Major revamp for The Straits Times as it celebrates 170 years

More people will be able to read full stories on The Straits Times website, and both print and online editions will get a more modern look. -- ST GRAPHIC
More people will be able to read full stories on The Straits Times website, and both print and online editions will get a more modern look. -- ST GRAPHIC

More people will be able to read full stories on The Straits Times website, and both print and online editions will get a more modern look.

Readers can look forward to a brand new look for Singapore's most read newspaper this year, as The Straits Times celebrates its 170th anniversary in July.

More people will also be able to read full news stories on the broadsheet's website, as the paper shifts towards a metered system later this year.

Currently, non-subscribers are able to view only the first few paragraphs of premium content.

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But with the new system, all visitors will get access to a certain number of stories before they are prompted to subscribe - similar to that used by papers such as The New York Times.

Both print and online editions - including mobile apps - will also get a bolder, more modern look. The former will be spearheaded by award-winning design consultant Lucie Lacava, who has helped redesign more than 80 publications across the world.

Technology consultancy Tigerspike, which has developed apps for The Economist and The Telegraph, will help overhaul The Straits Times' mobile apps.

"All products will be redesigned in tandem, so the whole new look will flow across the apps, to the Web and to print," said Straits Times editor Warren Fernandez.

The last revamp of the print edition was carried out in May 2012.

As part of the celebrations, readers will also get to pick the brains of their favourite writers, such as Wong Kim Hoh and Sandra Davie, and other experts at a series of forums.

"Readers don't want to see just a byline in the paper. They want to engage with our correspondents and editors, and we are happy to do that," said Mr Fernandez.

To tie in with the anniversary, 170 specially selected treats - curated by the paper's senior beat writers - will also be up for grabs.

These include tickets to sneak previews of blockbusters, early access to the latest tech toys like the Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, and air tickets and cruises to dream destinations.

Readers may also get the chance to watch Christina Perri at Resorts World Sentosa next month and The Script at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in April.

As part of the makeover effort, editors are now gathering views on what to keep in the paper and what should change.

Readers can send their ideas to wehearyou@sph.com.sg

"We'll be celebrating both the paper's rich print heritage and its continuous push into the digital formats and social media platforms of the future," said managing editor Ignatius Low.

"Keep your eyes peeled this year - we aim to surprise!"

linettel@sph.com.sg