BarentsObserver in new innovative design
Today, I have the pleasure to present you our new responsive design with better ways to navigate news from the Barents Region. BarentsObserver is now equally cool to read from your mobile platform as from your desktop.
Cross-border news flavored with photos and comprehensive background articles from the top of Europe is the trademark of BarentsObserver. With the new design, you will easier find thematic news of your interest. We have also strengthened our multi-media sections, presenting insight photo-galleries and video-reports from around the Barents Region and the Arctic. Another option to navigate is geographcially from the map in the top menu.
Smartphone usage climbing rapidly
Media platforms and the way we all are accessing news are changing rapidly. The days when you have the paper version of your local daily for breakfast and national TV news after supper are soon gone. Today, we seek news as we go. A recent European study shows a 74 percent increase over the past year in smartphone users accessing news via an app or browser. From the statistics of BarentsObserver we clearly see the trend; a doubling of readers coming from smartphone or tablet units since last year. When I see teenagers reading news with their smartphones on the trolley busses with free Wi-Fi in Murmansk, I am sure this is just the beginning.
When we at the news desk of BarentsObserver had a brainstorm on how to adapt to new media platforms we decided not to compromise on functionalities compared with full-size desktop browsers. Therefore, no apps or mobile-light versions from us.
BarentsObserver changes to a modern forward-thinking publishing platform, Drupal. The Economist and Die Zeit are two other news serivces that use this system. The platform is free software which means that functionality developed for The Economist can easily be adopted by BarentsObserver and vice versa.
Responsive design in the way BarentsObserver appears today is breakthrough technology. BarentsObserver now automatically adapts content so it always reads perfectly no matter what device you chose; desktop, laptop, smartphone or a tablet. Over the last few months we have been working closely with the web development agency Ramsalt Lab and Tank Design in Tromsø to be the first news-portal in the Barents Region to present responsive design.
Play around with the size of your browser window and see how BarentsObserver renders across varying screen sizes.
Main quality - the content
The main quality of BarentsObserver is however still the cross-border news we present from this northernmost corner of Europe. The cooperation Norway, Russia, Finland and Sweden have in the north, across formerly nearly closed borders between east and west is unique. BarentsObserver is owned and operated by the Norwegian Barents Secretariat. Located in Kirkenes on the coast of the Barents Sea, in short distance from the borders to both Russia and Finland gives us a particular good basis to monitor and report on the speedy developments in the region.
BarentsObserver is not the largest news desk, but we are currently the only one reporting from the north in both English and Russian. The global interest towards the north is booming. Not only because of the Post-Cold War political and people-to-people cooperation across borders. The interest is mainly triggered by commercial players. As the sea ice disappears, Big Oil, industries and shipping have set their sights on the Barents Region and the Arctic as a source for national and private profits. With that, the strategic and security interests follow.
New topic-oriented structure
BarentsObserver aims to cover all this topics. In our new design we have split the sections thematically. All news is interlinked and our 10.000+ news article archive is available for free through our improved search-engine. Where we refer to external sources, we will continue to provide you with the link to the original publication. By that, you will find us being the No. 1 communicator of verifiable information from the region. We also aims to point out good online resources of information, not always easy to find due to the range of languages from the Ural mountains in the east to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
The Barents cooperation marks its 20-years anniversary in 2013. Then, the Prime Ministers of Russia, Norway, Finland and Sweden will meet to point the direction for northern cross-border cooperation in the years to come. We, the inhabitants of the north, want to take a leading role in that development. Access to information and different opinions is a key factor BarentsObserver will contribute with. Your opinion is your contribution. Please voice your opinion by making use of our discussion forums underneath each article.
Again, welcome to the new BarentsObserver, designed to form the future of northern cross-border information flow!