Long-time readers of the Navajo Times will notice a lot of changes in this week’s newspaper.
After several months of meetings and countless hours of discussions and planning, the Times with this issue is revealing its new design, one that newspaper officials hope will appeal to its readers.
“We’re giving readers a better product,” said Tom Arviso Jr., the paper’s CEO/publisher, “in the hopes it will make it easier for people to read while at the same time attracting new readers.”
Candace Begody-Begay, the paper’s editor, said the staff was “anxious and excited” to see the changes that have been made.
“It’s been a very long process and we hope its something that the readers will enjoy and appreciate,” she said.
The decision that the paper needed a new design started last spring and after having discussions as to what kind of changes were needed, the decision was made to get professional help.
The paper contacted Ed Henninger, a well-known consultant from South Carolina, who not only works with papers who want to do redesigns but also holds workshops on editorial content and other facets of newspaper production.
He has come to the reservation twice, meeting with top officials as well as the staff to get their input on what kinds of changes needed to be made. He spent a lot of time critiquing past issues of the paper and asking questions on why the paper did this or that.
“For a paper which is tied in a very positive way to its community, you don’t want to get in the way of that,” he said.
On one of his visits, he had a meeting with staff members and said that the one thing he didn’t want to do was disrupt the unique relationship the paper had with its readers because this was one of the major reasons why the paper was so beloved by its readers.
Some of the changes that readers will notice, said Arviso, is a new masthead. The headlines are in a different font and the text is slightly bigger which will make it easier to read.
In recent months, the paper has been going away from the one column width stories and widening the columns. Under the new design, this will become even more prevalent and readers will be seeing more spaces and various types of layouts to draw readers into the story.
“This is the first major redesign for the paper in 20 years,” said Arviso. “We felt it was time for a change.”