The Straits Times revamp: Staying trusted, timely and true

The ways a story can be told have evolved since 1845 – when The Straits Times was founded – as have the ways readers now keep themselves informed.

To mark the paper’s 175th anniversary and to serve its readers even better, ST is launching its new liquid content lineup on Friday (Oct 30).

As the world changes, ST aims to bring you the stories that matter in the same timely, authoritative and credible manner that the paper has held itself to for over a century.

ST editor Warren Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings’ English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, said: “People are consuming news as and when they want it.

“We will follow developments as they happen, and make sure we are serving the news through the day, not only in words, but also through visual storytelling and interactive graphics so stories will be told in an engaging manner.”

ST’s senior writers and correspondents will continue to bring Singapore, the region and the world to readers with timely updates and commentaries to help you make sense of the latest news.

SPH Brightcove Video
The Straits Times continues to celebrate its 175th anniversary with a new look and new content across all platforms.

The revamp means this paper will aim to walk with its readers as they go through different stages of their life.

The Invest section on Sundays, for instance, now has a new microsite. Those hoping to keep up to speed on money matters can also subscribe to the Invest newsletter.

Invest editor Tan Ooi Boon and the ST team offer tips on how to protect and grow your money, buy property and make investments in a volatile world.

ST will also be there for parents and those entering parenthood with the new Smart Parenting segment, which appears in print on Mondays and can be accessed online any time on a dedicated microsite.

Readers with burning questions on parenting will have them answered in the Ask The Expert video series which will be launched on Monday along with the microsite.

Senior correspondent Sandra Davie and the ST team as they guide you on the journey of parenthood over multiple platforms.

If you’re stuck on what to do over the weekend, ST will help. Tune in to The Big Story on Thursdays where the Life team will share tips on the best food places and fun things to do.

More recommendations will appear in the paper’s Friyay section on Fridays.

Our Life team cases out the best food joints, susses out fun things to do and just tries to put a smile on your Weekend.

Time-starved readers can keep abreast of the latest news on ST’s website and app, which have both been revamped, too.

A refreshed layout on both platforms allows viewers to see more headlines at a glance. Readers can also expect a richer reading experience with more stories curated by the editors of the various sections.

Readers who have downloaded the refreshed ST app would already have experienced the new “Discover” section that features short visual stories optimised for mobile devices. Stories here are told through striking images, videos and graphics.

Stories created for the smartphone, told with bold visuals, built for those on the move.

Those who prefer to sit back with the weekend paper and dive into long reads can turn to the new News Focus section on Saturdays.

The section will house ST’s Asian Insider – where our bureaus will analyse the big regional stories – and Insight, which will focus on issues Singaporeans are grappling with.

Your Saturday like never before, with new columnists, fresh voices and insightful opinions on hot-button issues in our New Focus section.

The revamped Sunday Times rounds off the paper’s weekend offering.

A new Views segment will feature pieces by veteran journalists like Sumiko Tan, Wong Kim Hoh and Rohit Brijnath, as well as younger voices like Olivia Ho and a column by millennials in the newsroom.

A new Views section featuring Lunch with Sumiko and Wong Kim Hoh Meets, plus your favourite food reviews and long reads.

ST has also bolstered its range of video programmes, podcasts and radio shows.

The Big Story continues to stream live at 5.30pm every weekday from the newsroom, over ST’s Facebook and Youtube channels. The programme brings together experts and reporters to discuss the top stories of the day.

A new ST News Night show that streams every weeknight at 9pm will round up what’s trending as well as the latest buzz on social media.

From new video shows like ST News Night and Editor Says to parenting podcasts and investment radio shows, we will get content to you in the way you wish to consume it.

Also new is Editor Says, a weekly video programme aired every Friday at 3pm when an editor will discuss the top story of the week.

The new line-up means ST comes to readers in every way they want to consume the news – online, on the app or in print. Multimedia elements will also be tapped throughout ST’s offerings to give readers a multi-sensory experience.

Reflecting on the paper’s evolution through the years, ST executive editor Sumiko Tan noted that the newspaper has had an online presence since 1994.

“We have come a long way since then, and today, the newsroom is fully cross-media,” she said.

“Each story appears on a variety of platforms, and journalists are equally at home in print, online, video, radio and podcast.”

Mr Fernandez added that readers’ feedback has been at the centre of this revamp, and readers can expect more of the content they want.

“Amid the uncertainties of today and the challenges of tomorrow, ST endeavours to remain trusted, timely and true,” he added.

A note from the editor-in-chief

Dear ST Reader,

On July 15, 1845, the first edition of The Straits Times hit the news-stands here in Singapore.

Today, 175 years later, more people than ever before are reading ST, in many more ways – not just in print, but also online, on your phones, desktops, tablets, through our website and app, engaging with our correspondents through video, on the radio, our podcasts and events.

Happily, many of these readers are younger ones too, with ST dominating audience share among younger segments, as several recent surveys have shown.

To build on this, we have redesigned all our products across platforms, taking a content-driven approach, rather than focusing only on aesthetic changes, for this revamp.

We have thought long and hard about how you choose to read ST, when and where, and have worked to strive to meet these needs.

Our role, as always, remains to tell the stories of our times, reliably and credibly, aiming always to be timely, trusted, and true.

We will play to the respective strengths of each platform, bringing these stories to life in words, pictures, videos, interactive graphics, podcasts, on the radio, newsletters and events.

So popular features, like Lunch with Sumiko, will come not only as long reads, but also videos and podcasts.

Our Life correspondents, including Food writers Tan Hsueh Yun and Wong Ah Yoke, will offer their top picks of where to eat, places to hang out or movies to watch, in a Life Weekend edition on Fridays.

They will also go on air on Thursdays, on our regular show, The Big Story, live on our website, Facebook and YouTube on Thursday evenings. In addition to The Big Story, which runs daily at 5.30pm, we have added a new daily round-up, ST News Night at 9pm, while our new ST Live, will bring you breaking news stories as they happen from the ground, pushed to alert you on your app.

Among other changes in this revamp you will find:

• Something old: Our longstanding commitment in striving to be accurate, balanced and fair remains unchanged, with respected correspondents and columnists, in Singapore and around the world. We remain focused on covering comprehensively and authoritatively the key stories related on Singapore, Asia, climate change as well as the changes in our society brought on by sweeping technological change, and the current Covid-19 pandemic.

• Something new: There are new columns and features, new forms of storytelling, such as the Discover section on our website and app.

• Much more visual: More photo essays, news and feature videos, interactive graphics, and online programming, including podcasts.

• A lot more views: Your weekend now starts on Saturday, and we will give you much to ponder in a beefed up News Focus section. This includes Asian Insider features by our correspondents abroad, as well as our Insight commentaries. On Sundays, we will have a new Views section, with thoughtful pieces by some of our our best writers, such as Rohit Brijnath and Olivia Ho.

In making these changes, we have taken on board feedback from readers and stakeholders. Yes, we heard the call for a larger font size in print, as you can see.

We won’t stop here and will keep striving to improve to serve you better. So please send us your thoughts and feedback.

Thank you for reading The Straits Times.

Warren Fernandez
The Straits Times
& SPH’s English, Malay, Tamil Media Group