The Hull Daily Mail and twin title the East Riding Mail have unveiled a host of changes after conducting research into reader habits.
The new approach, labelled the ‘Newspaper for Now’, aims to build on the Mail’s current daily circulation of 71,000. It includes ‘in short’ boxes on all page leads, which readers can use to pick up the main points of the story.
There is also a ‘paper in a page’ on page two, which provides an at-a-glance digest of the whole paper.
Web links have been introduced so readers can find out more about the story or feature by going straight to the most relevant websites, and ‘What happens next?’ panels interpret or predict the next stage or stages in the story.
All page leads have to be illustrated with pictures to ensure that every page has a clear focal point – and secondary stories are now being converted into news in brief.
The changes were made after research found readers wanted more value from their time reading the Mail.
A dummy featuring the changes was tested on groups of regular and irregular readers before the launch. Almost all of them said they made the layout of the paper more appealing, made it less likely that they would miss things, and helped them to be better informed.
Editor John Meehan said he believed the Mail had gone further than any other regional paper in responding to changing reading habits.
He said: “These changes are a huge stride forward in making the Mail even more relevant and appealing to our readers. They also give the paper a very fresh, contemporary feel.
“Our journalists have adjusted brilliantly well to writing and presenting news, features and sport in a very different way.”