Skip to comments.More words. More letters. No more Ann Coulter.
Posted on 08/29/2005 12:39:06 PM PDT by Pikamax
My opinion David Stoeffler: Opinion pages get a makeover
More words. More letters. No more Ann Coulter.
Since my arrival here nine weeks ago, we've been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work aimed at making the Arizona Daily Star a better newspaper.
Today, we unveil some visible changes to your Opinion pages. More changes will come here and throughout the paper over the coming weeks and months.
First, the highlights of changes to the Opinion pages. Then a little about the process we're using to arrive at our plans.
When I first wrote to you as I assumed my duties here, I invited your comments about the paper.
Of an estimated 300 e-mails and letters, I'd guess one third or so have dealt with some aspect of the Opinion pages and a recent redesign.
Very few said you loved it. Some of you said you could leave it.
It's true enough that for some readers, the only way to win their hearts would be to reverse the longstanding editorial position of the newspaper on political and social issues.
But readers of all political persuasions said a redesign launched earlier this year on the Opinion pages had simply gone too far in emphasis on design. While strong visuals, including cartoons, can help pull readers into the pages, people ultimately turn to these pages for the commentary - ours, that of our local and syndicated columnists and that of other readers.
Beginning today, we're shifting the balance back toward more words. We'll still have photos and cartoons, but they will consistently run smaller. No more full-body photos of the letter-writer of the week or of people who contribute to our weekly highlights from local blogs.
The cartoons of David Fitzsimmons and others will run smaller - more similar to their size prior to the redesign. This will free up room for our two daily syndicated columnists, adding about 100 words to the average length of each column.
Fitz's Sunday "Tucson Boulevard" cartoon strip will move to Page 2 of the section each week, replacing his regular cartoon spot there. That will free up room for another columnist on the cover most Sundays. Sometimes, I'll have a column in this spot, but we're considering a variety of local and syndicated options for most weeks.
The design changes on the page opposite our editorial will mean more room for your letters. This was probably the No. 1 request of people who wrote to me. We've been publishing additional letters online, but now we'll get more of them into print, too.
Finally, we've decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives.
Taking her place on Saturdays will be Tony Snow, host of "The Tony Snow Show," syndicated nationally on Fox News Radio, and "Weekend Live with Tony Snow" on Fox News Channel. He has worked at a number of daily newspapers and is a former speechwriter for former President George H.W. Bush.
We're also making a lineup change to the staffing of our Opinion pages. With the return of writer Sam Negri following a lengthy medical leave, Sarah Garrecht Gassen will resume her duties as a reporter on our Metro desk. Sarah will continue to coordinate Young Voices, the Friday roundup of opinion by local teens and young adults.
These changes are part of an overall effort to better serve our readers and improve our journalism.
Running a newspaper is something like building a three-legged stool.
We need to understand and satisfy a broad audience. Through a combination of market research and regular contact, we come to know what readers want.
We need a staff of reporters, photographers, artists, copy editors and others to gather and produce the content that meets the needs of those readers. Like any group of professionals, they do their best when they are engaged and excited about the direction of the organization. I've spent most of my time these past few weeks listening to them and getting them involved in building our future.
My role, and that of other top editors, is to serve as a catalyst to bring those readers and journalists together, to provide leadership and an overall vision.
With more or less equal legs, the newspaper can stand taller and reach higher.
As we make further changes, we'll keep you posted. Sometimes, I will write to explain our efforts. Other times, Reader Advocate Debbie Kornmiller will provide a guide to the remodeling or new features.
At all times, we welcome your feedback. You can write to me at the address below (or you'll find me listed every day on Page A2 of the paper). You'll also find Debbie's contact information there each day or with her regular Sunday column (on page H3 today).
Please let us know what you think.
David Stoeffler is publisher and editor of the Star. Contact him at email@example.com or at P.O. Box 26807, Tucson, AZ 85726.
"Finally, we've decided that syndicated columnist Ann Coulter has worn out her welcome. Many readers find her shrill, bombastic and mean-spirited. And those are the words used by readers who identified themselves as conservatives..."
...But in reality were lying, whiney leftists. ;)
And you believed they were conservatives...OK.
sounds like a small time paper.
right, I'm sure those people that want Ann Coulter gone are really conservatives....
To the SECOND, frogjerk! LOL! :)
Almost as corny as 'It was a dark and rainy night.....'
Typically in letters starting with "I'm a lifelong Republican, but..."
QUESTION: Does Ann Coulter piss off liberals?
CONCLUSION: Ann Coulter is doing something right.
They get their talking points from The Daily Kos but they call Ann Coulter mean-spirited, bombastic and shrill...
Opinion pages are for stooges. They're just a stage for the newspaper and their political allies I've given them up. Show me the opinion pages that offer true debate and maybe I'll start reading them. I've yet to find any that aren't merely a set-up for promoting a narrow agenda. It's most disgusting when they 1) will not admit their bias, and 2) are the only newspaper in town.
It's the kind of paper that has a declining list of subscribers and a whole new purpose as liner for bird cages, covering of floors in the presence of puppies and occasionally as fish wrap if you don't mind that sort of trash around food you intend to consume.
Oh...and I'll continue to read Ann Coulter every singe week online. Big freakin' deal.
Welcome to the Arizona Daily Red Star...the paper of Arizona's "bluest" city...Tucson
While you're at it, you can change your fish-wrapper's name to the Arizona Shooting Star.
Half the time Ann is brilliant and the other half sounds half nuts. But that is better than the rest most of which are just always wrong or lying or both.
"Please let us know what you think. "
I think you took a poll and got snookered.
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