NewsFour Launches New Website

launch_Karen Madsen, Ann Ingle, Karen Keegan, Emma Dwyer

The launch of the NewsFour website took place in the Sandymount Hotel in late November. In attendance were the original founders of the paper; Labour Cllr. Dermot Lacey and former NewsFour Editor Ann Ingle who talked about the history of the project.

Irish Times columnist Róisín Ingle spoke about her early journalism days with NewsFour and how far it has come. “It’s very different to the one I used to work for, I mean it has the same ethos, same themes and what you’re writing about is the same, but it just does it so much better. It’s brighter, there’s more in it, and it comes out more often. I think these things are very underestimated by people, if you didn’t have NewsFour you wouldn’t be informed,” she said.

launch_CLLR Gerry Ash, Frank KannedyOn either side of the room leather-bound books of all past issues dating back to the very first NewsFour in 1986 were perused by local representatives, NewsFour contributors, past employees and people from the many community groups in the area. In the centre, a big screen showed NewsFour’s inaugural leap into the digital era.

The development of a user-friendly website that is easy to navigate, informative and contains current topics that stick to the community ethos that has defined NewsFour was the brainchild of Managing Editor Karen Keegan and Website/Advert Designer Karen Madsen.

“Karen wanted to revamp the existing website and she pretty much wanted to modernise NewsFour,” said Karen Madsen, “the rebranding of the NewsFour logo was the first step, then we went on to design the new website.”

Lack of funds meant that the redevelopment had to be conducted in-house. Karen Madsen, Karen Keegan and past participant Gemma Byrne undertook the arduous task of designing and building the website from scratch with little or no experience. “We went on a little mission to build it ourselves. Everything was going well. We spent six months uploading content and it was looking really good, then we got a virus which shut the whole thing down,” said Karen Keegan.

That didn’t phase the girls but they realised they couldn’t build it without some technical expertise. Karen Keegan contacted Ciara Spillane of GooglersGive on neighbouring Barrow Street and asked if Google would be willing to help as part of their CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). They sent Tim McParland, Strategic Partner Manager from their Online Partnerships Group.

launch_Liam Cahill, Nadine Keegan, Anita McPhilipps“Tim was great and simplified his computer language for our non-techy brains to understand. He totally took on board what we were doing and how we wanted NewsFour to be presented online. He was able to advise us on the best way to get the project off the ground. He started a fresh build again with Karen Madsen’s original design layout and we couldn’t be happier with end result,” said Karen Keegan.

On the night Karen Keegan gave a live demonstration on how user-friendly the site is and explained how the content is updated daily. She showed the archive section where issues dating back to 2003 can be read online.

New Editor Emma Dwyer explained that in its first three weeks of going live had over 5,000 page views and interestingly, 24 unique visitors from Japan. Yes, we’re big in Japan! Emma also showed how advertising campaigns redirect traffic to a client’s website and how is interactive through Facebook and Twitter. will be updated daily with local stories, which are exclusive to the website. NewsFour will continue to be printed bi-monthly and all of the content from the paper will be uploaded online. Don’t forget to read our online stories and to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Our readers’ support will help us with our move into the digital era.

Pictured above, from left: Ann Ingle, Karen Keegan, Emma Dwyer.
Below: CLLR Gerry Ash, Frank Kennedy.
Bottom: Liam Cahill, Nadine Keegan, Anita McPhilips.

Photographs by Leeza Kane.

By Liam Cahill