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Technology is constantly changing, and that means the news business is changing along with it.

We’ve gone from clunky, basic newspaper websites to cleaner versions that are easier on the eyes. We’ve also ventured into apps for your mobile devices. Whatever technology you’re using, we want news across the mid-valley to be accessible to you.

That’s why we are about to unveil a revamped version of our websites in the next week. The new look will feature a cleaner layout — one that we hope will make it easier for you to connect with what you care about. We hope you like the changes, and as always, we’re interested to hear what you think.

There are plenty of aesthetic reasons for changing the look and feel of our sites. The former sites were oriented toward text, and over the years they have become mired in clutter. Because delivering news and information digitally is still in its early stages, learning what you as readers want in a website is often a matter of trial and error.

The good news for us is that we have access to information about how readers use our sites. There are a lot of analytics that allow us to know how readers access online information, and we weighed every bit of that data as we redesigned our websites. We hope you’ll agree that it’s an exciting change for the better.

The redesign also incorporates some pretty cool technological aspects. In the past, the desktop version of our website and the version you accessed on a mobile device were different, although they did have some similarities. Now, thanks to new technology, all four of the Mid-Valley Media’s websites automatically adjust to fit the size of the screen on whatever device you are using.

These changes mean that now is the perfect time to activate your digital account. Digital Access is part of your Full Access subscription package and entitles you to all of our digital products and services, the daily e-edition and unlimited stories, galleries and videos on our websites. All you have to do is click on the big blue “Activate” button featured on nearly every page of our sites. Even if you love the print product (and we’re glad you do!), we’re happy to be able to help you stay up to date while you’re out of town or to help you keep others in touch with the latest local news.

While our sites have continually evolved in look over several years, the first implementation of the design we’re now abandoning launched in 2008. I think we’d all agree that any technology in use from 2008, upgraded or not, is ready to be retired.

We hope you like the look and technology behind the new websites and appreciate the hard work that went into making a better experience for you, our readers. Most important, we’re interested in your feedback. I hope you’ll click around the new features and see everything the redesigned sites have to offer. We’d love to hear what you think.

Jeff Precourt is the publisher of Mid-Valley Media, which includes the Democrat-Herald, the Gazette-Times, the Lebanon Express and the Philomath Express.

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