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Times debuts new Web site

Features include expanded local coverage, video and audio

POSTED: October 21, 2007 5:07 a.m.

For 60 years, The Times has delivered the news to Northeast Georgia just once a day. And now, The Times is rolling out the red carpet to make way for its brand-new, interactive Web site that launches today.

With a spotlight on local breaking news, the newspaper has incorporated dynamic multimedia technology into the new site design to bring innovative news coverage to readers faster.

As of today, gainesvilletimes.com presents local audio and video footage, extensive photo galleries and interactive reporter blogs to provide readers with enhanced coverage of the Northeast Georgia community.

In addition to the daily print publication, gainesville times.com will help bring the stories of the community to life as they unfold. Stories will be updated on the Web site as they happen throughout the day, every day.

"The expansion of our Web presence will allow us to do more than ever to provide news and information to the people of Gainesville, Hall County and North Georgia," Times Publisher Dennis Stockton said. "We firmly believe we have the most experienced and professional news gathering operation in North Georgia, and look at the Web as a powerful complement to our printed newspaper."

The new site will feature in-depth local coverage, enhanced high school sports coverage and more national news. The site will provide up-to-date news on Atlanta’s professional sports teams, as well as national college football news. A strong emphasis has been made on expanding coverage of high school sports teams and athletes.

The newly designed Web site will allow visitors to see and hear parts of the Friday night football game for themselves, including interviews with local high school coaches and video footage from the field. Audio recordings of city council meetings and speeches and interviews with local officials, educators and artists often will be available for online review.

The new site also will facilitate interaction between readers and The Times newsroom. Anyone who completes the brief, free registration with the site will be able to log in to the Web page to comment on stories, relate news tips and discuss issues concerning the local community with reporters online through their blogs. The site will also have a "Dining Guide" link where residents can search for places to eat.

The Community section on the Web will offer an opportunity for readers to post their own news and photographs, with local picture albums and community blogs. A community events calendar also allows visitors to post local events on the site’s calendar, allowing all viewers a broader coverage of the Northeast Georgia community.

"This is a feature we are certain area residents are going to enjoy as they collectively build an online ‘community,’" Stockton said.

Serving as a news source and a forum for discussion, gainesvilletimes.com will enhance communication between readers and Times staffers.

"The enhancements to our Web site will enable us to get more information to our readers faster than ever," Executive Editor Mitch Clarke said.

"The Times has a strong reputation in the community as a dependable source of news and information," he said. "We are excited about the new and interactive ways our Web site allows us to report what’s happening in our community."

The Times print edition will continue to provide in-depth coverage of the local community, and the new Web component will be used to enhance that coverage with more photos, video and audio.

"We think our readers are going to enjoy their new Web site experience, (and) expect many of them will return to gainesvilletimes.com periodically through out the day to see what’s new," Stockton said. "(We) look forward to hearing their feedback and comments."



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