Newsrooms are shrinking faster than ever, including the number of reporters who cover political news at the state Capitol. Illinois is no exception, leaving readers with dwindling options for credible, unbiased coverage of state news.
Since 1865, The Illinois Press Association has represented daily and weekly newspapers in the state. Its Board of Directors pondered how to keep political news available to Illinois newspapers. The Illinois Press Foundation created Capitol News Illinois to be a resource to more than 400 media outlets.
Capitol News’ goal includes to “increase news consumers’ awareness, interest, and participation in state government.”
To make life easier for political reporters, a new website publishes news from the statehouse for reporters to use for daily or weekly newspapers.
For this site, Capitol News Illinois opted to use an LRS-designed website theme. Using one of our customized website design themes, we were able to get this site up and running more quickly than if we had created a design from scratch. Not only did this save time during site construction, but it also allowed the Illinois Press Association to preserve its budget.
Unveiled in February 2019, the new site, available to members of the Illinois Press Association, includes blog posts from Capitol News Illinois reporters. It also includes news specific to the Statehouse and a schedule of upcoming stories. Also included are portraits of Illinois lawmakers and action photos that members can download for use in their publications.
Members can also easily submit a story idea and include a photo.
In just a few weeks, the blog already accounted for 15% of their website traffic. The site is easy to read on mobile devices – good for reporters on-the-go. Indeed, mobile devices account for 63% of Capitol News’ website traffic.
Capitol News, although a relatively simple site, now has a clear web presence – an important and valuable resource to help journalists keep Illinois citizens informed of what’s going on at the Capitol.