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royable

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Member since: Tue Oct 28, 2008, 06:25 PM
Number of posts: 1,150

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This has also happened with the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson, Arizona.

The Letters to the Editor page of the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson has been flooded the past two weeks with people complaining about the terrible reduced selection and format and microscopic size of the daily comics and puzzles, and many people have said they won't be renewing their subscriptions.

What really burns me is that in this case, the editor didn't fess up as to why the change was happening, and explain the full story, that this change was being pushed upon them (unclear to me whether it was forced) AND all other of the 77 papers controlled by Lee Enterprises. Instead, the editor proffered up some pablum about how they'd listened to reader opinion and were providing us with a new improved selection of comics and puzzles while saving money that could allow more of a focus on local reporting and investigative journalism, of which there has yet to be any evidence (though, to be fair, that could take a while).

During the past two weeks, all these people have been writing in complaining about the daily comics, and last weekend, the Sunday comics were the same as they have been, so this week, some letter writers were grudgingly saying, well, my favorites are still in the Sunday comics, so perhaps I can accept that. Then this weekend (yesterday) the NEW version of the Sunday comics hit. Talk about a hot mess. You'd swear the layout staff have never heard of the concept of maintaining aspect ratio of an image, and everything has been stretched or squished to fit the width of the page while maintaining uniform height. And the selection, while horrific, doesn't even match the selection in the weekday/Saturday papers. I am fully expecting another flood of letters to the editor this next week.

Lee was threatening a few weeks ago to discontinue all letters to the editor because readers said they were too divisive but so far that hasn't happened. The paper also has announced it's no longer going to endorse local and state political candidates. I feel as though the paper is being remade into an instrument of corporate media, feeding us ads for car dealerships and luxury real estate that keep the paper afloat through advertising dollars, so we are told. Oh, those magnanimous car dealers and luxury home realtors!

But what can we do about it? The paper went with a standardized online presence a couple years ago (likely also something offered by Lee) that is terrible, and flooded with advertising of all annoying types, and is plagued by unuseful navigation tools. I don't want to swap out the printed paper for an e-version. But the printed paper now costs $525 for 24 weeks, up from $386 in March 2019, up from about $200 a few years before that. (It's probably rising faster than college tuition!) And my subscription is up for renewal today. I can't even find online what the e-version only subscription costs--they don't tell you, apparently, unless you call them up to ask.

One more person unsubscribing from the newspaper brings it that much closer to its demise, cascading into loss of local jobs and loss of local news and loss of investigative reporting. I've read a newspaper all my life. I'm miffed.

La Push WA to Quoddy Head Lighthouse ME

About as far west, and as far East, as one can get in the lower 48. Id love to see much more!
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