Putting navigation on the left is very orthodox and through repetition it has become enshrined in the cannon of UI dogma.
However that doesn't necessarily make it true.
Jared Spool wrote on this subject:
In my opinion, you shouldn’t care what I (or potentially most others on this list) like for navigation. I don’t even think you should care what your users like.
You should only care about which one best accomplishes the objectives of your users and the objectives of your organization.
That being said, having tested a ton of users on bundles of sites, we’ve learned over the years that navigation placement doesn’t matter one whit. Put the navigation practically anywhere on the page and users will find it when they need it.
On the subject Paul Boag wrote:
Traditionally navigation on the web either appears on the left or at the top. Right hand navigation has somewhat been frowned upon. However, more recently this trend seems to have been changing with more websites adopting it. I think this is partly due to blogs, which seem to have right hand navigation by default. However, it has always struck me as strange that the convention is towards left. If you think about it there are a lot of good reasons for right hand navigation…
- It puts the content first visually
- Your cursor natural hovers near the scrollbars on the right
- We are familiar with right hand navigation from tabs in books
- We know from usability research that whether navigation is on the left or right, it makes no difference in the time it takes to complete a task
This is not an argument to authority in an attempt to prove that right-hand menus are correct, it is merely to point out that two thought leaders in the field don't automatically default to the position that left is always better.
Right hand nav is a perfectly valid option, and shouldn't be discounted out of hand merely based on dogmatism. Especially in your use case where the content is news-related, considering the right-hand convention is very common with blogs.
If you have the time or budget, try some usability testing with both left and right side navigation and see if there is any measurable difference.
Update: See this related question for some additional discussion. That thread leans more heavily toward left-hand navigation.