One of the questions often asked to the staff members of the Morris family of newspapers is “are you on the web?” The answer to the question, as of Thursday, Sept. 8, is yes, with the launch of SWNews4U.com.
SWNews4U.com is a new news website that is a collaboration of nine different community newspapers in Southwestern Wisconsin.
SWNews4U.com will include content from The Boscobel Dial, Crawford County Independent/Kickapoo Scout, Fennimore Times, the Grant County Herald Independent, The Richland Observer, Hillsboro Sentry-Enterprise, The Platteville Journal, the Republican Journal, and Tri-County Press.
“SWNews4U.com is another way we can bring the news to our readers,” said Regional Publisher John Ingebritsen. “The website will give us the ability to run more photos of events, provide updates on breaking news stories in addition to showcasing what our news staff works so hard to produce each week. We don’t view this as an alternative to our newspapers. We see this as an enhancement of our weekly newspapers.”
One of those enhancements is the Multimedia section, which will offer videos from events happening in the six counties the newspapers contributing to SWNews4U.com will cover. The Multimedia section will also have the capability of having interviews from high school athletes and coaches, as well as notable individuals in the community.
Another aspect of the website is its ability to alert readers to breaking news, with alerts posted and emailed to readers who sign up for the site’s e-newsletter. That e-newsletter will also update readers each week with the news stories on the site.
One of the more interesting aspects of the new website will be the interaction it will bring to the readers in the region. SWNews4U.com has a Community section, where readers can share their views, their photos, and video. Each of the newspapers will be posting additional photos of community events in the Community section.
For more interaction, click on the Ask The Experts section where local ‘experts’ will be available to answer questions about anything, from when is the right time to invest, to what is the perfect anniversary gift to buy, to what are the best ways to winterize your home.
Looking for someplace to eat? SWNews4U.com will also be launching with a regional dining guide, with listings from restaurants, pubs, bars, and eateries in six counties, listing the types of cuisines they serve, their hours of operation, and if they offer banquet, catering, or other services.
SWNews4U.com will also be hosting all classifieds that are printed in all nine newspapers in its Marketplace section. Employment opportunities will be in the Jobs section of the website, and if you are looking for a new place to live, you will be able to find that in the Real Estate section.
Another part of SWNews4U.com that will grow after launch is the Veterans Project. The Veterans Project will post information about area memorial projects that are underway, and will eventually grow into an interactive place where the names and the stories of area vets will be accessed.
Ingebritsen said that the the website will expand over time as more features come online.