November 10, 2011

Do you like this?

With this issue, a months-long redesign process of both our print and online editions ushers in what we hope will be the beginning of a new era at The Pulse.

In your hands you hold a completely redesigned edition of the paper that includes a comprehensive review of our editorial content set in a palette of new typefaces and structure we believe gives the paper a clean, signature look and (hopefully) makes it easier to read.

Online, as reported briefly in this space last week, The Pulse has divorced our newsgathering partner of two years, WPLZ-FM 95.3. The marriage—first imagined as a combining of resources that would benefit both organizations—never really clicked, and the recent split necessitated a long-overdue rethinking and redesign of our website,

More on that in a moment. First, some details on content changes and our print redesign.

Content is king

In print or online, content is king. Any redesign should include a thorough review of content and we feel we’ve done our homework, eliminating older features, trimming others and adding new elements in an effort to reflect the ever-changing “pulse” of Chattanooga.

In our re-named news section, The Bowl (an old-school reference to the city as the “bowl” in the valley of mountains), you’ll no longer find the kind of news reported on WPLZ—or, for that matter, anywhere in Chattanooga. The Pulse occupies a unique niche as an alternative weekly, heavily focused on arts and entertainment. We won’t ignore the hot topics of the week, but neither will we rehash what you already know.

Instead, we’ll cover Chattanooga The Pulse way, offering readers our unique reportage, opinion and short takes on the news, issues and events of interest to our core audience. We like to think both we and you know who you are, but our readers aren’t just hip, scooter-riding liberals with one eye on their iPhones—they live not only downtown, but in the outer limits of town we call “Provinces & Prefectures,” and we cover them, too. We’re not the daily, not the community weekly, nor even the weekly magazine of Chattanooga—we’re your alternative.

Gone are the city council agendas, the police blotter and other items you can find elsewhere. Also gone are syndicated features such as “Ask A Mexican.” In their place we’ve already introduced more local content, such as “DizzyTown”, our slightly snarky take on Chattanooga politics, media and other strange bedfellows, and “Walk of Life”, a peek inside the lives of the region’s most fascinating entrepreneurs and their businesses.

You’ll still find our reader-favorite columnists—Alex Teach (what other paper has a cop columnist as hip as Alex?), Dr. Rick (our resident shrink) and Chuck Crowder, whose “Life in the Noog” has become the column some readers love to hate—but they read it every week just the same.

Our revamped website reflects all these changes and more. No more will you be greeted with WPLZ’s breaking news and promotions for the station’s ultra-conservative talk shows (that really confused us and our readers), but an online version of the paper, with regular news updates, blogs and an exciting new geo-locating calendar section all packaged in the same clean, easy-to-navigate packaging as our print edition.

Any debut is a work-in-progress, and the new Pulse and are no exception. We’re growing, changing and adapting every week. But we hope you like what you see and read here and online.

Let us know.

Bill Ramsey is the art director and a writer for The Pulse.


November 10, 2011

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