I am writing to beg you to bring back the old front page -- you know, the one with important news from America and around the world, as well as Alaska. I realize you recently changed your focus to emphasize local news on the front page, but I for one, am unhappy by this change. I still look to the daily newspaper to educate and inform, and for me, your new policy isn't doing the job.
I know I'm a dying breed, but I still really like newspapers -- I like reading the paper in morning as I sip my coffee. I want to be able to look at the front page and see at a glance the most important local, national and international news stories. Now I feel that I have to work much harder to get a sense of important news in the rest of the world.
I have nothing against local news, mind you. In fact, the Alaska section is usually my favorite section of the newspaper. I just think two local sections is too much, and your overall coverage suffers.
I find myself not looking forward to reading the front page these days. For me, there is entirely too much insipid local news masquerading as front-page fare. I mean, how many more Pete Kott stories must we endure on the front page? Meanwhile, the war our country is currently embroiled in is buried inside along with celebrity tidbits. Obviously we can quibble about what the day's most important stories are, but I used to rely on your editors to pick a good mix of significant local, national, and international stories for the front page. Now I feel like I must seek out other sources to be reasonably informed. I feel like you are pushing away loyal newspaper readers like myself and marginalizing your importance.
I'm trying to be sympathetic to the fact that newspapers must reinvent themselves these days, but I really hope that as you reexamine your goals, that you will bring back a front page that has a wider scope.
I appreciate your thoughtful comments. The dilemma we face is well captured in your closing paragraph, which I would paraphrase as: go ahead and reinvent yourself, just don't change.
The paper is a work in progress, with more, maybe many more changes to come.
The world is changing, and we have to change with it. Exactly how is what we're trying to figure out. I don't have all the answers, but neither does any other editor.
I hope you will keep reading, and keep commenting.
Well, I don't envy your job just now. I just hope that amidst all this change that you can hold onto what's good about newspapers -- the foremost being (at least to me) an entity that can sort through the barrage of news and information out there and present relevant material in a digestible way to those of us who don't have hours to spend (nor want to spend) sifting through the internet. I'm sure this is not news to you, but it obviously involves an examination of some core values, too. To me, one key core value is helping us be good citizens and members of our community, locally and globally.
At a more practical level, I guess my two top requests from a newspaper are: to know the important news at a glance (i.e. front page) and to have some really thoughtful in-depth articles to sink into later on in the day if and when I have the time.
Thanks for taking the time to read my comments and good luck!
P.S. I just had to add that I really enjoy the columns by Leonard Pitts and Elise Patkotak.
Your prescription is similar to what I'm thinking. The printed newspaper has to move away from breaking news and toward a thoughtful digest of and directory to a lot of news coming from many sources. If we can save readers time while still giving them a good idea what's happening in the world, while also offering a very strong presentation of local news and information, we will thrive. And we have to do that with a smaller staff and less space than we have had in the past.
Have you used the Alaska Newsreader on our web page? I think that has been a successful step in our overall evolution to a different kind of newspaper. I'd like to know what you think.