Global News revamped its website Monday with a new user responsive design technology that automatically configures the website to fit on any screen size and resolution. While paywalls are not in the near future, the network will provide more branded and sponsored content as a part of its marketing strategy. 

By Tamara Baluja

Global News revamped its website Monday with a new user responsive design technology that automatically configures the website to fit on any screen size and resolution.

While Ron Waksman, Global’s senior director of online and current affairs, declined to give a figure on how much parent company Shaw Media invested in new website, he added Global recently started a sponsored content marketing strategy to bring in digital dollars.  

Screenshot of Globalnews.ca

On shared content

Waksman says Shaw Media is not considering a paywall yet, but “nothing is off the table.”

Still, the company has found some “clever marketing solutions” and is experimenting with sponsored content on a broad theme of interest to an advertiser that will be written by Global’s editorial team, he said.

“Sponsored, branded and featured content will be presented in such a way as to make them clearly distinct from Global News editorial content,” the Global News website says. “Branded content includes a mandatory disclaimer stating that it was created on behalf of an advertiser or sponsor, and that it does not necessarily reflect the views of Global News.”

Several newspapers – including The Globe and Mail, National Post and Toronto Star – have their own versions of custom content reporting in a bid to mitigate declining advertisement revenues.

The new mobile strategy

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Photo courtesy of Global News

The new website has been optimized with a responsive design technology, which will automatically scale GlobalNews.ca content to fit any screen size or resolution. It will also be easier to livestream videos through the website on any platform.

“It’s about having a seamless transition,” Waksman said. “You don’t have to download separate apps for mobile or a tablet, because the design is intelligent enough to adapt to whatever you are viewing it on.”

The new editorial strategy

Global News redesigned their backend, shifting away from Ektron content management system to WordPress VIP.

David Skok, director for Digital Global News, says the new blogging format suits Global’s editorial strengths. Most viewers enter the site through social media and search engines rather than the home page, he said, so the focus has shifted from “curating content to posting content as it comes.”

“We have reserved a spot for a featured story that needs A1 treatment, but there’s no A2 or A3 story,” Skok said.

Global News has also consolidated its 11 local websites under the domain name globalnews.ca, he added. The site now recognizes the city the viewer is in, or can be personalized according to preference. It then customizes the mix of local and national news accordingly. 

Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.