really stunning photos.
There’ll be more developments on the multimedia front soon, too, so expect to see wider pages that allow us to showcase our interactive graphics, as well as gathering live news content all in one place.
Mobile: News on the go
More and more Canadians are using smartphones and other mobile devices to keep up with the news while they’re out and about. We’ve designed the mobile News app to deliver information when you want it, where you want it.
Our app has the latest breaking national and international news, as well as news and weather for your region. You can also listen to the latest national news bulletin and watch CBC News videos, including an edition of The National created specially for mobile.
Find out how to get the mobile app for iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry and Android here.
Thanks to you, CBC News has one of the most active online news communities in Canada. Over the past few months we’ve asked ourselves what improvements we might make to the site to build an even more vibrant community. We have rolled out technical changes to make commenting a more fulfilling experience. We’ll also be making editorial choices about the stories that have comments, and every day will offer multiple ways to connect with other users and CBC News staff on the stories that matter to you.
We know that CBC News doesn’t exist in a vacuum, so we’ve made it easier to share our content on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as seeing what CBC content users are recommending on Facebook. If you’re logged in to Facebook, the Recommendations module will show you what you and your friends have recommended. CBC never sees this information, and the view that you see is unique to you.
You can read more about these changes in this piece by Kim Fox, senior producer of Community for CBCNews.ca.
That’s an overview of some of the major changes to our service that the CBC News and Digital teams have been working hard to deliver over the past few months.
We hope you’ll enjoy using the new site and the app. We’ll continue to evolve in response to your feedback – so please do let us know what you think, good or bad. You can leave a comment here, or if you prefer, contact our colleagues in Audience Relations. And if you have questions about how parts of the site work, or technical details about the apps, please visit our FAQ.
I’ll be reading your comments regularly and will come back soon to address some of the overall questions and themes.
Thanks for reading.