By Denise Tessier
Reflecting the newspaper’s continuing emphasis on its online content, the Journal this past month made a historic change on its front-page masthead. Centered just above the copyrighted ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL brand and drawing of an American eagle is ABQJOURNAL.COM and in smaller letters: YOUR SOURCE FOR BREAKING NEWS
The addition is given prominence – by its position, and because it’s colored red.
The ABQ part of the addition overlays a red button with arrow, visually clicking with readers an invitation to browse by computer or electronic device. The Journal’s online content is still by subscription, or free with a print subscription to the paper.
Once online, there’s been a change, too. Comments are no longer being taken on the Journal’s web site. Instead, one finds this:
Note: ABQJournal.com is now using facebook as its online commenting system.
Not everyone, believe it or not, is on facebook, so at first glance this seemed like a move that will put off some readers. A comment box below that note, however, has a drop-down option box that allows readers to send a comment via facebook, aol, Yahoo or Hotmail. And on at least one recent Thom Cole column, input from an individual labeled as a “Top Commenter” was visible below the story. The new system allows the paper to trace comments back to the source, not a bad idea in terms of accountability and screening out trolls.
Non-facebook readers, however, are out of luck if they want to read facebook recommendations on stories. A recommendations box is now a part of the Journal’s online pages. The good news is, one can see top facebook recommended headlines without slogging through all the comments that accompany them.