April 23, 2015
ISLAMABAD: Dawn.com is undergoing massive internal and external changes to converge web with the print edition that will ultimately lead to digital convergence of the newspaper and television channel.
In an interview with JournalismPakistan.com, Dawn.com Editor Jahanzaib Haque (pictured) said the changes being introduced to Dawn's website are happening to both meet a long-term strategic vision for the company, as well as set new standards for local and hopefully global websites.
“Our old logo DAWN.COM has now been replaced by the newspaper's DAWN logo. This is the first of a series of internal and external changes being implemented to converge web with the print edition,” he said.
According to Alexa Global Rank, Dawn.com is the 1,795th ranked site in the world and this is the highest global rank of any Pakistani news website in English or Urdu. The website currently has as many as 250,767 daily unique visitors, 1,494,057 daily page viewers, 3,978,903 monthly unique visitors and 47,159,718 monthly page viewers.
With help of the newspaper editor Zaffar Abbas and senior management representing both Dawn (print) and DawnNews (TV channel), the idea of digital convergence is paving a way for an integrated newsroom, said Haque.
He said the brandless Urdu site urdu.dawn.com is converted into DawnNews.tv after going through massive revamping, redesigning and refocusing for the TV, with lots of video content and rapid news updates.
“Dawn.com is now undergoing a major revamp to bring it closer to the paper. Each section is being redesigned to deliver the best of print in a format that is indigenous to web and this is coming soon,” he said.
Haque said the Dawn.com team is banking on readers appreciating the new, closer alignment with Dawn (the print edition) because that is a truer reflection of who we are and want to be. “The improved online reading experience and performance are a happy consequence of that ongoing, endless process of innovation and integration,” he said.
Talking about his future plans, he said the Dawn.com team plans to revamp homepage of Dawn.com, as well as all the sections to bring visitors closer to the print edition, while still maintaining the speed and flavor of being online and this is already well underway.
Dawn.com wants to get all or most print and TV reporters delivering information and stories in a 'platform neutral' way, where web, print and TV all benefit simultaneously, he said.
“The biggest challenge is getting the TV channel to be a part of this integration. These are early days but I am hopeful that it will happen, starting online,” he said.
Haque said that his team and he usually derive inspiration from sites like New York Times, Boston Globe and Medium. “Wherever we see a good idea that could work for Dawn and our readers, whom we consider globally attuned and extremely web savvy, we emulate it, try to localise it and tweak it to fit us, and then innovate on top of it,” he said.