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Newspapers use open-source software to engage readers online

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Drupal

A growing number of newspapers are turning to open-source software in the race to build engaging news websites.

Although in the world of print, high-end commercial production software like QuarkXPress and Adobe InDesign reigns supreme, online a free content management system (CMS) called Drupal is gaining more and more ground.

Originally developed by Belgian programmer Dries Buytaert, the CMS is a favourite of web hacker geeks around the world, but has been currying increasing favour inside newsroom production offices, too.

Bluffton Today, an innovative printed newspaper that depends upon its online arm for local content, runs on Drupal, while the prominent New York Observer relaunched this month with a new site powered by the software; even America's Scripps newspaper company is a fan.

Nikolai Thyssen, online director of Denmark's national Dagbladet Information, which switched to Drupal in December, said the software's participatory features - it gives users blogs and is predicated on community responses to articles - are the key.

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