Dear readers,

Thank you for reading the Charlotte Observer. I want to let you know that on Wednesday, July 15, we will make some changes in our print and digital products.

You will see these changes reflected in an updated design, a greater emphasis on in-depth reporting and new features that help you find what you want quickly. We understand that you sometimes need news in short takes, and other times you want a deep dive into a topic. Our goal is to provide you both.

What won’t change is our commitment to quality local news reporting and commentary, centered on Charlotte and the surrounding region. That has defined us for 128 years, and it will remain our priority as we build on the Observer’s strong journalistic traditions.

That is the spirit of a new section called Insight. This section will take you beyond the day’s headlines to explain the “how” and the “why” of news developments, as only newspapers can. We will tackle the unanswered questions and add context that is helpful to understanding.

Earlier this year, we interviewed hundreds of readers in Charlotte, Raleigh and other cities served by our parent company, McClatchy. Again and again, those readers told us they place a high value on explanatory and investigative journalism. Insight is one way we will speak to that.

Readers were also drawn to a newspaper better designed for ease of use. That led us to build a new kind of front page: One to two of the biggest stories of the day, plus a guide to the best content inside. At a glance, you will now know where to go for what interests you.

We are also making improvements to our digital editions – both desktop and mobile. You’ll notice more video, as well as design features that help you grasp the essence of a story at a glance. We’ve positioned our staff to post more news, and to update it more often. Web pages should also load faster, saving you time.

For both online and print, we’ve designed a new typeface to improve the readability of the type that appears in stories. If you find yourself missing the former typeface, that’s not unusual. But over time, sensitivity to the difference should fade.

There are still more enhancements that we will explain as we roll out the changes. We hope you will enjoy them as we work to position your trusted news source for the future.




Ann Caulkins