Welcome to the most significant redesign in The Globe's history - a newspaper that has colour on every page and several pages on glossy stock, starting with the editions on sale today - and welcome to this website that underwent its own transformation Thursday evening.
For a moment, look beyond that. The redesign is not just about design, or paper quality, or our new online navigation, or social media groups. It's about confidence. A few years ago, The Globe and our printing partners came to a profound decision: that quality newspapers such as The Globe have many years left as a printed product. Our printers, in turn, invested hundreds of millions of dollars in state-of-the-art German printing presses, the ones that reproduced our redesigned newspaper Thursday night in six Canadian cities. Our part of the bargain was to create a newspaper that was equally daring - one that did not seek to prolong the past, but burns to invent the future. We crafted new designs, developed a variety of story-telling forms, took a chance on more expensive newsprint and convinced a great range of advertisers that print is not dead. If done beautifully and intelligently, its latest chapter - a thriving, ambitious, newspaper - has just begun.
Why change? Over the past year, our weekday print circulation grew 5 per cent last year, and 6 per cent on weekends - when our competitors were all in retreat. Our online traffic is up 20 per cent. Our mobile traffic is up 500 per cent. And our journalism keeps winning international recognition - this week with our second consecutive Emmy Award for our work in Afghanistan. This year's Emmy went to Behind the Veil, a video series about the lives of women in the land where Canadian troops are fighting and dying. Editor and Publisher has named our website the best newspaper-affiliated site in the world.
We're changing - evolving - because we're not interested in protecting what we have. We want to see The Globe grow, in size and spirit, just as we expect Canada to do. As the young woman - our future - says on our TV ads, let's celebrate things not yet done or dreamed. Let's reach for what's beyond our grasp.
In today's Globe, you get your first taste of what's to come. I hope you find it delicious. Our front page - the first North American daily front page on glossy stock - makes two bold statements. One, we're a visual medium, showcasing outstanding pictures and colours.
We're also a medium of words and ideas, one that dares to lead the entire newspaper with an editorial because the first task for the new Globe is to deliver insight to Canadians.
Our passions and concerns have not changed. We want to be the nation's leading source on our shared direction - in politics and policy - as well as our economy, culture and social interaction. We will continue to dominate Canadian business and economics news, in print and online. (Check our reportonbusiness.com for the launch today of a new economy blog and economics section.) We're also striving for new voices and insights, to help Canadians seize the 21st century rather than yearn for the 20th. You'll find those voices in our news and Comment pages, and this weekend in a reconfigured Focus section that aims to be the spark of every great (and if necessary, outrageous) Canadian debate.
On this award-winning website, you'll find a new homepage and navigation bar that allows you to get to all the wonderful content corners of globeandmail.com. There's lots more video, commentary and conversations with our journalists, and of course, the fastest breaking news in the country.
Our outstanding Ottawa Notebook - nominated this week for best blog award by Canadian Online Publishing Association - finds a new companion in print, coming this Monday with a political file that will set the week's agenda in Ottawa and every provincial capital.
We're also investing more in serious reporting and analysis. On most days of the week, you'll find a major spread in our front section devoted to the best story and issue of the day. In today's chaotic media world, it will rise above the noise to produce sophisticated and visually scintillating journalism. Consider it a Hollywood-free zone.
But we're also shifting strategically, with much more content, in print and online, to help us all enjoy and understand the personal sides of our lives. Today's Life section launches as an expanded daily, glossy section that probes everything that should matter to you personally. Today it's relationships. Every Monday, we'll take on health and fitness. Tuesday, we'll turn to money. Wednesday, it's time for food and wine. Thursday, we focus on travel. In fact, travel is so important to our readers that we'll give you a bit of it every day in Life. Our life project is aimed not only to bring in new readers, in print and online; it's designed to deepen our relationship with our readers. Every day, this is augmented by outstanding photography in The Globe's new online Camera Club, a first for Canada that brings together professionals and sophisticated amateurs to explore, test and share everything that is great and ambitious about photojournalism.
Go to globeandmail.com/life and you'll find Canada's richest source of original content to help you navigate and understand your personal time. Beppi Crosariol, the country's pre-eminent wine critic, offers a library of reviews - and videos in which he talks about his favourite wines. And in a few weeks, you'll be able to purchase wine directly on our site. Our celebrity chefs will fill your kitchen with great ideas, and video tips - if you wish - to provide you with Globe instruction on your screen right next to the stove. All in all, we have 140 Globe videos on our site to help you cook the next meal and work it off with a two-minute fitness routine. This weekend we will also introduce a completely redesigned Style section - you can preview a behind-the-scenes look at the cover model and fashion shoot on the Life site.
So back to basics. Why change when you're doing well? It goes back to a simple lesson from the Olympics. If you don't push yourself, if you don't dare to make today better than yesterday, if you don't believe in progress, you're doomed to defeat. As in athletics, we've seen it again in the global economy, in banking and commerce, in peacekeeping and war, in fiction and theatre, and science near and far. When Canadians challenge themselves, when we seek to create what others have not yet dreamed, we can inspire the world.
Are you ready to begin?
For more on our new home page, check out our blog post on the redesign, and our responses to your comments throughout the posts on the Digital Lab.