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Home / New Milestones section launches May 15
The Gazette will be launching a revamped Milestones section — also featuring the Sunday Obituaries — beginning May 15.
The revamped section — which will combine Milestones and Obituaries — emphasizes relationships that you have with friends and those in the community. Whether it's needing to wish them a happy birthday or celebrate an engagement or offer condolences, the content will appear in a single place. The format will switch to the larger broadsheet pages, similar to other sections of the paper.
The new section also will help solve some other complaints, too. Moving the Obituaries from Iowa Today helps us open up additional space for news content, which was getting squeezed when we had a high number of obituaries to publish. This means two to three more pages of news in Iowa Today each Sunday. The new section also helps us freshen up Milestones, which has been a long-standing audience favorite.
The section will appear as the fourth section in the newspaper each Sunday, making up the final section in our late run (the sections with the latest deadlines). Milestones will appear behind the front news section, Iowa Today and Sports. Insight and Books will anchor the second set of sections in the paper.
We're also revamping the individual Milestones announcements to have a more uniform look. Each Milestone will have a standardized background, while more consistent fonts will help with readability. The deadlines for Milestones won't be changing, but we will be offering a reduced price for all active subscribers.
Obituaries will always start on the back page of the section, with the index anchored there. While this may require some reading habits to change, having it appear on the same page was important to most of the readers who provided feedback on changes. Placement on the back page was the only way we could achieve consistent placement.
The eight-page Milestones section also will feature stories on area non-profits and places of worship. These stories will run on a space available basis between the Milestones and Obituaries. These features will help showcase interesting groups, ways to become involved in the community and places you may have been curious to learn more about. (If you'd like to be featured, please share this information with your non-profit or place of worship. (Groups can submit this online at www.TheGazette.com/nonprofitspotlight or www.thegazette.com/faithspotlight.)
More than 70 people generously took part in focus groups to help us refine the changes. The groups looked at various prototypes, asked questions and shared ideas for the section. These groups were critical in helping us put together the revamped section. I hope you'll share feedback with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by dropping a note.
These changes are geared at providing the best experience and relevant content with our newspaper each Sunday. I'll be back again next week to share some additional improvements and content changes coming May 15.
Thanks for reading,
Zack Kucharski, Executive Editor