Suburban Newspapers of America has named McNaughton Newspapers’ digital team as Innovators of the Year for their inventive use of open-source software and sleek website redesign.
SNA is a nonprofit, professional trade association serving the suburban and community newspaper industry. McNaughton Newspapers owns The Davis Enterprise, Mountain Democrat in Placerville and Daily Republic in Fairfield.
“We know how innovative our tech team is and has been for years,” said Foy McNaughton, CEO of McNaughton Newspapers. “It is certainly nice that our peers also recognize them for their extremely innovative and ‘out of the box’ thinking on our Web redesign.”
The company’s digital team used WordPress, a free open-source software application, and customized it to serve as the Mountain Democrat’s new publishing system. The team also retooled the newspaper’s website, creating an updated platform to present news stories, photos and video.
After the new system and website were tested in Placerville, they were rolled out at the Mountain Democrat’s sister papers in Davis and Fairfield earlier this year.
The company’s digital team includes Jonathan Edwards, online editor; Joe Boydston, vice president of digital media; Dean Royal, director of online strategy; and David Martinelli, online editor/design.
“Judges praised the use of open-source software to produce both the newspaper and the website and described MtDemocrat.com as well-organized, beautifully designed, and beating the heck out of sites operated by newspapers 10 times its size,” an article in SNA’s August newsletter.