The Osage News debuted its new website on Feb. 4, which includes a more phone-friendly design for its readers.
Working with the San Francisco-based digital media agency Cogknockers, the News’ website now offers an updated, user-friendly interface with easier-to-navigate pages, larger pictures and bigger headlines.
“Most importantly, it’s easier for our readers to get their news on their phones or tablets,” said Osage News editor Shannon Shaw Duty. “We’re just scratching the surface of the capabilities of our new site. As we move forward, we think our readers will be very pleased.”
The new design allows for the site to optimize the size of the users’ screen, whether they’re using a phone or a tablet, something the previous site didn’t do. Shaw Duty said the way consumers get their news has changed drastically within the past 5-10 years and the News must change with it.
In September of 2020, the News cut back on its distribution of the print newspaper by requiring Osages to subscribe for free. The move cut the newspaper’s circulation number of 7,000 by more than half. Currently, approximately 2,000 people subscribe to receive a hard copy of the Osage News by mail.
New functions of the website redesign include:
- The opportunity for readers to subscribe to a weekly e-mail newsletter. The newsletter will have the week’s headlines and upcoming events.
- Follow your favorite reporter by clicking on their name and reading their coverage.
- Share articles to social media, or email them to a friend.
- Search through the Osage News’ archives, download a PDF or bookmark it for later.
- The Osage News store is a new feature and readers will be able to purchase merchandise.
During the 10th Special Session in September of last year, the Seventh Osage Nation Congress unanimously passed a $130,000 appropriation bill (ONCA 21-70 sponsored by Second Congressional Speaker Jodie Revard) to provide tribal funding for a new website and app for the Osage News.
The News ended up spending less than $50,000 of the total appropriation for the new site.
The funds were originally supposed to come from American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding received by the Nation, said Shaw Duty, but due to the Nation’s review of priority spending of ARP funds, the appropriation was switched to tribal funding. This meant the funds had to be obligated and spent by Dec. 30, 2021.
“That gave us three months to bid out the work, select a company, approve a design for a website, and hope they could transfer over 7,000 pages of content from our previous site,” Shaw Duty said. “We lucked out by finding Cogknockers.”
The mobile-friendly design influenced the News’ Editorial Board to put a phone application on hold, for now. Cogknockers CEO, Eric Key, said an AMP (Accelerated Mobile Page) created by Google has been implemented into the new site and it will function as an app without having to download it. The function took effect as soon as the site launched. An AMP is optimized for mobile web browsing and intended to help web pages load faster. For more information about the Osage News’ website redesign or to subscribe for a print edition, please call (918) 287-5668 or email at email@example.com.