The Washington Times will soon begin an exciting transformation in the way we present our unique brand of news, information and opinion to you, our audience. The Washington Times newspaper will remain, as always, a vital part of our distribution. But we are also planning significant changes and improvements in our website, washingtontimes.com, which now attracts millions of visitors from around the nation and the world every week.
As we prepare for this transition, I would like to share with you the vision statement that will be guiding my staff and me. We know what an important role The Washington Times plays at a time when trusted news and information are more valuable than ever. These guidelines are meant to ensure that we will never waver from our goal of providing the kind of distinctive content and perspective that you have always expected from us.
David S. Jackson
• We will be a digital-first news organization. We will continue to print The Washington Times newspaper, but our Internet and online audiences will become our first thought in all story coverage and planning, and we will make the personnel, scheduling, and assignment changes required so that we can reach these fast-growing audiences quickly and creatively. As part of this transition, we will launch a re-designed washingtontimes.com website that will feature blogs and other tools that help us get breaking news stories to our audience faster. We will be alert for ways to use interactive charts and graphics to make news and information easy to understand.
• We will be attuned to our audience’s interests. We will focus on political issues and other subjects that we know our audience is interested in, and we will look for compelling ways to give them important news and information that they cannot get anywhere else. We will stay in touch with our audience’s interests not only through their feedback, but also through research. Because we know our audience believes in personal freedom, free markets, limited government and traditional values, we will closely cover stories about those subjects.
We will also specialize in stories about national security and defense, cybersecurity, diplomacy, energy and international developments such as the threat of terrorism and the rise of China.
• We will make our Commentary section a must-read source of insightful and informative opinion from a conservative perspective. We will offer solutions rather than complaints, and those solutions will be timely and pertinent to the subjects that people are talking about.
We will develop columns devoted to libertarian viewpoints, tea party opinions, the latest think tank research and what young conservatives (particularly those on college campuses) are talking about. We will also add blogger voices to provide online commentary.
• We will devote our resources to areas where we can stand out and add value. In addition to covering national political and social issues, we will continue our distinctive coverage of football, baseball, hockey and other sports that are popular with our readers. In our local coverage, we will favor stories about local issues put in a national context, so that our online audience from California to Florida will also find them informative and useful.
• We will offer a mobile site that loads quickly, is simple to access and easy to read, and includes our most exclusive and important stories. It will be continuously updated throughout the day and provide the content most people expect on smartphones: quick, brief updates on what’s happening in the news and a portal into additional content.
We will also create a tablet app that is rich in content and features.
• We will welcome and encourage audience feedback by spotlighting it when comments reach high levels. Sometimes stories can become a forum for debates that are as interesting as our original stories. We will show our readers that we appreciate feedback.
• We will support and encourage reader-generated content. Our popular Communities section is a great example of how we can provide a home for audiences with like-minded interests. We will look for opportunities to create more such homes.
• We will utilize social media to promote and distribute our content and The Washington Times brand. Our best stories will be aggressively promoted via social media tools, and we will be alert to new technologies and adjust as necessary to the dynamic environment in which we’re competing. We will continuously improve.
• We will promote The Times’ expertise through our reporters, columnists and editors on television, radio and online. We will encourage our staff to develop their own online brands along with ours. We will grow our own stars.
• In a media environment in which trust in the news media has never been lower, we will be a news organization that can be trusted to report important stories that others won’t. We will be The Washington Times 3.0.