As we hope you’ve noticed, the UK’s newsletter and website have undergone a transformation. Nothing ages as fast as digital journalistic news media, so it was time for a facelift.
Obviously, it’s not just change for change’s sake, or us bowing to the annually changing fashions. No matter how pretty and modern it looked in the beginning, the old website was slightly behind the times, and not particularly well-organised or user-friendly. And, if we’re honest, it had stopped delivering on its promise some time ago.
Recently, we have been working hard behind-the-scenes on a new website. During changes like these, technical details pop up that you never could have anticipated. We solved the most glaring problems before the website launched, but part of it is still a ‘work in progress’. Sometimes, things just don’t go the way we want them to or how the reader expects, for which we’d like to apologise. In spite of these imperfections, we decided to go live anyway due to the start of the new academic year.
Another – more substantive – reason is the new direction the UK will take in the coming years. Research shows that our readers mainly want news about education in general and the RUG in particular, geared toward both employees and students, with an emphasis on explanatory and in-depth stories. The new look and feel, as well as a more intuitive navigation, are a better match for this new direction.
Speaking of focus: over the past week, we’ve had a lot of comments (and critical remarks) on our decision to no longer provide a platform for the RUG’s in-house poet. This choice was for similar reasons. Not to do a disservice to the new in-house poet Esmé van den Boom (congratulations) or her predecessors, but the UK wants to focus more on our core journalistic task: reliable, solid, and, where necessary, critical reporting on issues that are important to the RUG employees and students.
This requires tough choices, no matter how much they may hurt.
Rob Siebelink, interim editor-in-chief