The Straits Times to bring the news to readers across platforms and at any time of the day with revamp

(From left) Cheryl Miles, Warren Fernandez, Sumiko Tan and Ignatius Low during ST revamp trade launch at ST Studio on Oct 28, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Straits Times will continue to bring you the news as you know it, but across platforms and with more interactive elements and features throughout the week, ST's editors said at a trade launch featuring the paper's revamped product line-up on Wednesday (Oct 28).

ST editor Warren Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, said of the refresh: "More people are reading The Straits Times today in many more ways on many more platforms through the day.

"And we know that's the way people are consuming news. On their phones, tablets, through the newsletters or even going on the radio."

Taking into account readership and viewership patterns, Mr Fernandez said everything that ST does now will be multimedia, combining old and new elements.

While ST stays true to its mission to cover the news reliably and responsibly, there will be greater use of fresh storytelling mediums, while tapping the deep expertise the newsroom has built up over the decades.

"We will have new ways of telling stories that are a lot more visual - with graphics and interactive elements, and we will include a lot more views as well," said Mr Fernandez.

ST also aspires to journey with readers through life, demonstrated by two content verticals that will be launched as part of the revamp.

The first, a refreshed Invest segment, features the usual personal finance tips that have been popular with readers, as well as a focus on jobs, which have been of particular interest amid the coronavirus pandemic.

ST Invest editor Tan Ooi Boon said: "The funny thing about people is that we all know how to make money, but when it comes to managing it, many of us are really very bad.

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Hairianto Diman and Cheryl Miles host this special edition of The Big Story as they look at the new features to be rolled out across all platforms as The Straits Times continues to celebrate its 175th anniversary refreshed, renewed and recharged

"We will spare no effort to ensure that we will deliver to readers enlightened views on issues like investments, insurance and retirement."

As part of the Invest section revamp, it will get its own microsite on ST's website, which serves as a repository for Invest stories, which are evergreen.

Key features of the new website include a new "Discover" segment for articles with strong visual storytelling elements. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES

Readers can also expect to have investment tips dished out through the Invest newsletter, and on selected episodes of daily talk show The Big Story.

Parents can also look forward to various features on ST's new Smart Parenting microsite, including an Ask The Expert video series that will pose burning parenting questions to parenting and education professionals.

"Parents want the right information: What to do and what is the best thing for my child - and I've had many parents approach me for more information and advice," said ST senior education correspondent Sandra Davie.

"They are hungry for information on what they can do right for their children, and that's why I think it's a good idea for us to start this site where we're going to provide news, explainers, views, and lots of expert advice," she added.

The new mobile app is part of ST's efforts to refresh its digital and print products, with a focus on multimedia content and topics that resonate with readers. PHOTOS: THE STRAITS TIMES

SPH chief commercial officer Ignatius Low said that with the plethora of multimedia products that ST offers, the paper is no longer just about print or online banner ads.

"When you say you want to buy into the ST's audience, you are really looking at an omnichannel value proposition," said Mr Low.

"In the past, if you wanted prominence in the paper, maybe you would buy the ST front page strip. But today, the ST audience receives ST through a multitude of channels, giving advertisers multiple ways to reach their audiences," he added.

The revamp began on Oct 15, when ST's website was given a fresh look, complete with a slew of new offerings that focus on multimedia content and trending topics.

An updated ST app was made available for download last week (Oct 22), and readers can expect a new-look print product from Friday (Oct 30).

Ms Michelle Ng, a senior marketing manager at Simmons SEA, said that the 360 degree approach that ST is taking in its advertising offerings would add value for advertisers.

"You can never recreate the 'wow' factor of a two-page broadsheet ad, but the digital ads also allow us to reach audiences in a more targeted manner, so it's good that we can play to the strengths of various platforms," she said.

"We know that this benefits our customers as well, judging from the ST-directed footfall in both our online and offline stores."

Head of customer and marketing of FairPrice Group's retail business Kelvin Tan said: "With its new omnichannel content vertical platform such as ST Smart Parenting coupled with its liquid content approach across digital, audio, video and print, I look forward to more end-to-end content integration on these fronts.

"In addition, the new design and storytelling mechanisms are not only refreshing but also timely to provide arresting and, more importantly, trusted content especially during this pandemic.

"We look forward to a more cost-effective, synergistic collaboration between FairPrice and ST on all levels."

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