The first issue of The Straits Times on July 15, 1845. 170th anniversary ? my favourite newspaper @STcom pic.twitter.com/WHRADEszct
— Malar Arumugam (@ThilamalarMalar) May 3, 2015
If you’re a regular reader of The Straits Times, you’d have noticed that the newspaper delivered to your house — or the website, if you prefer getting your daily news fix online — came with a different look. This redesign was made to celebrate The Straits Times’ 170th birthday.
The redesigned paper now has a brand-new layout, and uses a number of new typefaces. According to Coconuts Singapore, headlines, subheads and body text will be presented in Selane, a serif font. Other aspects of the paper, such as bylines, fact boxes, tag-on bylines, will use Curator, a sans serif font.
Additionally, the revamped Straits Times will include a number of new sections of content, like “What’s Next” and “Why It Matters”. These will be printed on the second page of the daily paper, and are said to be helpful summaries for readers who are short on time.
To celebrate this milestone, the daily is offering readers — specifically those who are not already digital subscribers — 50 free stories this month. Those who sign up for an account now, however, will get free unlimited access to stories until August 9, National Day.
While the redesign was carried out to mark the broadsheet’s 170th anniversary, it’s not difficult to see how these changes to the paper are also a move towards making news stories more accessible and digestible for readers. With social media sites like Twitter becoming a platform that readers are turning to for a quick glance-through of the daily news, it only makes sense for sections like “What’s Next” to be incorporated into the redesign of The Straits Times.
And despite The Straits Times seeing an all-time high circulation of 410,000 last year (including digital subscriptions), it’s evident that print versions of the news are no longer as in-demand as they use to be. In an interview in March 2014, Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of SPH’s English and Malay Newspapers Division, said, “Digital growth has more than offset our print circulation decline,” he said. “Our multi-platform readership is now growing.”
So while the demand for news itself has not declined, it seems readers are calling for newer, fresher ways of consuming information — and The Straits Times appears to be responding to that call with this revamp.
In celebration of both the paper’s anniversary and SG50, The Straits times will be curating an exhibition at the ArtScience Museum come 17 July. The exhibit, “Singapore STories: Then, Now, Tomorrow”, will highlight some of Singapore’s milestones through a collection of headlines and images from the paper since it was launched in 1845.
The exhibit will run till 4 October, and will be free for all to attend.