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21st century innovation inspires TSD web re-launch

  • Written by Dr. Sybill C. Mitchell
  • Published in News
As it prepares to launch an interactive, high-tech website with a “new direction” and “fresh focus,” the Tri-State Defender is poised to write an exciting new, online chapter in its distinguished history... As it prepares to launch an interactive, high-tech website with a “new direction” and “fresh focus,” the Tri-State Defender is poised to write an exciting new, online chapter in its distinguished history.

On Monday, July 24, 2006, the Tri-State Defender will debut its re-vamped Real Times, Inc. website.

Thousands of long-time subscribers and faithful readers of the 55-year-old publication can now indulge in the instantaneous convenience that web fans have long enjoyed– scanning the “World Wide Web” (www) for news, features, photos and information on any topic the mind can summon.

The Tri-State Defender, along with the other three Real Time news publications, will be readily accessible through the newly designed website, www.tri-statedefender.com. The Chicago Defender in Chicago, Ill., the Michigan Chronicle in Detroit, Mich., and the New Pittsburgh Courier in Pittsburgh, Pa. will also broaden their information capabilities on their websites.

“This will open up a whole new world for our readers,” said Melvin Jones, publisher of the Tri-State Defender. “But the potential for expanding our reach to those throughout this nation and around the globe is almost unimaginable.”

The weekly publication of Tri-State will be uploaded on the website for new internet subscribers. The articles and feature pieces on religion, politics, economics, and social events that Tri-State readers have come to anticipate each week for more than five decades will now be featured online with weekly updates.

“Our newspaper has not only been a reliable information source for the community, but we have sought to build a trusting and intimate relationship with our readers over the years,” Jones said.

“We are so thrilled with the newly devised website because it will enable us to surprise and delight our readers with news they can count on and keep them abreast of activities that are of interest to those we serve.”

Allison J. Fouché, director of market development, concurs that Tri-State readers are going to be impressed by the interactive functions the new website offers.

“Our readers will be able to renew subscriptions online, and advertisers can also buy ads,” she remarked. “We wanted our website to not only be informative and helpful, but to be highly functional and efficient.

“When we can save time for our readers and subscribers by allowing them to relay any difficulties they may be having with subscription mail-outs or updating a change of address or other vital information, it works so much more smoothly for everyone,” Fouché said.

For the first time readers will be able to interact online with staff members and writers, and breaking news will be posted as it happens to enhance the paper’s informative capacity. According to Fouché, the Internet will broaden Tri-State’s market reach to younger, cosmopolitan readers.

“The new generation of movers and shakers do everything online. They are fast-moving and need their information in snippets, but they want to be fully informed,” said Fouché. “They scan and browse the Internet, and they are important because these are the potential thousands of new readers and internet subscribers we desire to reach.”

Everyone with an email address will be able to register for breaking news email alerts.

“Banner ads along with classifieds online will allow us to offer advertisers, both old and new, additional access to thousands and thousands of potential new customers. Ad rates will be posted for their convenience, and we can now serve them much more efficiently.”

Michael Vargus, manager of computer functions for the
Tri-State Defender as well as the Chicago Defender and the New Pittsburgh Courier, provided the basic and undeveloped data to the webmaster company, Fruitful Works, Inc., which will provide ongoing technical support to the site.

“I believe that Fruitful Works did an excellent job in designing a website that all Real Times publications can be proud of,” said Vargus. “The possibilities of broadening our reader and advertiser base all over the world are now endless.”

The website, facilitated by Real Times Media, the marketing entity of Real Times, Inc., set out over the past six weeks, to design a “customer-centric site.”

Hiram Jackson, CEO of Real Times Media, reiterated the company’s desire to operate a website with the “customer in mind.”

“Not only will our website provide the weekly published paper in its entirety – including news, editorials, entertainment and sports coverage – but our readers will be alerted to breaking news, polls on community and national issues, and a photo gallery from the paper’s extensive and historic archives,” Jackson said.

“We want to continue to be a relevant and compelling model by which all others are being judged.”

The publication is celebrating its 55th anniversary throughout the year with a number of special activities and events. Those interested in attending or participating in future events will be able to register online or request additional information.

For additional information on the website or any other inquiries, call the Tri-State Defender office at (901) 523-1818 or send a fax to (901) 523-1820.


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