2018-01-04 / Front Page

NTW Relaunches Newport Now.online News Site

By Joseph T. O’Connor

Newport’s locally owned newspaper, Newport This Week, has appeared in print each Thursday for more than 40 years. Now, with a click of the mouse, NTW readers can stay on top of Aquidneck Island’s latest news on a daily basis.

On Nov. 1, NTW relaunched NewportNow, a website and e-newsletter to keep Newporters connected to the community. Lynne Tungett, publisher of NTW, originally started NewportNow in 2009, but temporarily discontinued the site in 2010 when she bought the newspaper. She said readers are again primed for the daily exposure of NTW coverage.

The move underscores a trend that print publications have implemented of late, not only to keep up with the fast-paced online news cycle, but also to increase readership in their respective print editions. Time Inc., which publishes Time, Fortune and Sports Illustrated, among others, recently made headlines for advancing digital approaches to their media portfolio. While a broad-spectrum approach to media is a key component for NTW and NewportNow, Tungett says the value of a trusted local news source drives her efforts along with those of her staff.

“The belief that a more informed citizenry creates a better public is the core value behind Newport This Week’s commitment to community journalism,” Tungett said. “Realizing how much more we all rely on digital news and social media to inform us, NewportNow is back to do just that.”

Brooke Constance White, who has been reporting for the paper since last May, has seen her role expanded to coordinate the new digital effort, and says NewportNow complements the weekly paper by keeping locals in the loop and up to date.

“There’s an immediacy to NewportNow,” said White, who compiles the daily e-newsletter in addition to posting on NTW’s social media outlets. “And it’s being received well. People like that they have a daily update and that it has information in it they might not get in the paper.”

White says that in the internet age, NewportNow and NTW’s digital outlets like Facebook and Instagram work hand in hand to keep readers informed while urging them to read more in-depth stories in the print edition.

“[The digital format] offers people a place to engage,” White said. “Someone might not want to write a letter to the editor, but they might feel more comfortable posting a comment or sending us a message online.”

NewportNow focuses on municipal news along with regional school coverage and nonprofits, and includes an extensive calendar that is continuously updated. Coverage also includes excerpts from NTW stories that were published the previous Thursday and that readers might have missed.

From the City by the Sea’s famed Polar Plunge, to Salve Regina University’s plan to build two new dormitories, to breaking news from the city’s fire and police departments, White says Newport- Now readers have routine access to local updates, including a broader variety of news.

White points to one story in particular that illustrates the effectiveness of Newport This Week’s digital companion. On Nov. 22, NTW reported online that Newport City Councilor John Florez had announced his resignation from the council, and since then, NewportNow has published nine stories about the Florez’s vacant seat, including an introduction to the 10 candidates who have filed applications with the council. White says that the content is grabbing readers’ attention.

“People are starting to engage with [the site] more,” she said. “There have been more people opening [the e-newsletter] and more people clicking on links.”

As readership grows, White and Tungett believe NewportNow will continue to be a place for breaking news, the latest event or even a community announcement from the fire chief.

“The more people sign up for this the broader our reach will be, and the more we’ll be able to cover,” said White, pointing out the symbiotic relationship NTW and NewportNow have with local readers. “We need them as much as they need us.”

So those of you who enjoy getting ink on your hands, don't worry the print edition of NTW will continue to be on newsstands on Thursdays for years to come.

Visit newportnow.online to sign up for the daily e-newsletter, and continue following NTW at newportthisweek.com and on social media.

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