Monday, March 03, 2008

How's it look?

Notes from Monday morning’s new-look Star.

Carol of Weaver and Skip of Oxford were two of several callers unhappy that the new format of the crossword puzzle made it too difficult to read. We agree. According to Vice President for Operations Ed Fowler, that problem will be fixed by Tuesday’s edition.

A number of callers and e-mailers quibbled with the changes to the TV listings page. Kathryn of Anniston says she'll miss the cable new channel listings.
While one caller who did not identify herself complained about the new type face, many others were pleased with it.

Cathy writes:
The new design looks great! It's cleaner, crisper, and just looks much better overall--and I wasn't unhappy with the old look. But I do especially like the new section heads--Sports and Coffee Break in today's edition, which I assume will be carried on for the other sections later in the weekly lineup. I always think the design and layout are the most fun part of editing any publication, so kudos to
whomever did all that. Keep him/her/them on the payroll!

Thanks, Cathy. Many hands were involved in this effort, but Assistant News Editor Lora Reynolds deserves a special mention as the ringleader of the changeover.

Not everyone was so pleased. John writes:
The "relatively static cable news channels" are the only fare saving tv these days! Soap Net and Speed channel?! You've started the trend...dumbing down your newspaper to the morons who would watch this stuff.
Still waiting for Bill O'Reilly's weekly editorial column to appear in your paper. C'mon Davis, give us another perspective of the news, not the one-sided slant given now.

We don't like anyone calling readers "morons." Sounds like something Bill O'Reilly would do.

Another Bill (we assume) weighs in:
Sounds like another excuse for trimming paper size, cost and more importantly content to me. A front page that has virtually became an index; as opposed to lead articles in the national news. Articles within the paper is oft times found to be old news when compared to the Birmingham paper or Wall Street journal. A whole page of TV listings, give me a break, I seem to remember that each Friday you publish a weeks content of TV in a pull out.
I think the Anniston Star should change it's name to the Anniston "Grit." We got about as much news in the weekly of old for a dime.

The Birmingham News is a fine paper, no doubt. Ditto the Wall Street Journal. But I can't find a story in today's editions of the News or the Journal about the Calhoun County schools that will soon join the state's successful Alabama Math and Science Technology Initiative (AMSTI). By the way don't miss The Star's video that accompanies the story. It serves as a guide to one small way that AMSTI works.

Today's Star includes a full page of political news in advance of Tuesday's primary elections, a smartly done AP story on a looming credit crisis, a comprehensive examination of the nation's juvenile detention system complete with large full-color map illustrating the issue's scope and a thorough report on the world and nation.

Oh, we shouldn't leave off the second part of John Fleming's four-part series on how federal communications policies have made an impact on our local market and The Star's editorial on local school districts' track record hiring minority teachers.

Then there's conservative columnist George Will's tribute to the recently departed William F. Buckley. It's a nice companion to the well-done piece written by JSU professor Christopher Westley in Sunday's Insight section.

I could go on, but I think you get the point.