News & Politics

The Washington Post Ends Its Regional Homepage

Photograph by Evy Mages

The Washington Post’s regional homepage, which dates back to the early days of the newspaper coming to grips with the internet, is history. “With the recent homepage redesign, everyone who visits our site can experience our local content,” Post spokesperson Molly Gannon tells Washingtonian. “Our reader research showed that users are happy to see local news even if they don’t live in the area.”

The Post began testing changes to its homepage this past March, and the most recent changes appeared last month, Gannon says. Among the tweaks: boosting opinion content and “topic bundles.”

The local homepage reflected what was once an existential question for the Post: Is it a local paper that happens to cover a region of great national importance, or is it a national paper that also happens to cover the region in which it’s based? That question animated former publisher Katharine Weymouth’s 2008 imperative that the Post should be “for, and about Washington,” a direction so vague that it took five years, a new executive editor, and an intervention from a Seattle bazillionaire before it faded from view.

The loss of a separate entrance for us local yokels doesn’t mean the Post has stopped covering DC, Maryland, and Virginia news—ask the former superintendent of VMI whether the paper’s local staff can still get results—though some readers may feel like it’s another whittling-down of the paper’s old identity as the publisher of record for articles about fires, shootouts, and neighborhood battles over political yard signs.

In 2011, Raju Narisetti, then one of the paper’s managing editors, re-introduced the regional homepage, which pushed local headlines upward at the click of a toggle—a rough equivalent to a print Post reader flipping past the front page to the Metro section, as if they were browsing through vinyl LPs. The Post’s last major homepage redesign was in 2015, Gannon says, and it has since started providing regional news alerts.

Local stories can still be found on the Post‘s homepage, often after some scrolling. Another good option for regional newshounds is the Post’s daily morning “local headlines” newsletter, a completely toggle-free experience.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.