The much-anticipated Web 2.0 regional news portal in Germany, Der Westen, has gone live.

The front end — full of geotagging and social networking goodness is very nice indeed, but what’s been done under the bonnet that seems to be equally important. The backend of the custom-built CMS, apparently, is very user-friendly — which is important because over 800 print journalists have had to be trained to use it.

Blogger-turned-regional-newspaper-executive Katarina Borchert, who has lead the project for the WAZ group, is on the cover of German journalism mag Medium this month, and has some extremely wise words in the interview:

Ich komme ja aus der Blogwelt und habe much gefragt, warum Redaktionssysteme von Zeitungen im Vergleich zu denen für Blogs so kompliziert sein müssen.

My translation:

Coming from the world of blogs, I asked myself why newspapers’ content management systems have to be so complicated compared to blogs’.

Why indeed. I’ve asked myself the same thing a few times over the last few months.