WASHINGTON – After nearly 15 years, the oldest name in independent news on the Internet is being retired.
Come New Year’s Day 2012, “America’s Independent News Network” is getting a new name, a new look and a whole new attitude as WND replaces the familiar WorldNetDaily logo.
“We don’t want to shock our audience, so we’re letting everyone know what’s coming,” explains Joseph Farah, editor, co-founder and chief executive officer of the first independent online news agency begun in 1997. “What we’re launching the first of the year is so radically different in design from what we have been for the last 15 years, we think it’s important to give everyone a head’s-up. It’s going to be fresh, contemporary, cutting edge, more video, with easier navigation and expanded coverage.”
There will even be a new name – a new corporate identity.
“About the only thing that will remain is the mission and the founding commitment to independent investigative reporting that is second to none in exposing fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in government and other powerful institutions in need of watchdogging,” says Farah. “We’ll definitely maintain the same fiercely independent commitment to the truth – maybe even step it up a notch or two.”
When visitors go to the site as of Jan. 1, the familiar WorldNetDaily logo will be gone in favor of the new WND logo you can see right now at the bottom of every page.
“We’ve actually been shifting away from the WorldNetDaily name for many years,” explained Farah. “It is used in only a few places at this point, including the top of the page. We just don’t want people disoriented one day when they visit the site and no longer see the trademarked name we have used for almost 15 years and instead see a bold new unfamiliar site.”
Farah said the change is a marketing decision based on the ease of remembering a three-letter site amid the increasing noise and clutter of an Internet with hundreds of millions of competing sites. WND has been using WND.com as its primary domain for more than a decade.
“WND is becoming the corporate identity now,” he said. “Few people remember what CNN stands for any more. But there was a day that the company touted its original name – Cable News Network. Times change and so do corporate identities and logos.”
The redesigned site has been in the works for about a year and involves more than just a newer look. In addition to the visual redesign, it will incorporate a brand-new content management system, a new search engine and database and new editorial features.
“Keep in mind, there have been a few changes in the Internet world since we first launched WorldNetDaily,” said Farah. “There was no Google back then. There were no apps. There were no blogs – the word had not been invented. There was hardly any broadband available to consumers. There was no video. There was no Amazon. To give you an idea of how long ago it was and what a different world we lived in, MSNBC.com was the largest news site and Fox News was just getting started.”
WorldNetDaily came online in May 1997 as the first independent online news agency. WND remains today the largest, among the top 500 websites in the U.S. and the top 2,500 in the world. It also ranks among the very top news sources on the Internet in the categories of unique visitors, page impressions and time spent per user. Based on consumer voting, it was ranked the most popular website in the world for 100 straight weeks by the European-based Global 100 website.