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The LifeSiteNews staff during our annual meeting in August 2013LifeSiteNews

After over six months' work we can finally unveil the first phase of the new LifeSiteNews.com website redesign for our readers.

To say that we are excited by this new phase in LSN’s history is an understatement.  Much more than a cosmetic makeover, this website redesign is the fruit of 16 years of experience and has been painstakingly built to equip LSN with the tools that we need to reach millions more people with our hard-hitting original journalism and commentary on life and family issues.  We truly believe that it marks a watershed moment for LSN, and for independent, fearless pro-life and pro-family news reporting in general.

There are more new features on the site than we can catalogue (and many more to come in the coming weeks and months), but here are a few highlights:

1) Exclusive bloggers/columnists – In conjunction with the website redesign, LSN has recruited an exciting team of top-quality writers who will be writing exclusive weekly columns on the life and family issues. These include:

  1. Abby Johnson Abby needs no introduction. Once the director of a Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Texas, Johnson is now one of the most compelling and influential voices for the unborn, and the Culture of Life in general, worldwide. She is the founder of And Then There Were None, a pro-life ministry that reaches out to men and women in the abortion industry, providing them with the assistance that they need to escape the abortion industry, as well as to find emotional and spiritual healing.
     
  2. Anthony EsolenAnthony is surely one of the most incisive, erudite, and yet thoroughly delightful and approachable commentators on cultural issues writing today. He currently serves as professor of English at Providence College, and is perhaps best known for his widely acclaimed translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy. He has also authored several original works, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to Western Civilization and the satirically titled Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child.
     
  3. Donny Pauling – Donny, like Abby Johnson, knows what it feels like to be on the wrong side of the culture wars. A former porn producer who made millions of dollars shooting porn over the space of eight years, Donny underwent a conversion in 2006 after encountering members of XXXChurch, a group of Christians who specialize in reaching out to members of the porn industry, at a porn convention. Now Pauling is an ardent anti-porn advocate who travels the world raising awareness about the harm pornography does to everyone involved in it, including the producers, actors and users. 
     
  4. Melanie Pritchard – Melanie is an nationally renowned chastity speaker, who made headlines in 2010 when she nearly died while giving birth to her daughter, only to make an astonishing (and according to some, miraculous) recovery. She has spoken nationwide to thousands of people at many churches, schools and organizations about modesty, chastity, dignity of life issues, and marriage.  
     
  5. Jonathon van Maren – As the communications director of the pro-life organization Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform (CCBR), Jonathon has already made a name for himself writing regular columns on CCBR’s blog The Bridgehead. His commentary has also been translated into six languages and published widely online on both news sites such as The Landmark Report and print news such as the Jewish Independent, as well as both online and in print in the National Post.
     
  6. Several LSN staff writers will be writing regular columns on the new site, and there are plans to continue to expand our columnist/blogger program by recruiting established as well as emerging social conservative writing talent.

2) Customize your news experience – LSN readers now have the option to create an account and to log in to our website. Once you have done so you will be able to select your favorite bloggers, as well as choose the topics that LSN covers that you are most interested in. Your preferences will then be used to generate a customized news feed on our home page. Once logged in you will also be able to change your e-mail newsletter settings, sign LSN petitions on critical issues with the click of a mouse, and make donations with greater ease. Additional functionality will be added in the coming weeks and months.

3) “Responsive” design – Whether you are  on your desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone, the new LifeSiteNews.com will automatically resize itself to fit the size of your screen. No more squinting at your tablet or mobile phone!

4) Media sectionThe completely new media section is an easily-searchable repository of hundreds of the most compelling pro-life and pro-family videos from around the Internet, as well as many of the videos and photographs that LifeSiteNews has taken and/or created over the years. Spend some time browsing the many powerful and potentially life-changing videos, and be sure to share them on social media!

5) The Pulse Another new section on the website, The Pulse, is a place where LSN staff and other leading pro-life and pro-family leaders and writers can engage in a more informal conversation about the breaking news on the life and family issues. Check out The Pulse for shorter, snappier and more personal breaking news updates and punchy commentary on the issues you most care about.

Note that while we feel that the website is at a place where it can be launched, it is also very much a work in progress. Undoubtedly we will  discover and iron out various bugs over the next few days, while additional features will  continue to be added to the website in the coming months. Perhaps the most exciting feature in the works is a comprehensive “resources” section, which will serve as a clearinghouse of the most up-to-date research and information about the various issues that LSN covers. 

In any case, welcome! We hope you share some of our excitement. While you're here, why not create an account, explore a bit, and then leave a comment letting us know your thoughts about the redesign? Also, do note that the launch of this new website was designed to coincide with our annual summer fundraising campaign, which will formally launch on Tuesday. We truly do rely on these quarterly campaigns to keep us going. Please consider helping us reach our goal by making a donation today. Click here to make a donation.

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