SNO rolls out update to FLEX theme with a long-form story template

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This is a screenshot of the long-form homeless youth story referenced in the post.

The crew at School Newspapers Online rolled out a nice update today to their FLEX theme and it includes a long-form story template which looks like a great option for telling in-depth stories online. In their release below you can find more information about their update and get a glimpse of the long-form story template in action with a story posted about homeless youth on the BSMKnightErrant.org site.

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SNO FLEX Empowers Students and Advisers with New Storytelling Tools

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (January 7, 2014) – Building on the most flexible WordPress platform available for student news media, School Newspapers Online (SNO) has released SNO FLEX 5.4, which takes a major step forward with new storytelling and design tools, all of which were created to empower student journalists to make decisions for how to present their stories.

The most significant enhancement is the addition of a long-form story template with new options including immersive photo displays, integrated gallery tools, and chapter navigation. This new template allows a compelling and dominant photo to introduce the story, and the chapter navigation tool enables longer, in-depth stories or multiple components of comprehensive coverage. It’s perfect for other uses, such as pro/con opinion pieces, lists, or groupings of reviews.

Taking advantage of the multitude of design options in SNO FLEX just got easier, too. The design options interface has been restructured and simplified, so users can easily find the styles and design elements they want to adjust. The SNO FLEX style tools allow users to apply a style set and new color scheme to their entire site with just a few clicks. Additionally, staffs can adjust any color, background, pattern, widget style, or font on the site. The tools empower students to decide what look and configuration works best, and the configuration can change depending on the latest stories.

The latest version of FLEX retains all the tools that school news staffs have used for more than a year: responsive design that will automatically look great on any device, a drag-and-drop design interface for the home page and the ability to configure and adjust every aspect of the site.

As always, this update is free for journalism programs already using the FLEX platform. These tools give school newspaper staffs an affordable option that remains ahead of the curve. SNO developers crafted the updates based on requests, comments and suggestions from advisers and students in the classroom. Staffs now have even more tools to help publish online regularly — they can focus on journalism without worrying about technology.

Aaron Manfull

Aaron is in his 19th year of advising student media. He is currently the Director of Student Media at Francis Howell North High School in St. Charles, Missouri. He is the Journalism Education Association Digital Media Chair and co-Director of Media Now. He created The Next 26 and is a former Dow Jones News Fund National Journalism Teacher of the Year. He is one of the authors of the textbook "Student Journalism and Media Literacy." You can find him on Twitter and Instragram @manfull and on Snapchat as aaronmanfull. He's a proud father. A transplanted Iowan. And an avid Hawkeye Fan.

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5 thoughts on “SNO rolls out update to FLEX theme with a long-form story template

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