The uplifting news filter is a digital-first for PinkNews and will allow the PinkNews audience to only read and view positive news stories if they choose, say the publishers.
The new feature has been created following extensive feedback from the PinkNews global audience and follows a Reuters 2021 study that showed that 46 per cent of people in the UK actively avoid the news. This was up 22 per cent from the year before due to reasons including a lack of diversity, the news making respondents of the Reuters study feel depressed and that they did not feel that they had any control over the stories being covered.
The feature comes at a time of continued anguish for the LGBTQ+ community following an increase in anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes and the ongoing anti-trans rhetoric used in legacy media, says PinkNews.
Benjamin Cohen, PinkNews’ CEO, commented: “PinkNews serves a diverse global community and our mission to inform, inspire change and empower people to be themselves is at the very centre of all that we do. The relaunch of the website and apps is an authentic continuation of our brand story, where our vision of inclusivity and innovation is brought to life. As a business, we have long championed under-represented voices and through this, we have recognised the need to allow our audience only to see uplifting stories if they so wish in a world where they continue to be targeted. The inclusion of the uplifting news filter is genuinely groundbreaking for the digital media industry and shows how PinkNews is at the forefront of innovation within the sector.”
The uplifting news filter feature will at first be available on the PinkNews apps and followed by the website in 2023.
The new PinkNews website and apps also have three further new features alongside the uplifting news filter which will benefit the PinkNews audience including functionality around accessibility, sustainability and personalisation. With a focus on digital inclusivity, well-being and environmental impact, the new PinkNews website and apps demonstrate how design and accessibility can go hand in hand, says PinkNews.
According to the publishers, other key new features of the PinkNews website and apps are:
According to a WHO report published in 2011, approximately 15 per cent of the global population has a disability. Yet, less than 2 per cent of the top one million commercial websites are digitally accessible. Adhering to the international W3C process and its Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), the PinkNews website and apps have ensured the following key improvements to ensure both are as inclusive and accessible as possible:
- New design and layout, using a component library that easily scales to suit multiple devices
- Colours used have passed accessibility tests for visually impaired people
- Correct image labelling to ensure the best experience for people using screen readers
- Enabled text-to-speech functionality on articles, so the audience will be able to listen to stories
- Choosing a font and size that is easy to read
- Incorporated elastic-search to make it quicker and easier for readers to find what they are looking for
The new PinkNews website is within the top 7 per cent of global websites tested for emitting fewer carbon emissions, a sustainability improvement of 70 per cent (websitecarbon.com). This decrease has been achieved by the website running more efficiently through writing cleaner code, optimising images and improving SEO, which reduces the time it takes people to find what they are looking for.
The PinkNews global audience is highly engaged and ranges from Gen Z to the post-war generation from across the LGBTQ+ community; each is looking to experience PinkNews in a different way that suits them. Within the new PinkNews apps, each person can create a personalised newsfeed based on their personal preferences, allowing them to get a digital brand experience that suits and serves them best.
The in-house tech team has designed and implemented the relaunch following extensive audience surveying led by Chief Product Officer Sarah Watson.
Sarah commented on the website and apps relaunch: “I’m delighted to launch the new PinkNews website and apps, designed and built entirely in-house by our talented team. Our primary goal was to create an easily accessible, more inclusive space for our global LGBTQ+ audience and their allies. By significantly improving our core web vitals, using a flexible, scalable design language and introducing new features like our uplifting news filter. This is the first important step in bringing wider inclusivity to the PinkNews digital experience and we will continue to make positive changes to our offering based on reader feedback and experience.”
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