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Lincs website seeks new audience with standalone brand

Lincoln Today has relaunched to become an online-only, standalone project, in a move that differentiates it from Lincolnshire Newspapers’ print editions in the city.

The dedicated website team is headed up by former Skegness Standard chief reporter James Hardaker, with Nicola Ripton, a recent graduate from Lincoln University’s School of Journalism.

They are joined by two current media students – Jonny Hall and Sian Cartwright – cementing the already strong links with the university and ensuring the website’s content is relevant to the city’s soaring student population

Managing editor Tim Robinson said: “Lincoln Today is a really exciting project for us – it is breaking the mould for websites run by weekly newspaper groups and reaching out to a whole new audience.”

Part of Lincoln Today’s focus is on breaking the stories that matter as quickly as possible. The website uses the best of the Lincoln Chronicle’s content and boosts it with the web team’s own wide-ranging journalism.

The departure of Lincoln City FC’s manager Keith Alexander was a recent test of this – and the team succeeded in breaking the story even before it hit any other local media.

They also publicised local council results at half-past midnight on election night, and been immediate with the results of the international Lincoln Grand Prix cycle race and photos of the city’s famous Continental Market.

The team is accepting submissions of both news and pictures from their readers both by email and by text message.

Lincoln Today also has a strong What’s On focus, directories of sports clubs, charities, clubs, local bands and businesses – plus features on tourist attractions and the history of Lincoln.

The Da Vinci Code – which was filmed at Lincoln Cathedral – has its own section.

The website has sections for jobs, motors, property and online auctions, as well as reader blogs.

Marketing is under way and comparing the three weeks before the relaunch with the three weeks after, the website has seen a 91 per cent surge in page impressions.