Washington, D.C. — March 30, 2012 —
Voice of America is giving its websites a new look and additional features, and saving some money in the process.
The new layout makes navigation easier for the user, moves more content to the top of the page, provides bigger images, and more multimedia functionality. The design also allows online commenting on audio and video for the first time.
VOA, which broadcasts news and information around the world in 43 languages, began the transition to the new content management system (CMS) this week with its Indonesian, Spanish and Creole websites. Eventually more than 50 VOA websites will make the switch.
"Our audience should love it," says Iscar Blanco, Managing Editor of the VOA Spanish site. "It gives us more exposure with social media, and it allows us to be more creative in the way we lay out the page every day. If we have great pictures of a developing story and some interesting audience contributions, we can highlight that, clump them together, and move the entire cluster to the center of the page. I love it," Blanco says.
Martha Townes, the Internet Managing Editor for VOA's East Asia and Pacific Division, says, "The new system makes more sense. It allows editors to move things around and organize graphics and stories in a more intuitive and dynamic way."
The content management system, called Pangea, will also save money by migrating VOA and other U.S. international broadcasters to the same platform and reducing duplicate systems. Pangea was created by Internet technology developers at VOA's sister station, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, a U.S. government-funded international broadcaster, which has shared the program with VOA and will also store content on its servers.
Via Yimber Gaviria, Colombia