Dan Corkery: Readers weighed in, we listened

We've been doing a lot of listening the last week and a half — because you've had a lot to say.

Please bring back the weather maps and national temperatures.

The comic strips are harder to read now. Can't you put Dear Abby on another page?

Restore the stock market graphics on the daily Business page.

We got the message. And changes are in the offing.

Starting Monday, we'll expand the daily weather package so it includes the color weather maps and national and world temperatures.

We should have known better than to mess with that page: For years, reader surveys have indicated that local weather information is high-interest content.

(Yes, Mom: Too soon old, too late smart.)

The other issues — comics, Dear Abby, stocks — will require more study. But I can assure you, we will find solutions.

When we made the decision earlier this year to reduce the width of our newspaper, we knew it would bring change: both welcomed and unwelcomed.

But the page size itself has not stirred a lot of reader reaction.

Let me emphasize two important aspects of the newspaper that have not changed:

— Our type is same size. We're using the same 9-point Olympian font that you've been reading for the last 20-some years.

— Our local stories are as numerous as ever. No cutbacks there. And in the coming weeks, you can expect to read more local content. We recently hired an education reporter and a sports writer to fill staff vacancies.

Does that cover it? If not,let us know. We're ready to do more listening:

— Jim Rossow, executive editor, 217-351-5231, jrossow@news-gazette.com.

— Dan Corkery, managing editor for administration, 217-351-5218, dcorkery@news-gazette.com.

Dan Corkery is a member of The News-Gazette's editorial board.

Sections (2):Columns, Opinion

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pattsi wrote on June 29, 2014 at 10:06 am

Mr. Corkery, thanks for answering readers concerns. According to your statement in your column, the font size and type have remained the same for 20 years. Nonetheless, you do not address the issue of kerning. As best as I can measure/eyeball comparing your column today against the print in a Feb. 2014 N-G issue (yes, sometimes being behind in recycling pays off), the space between letters has been reduced. If my eyeballs is accurate, this will make readability more difficult for your most loyal paper readers--the population eligible for AARP membership. Further, again today, there are several articles, including your, that are printed against a shaded background. This adds to the readability issue. As someone for the AARP membership, I encourage you and the other N-G decision makers to retreat to the "drawing board."

P.S. these comments apply to many of the capcha options that randomly appear.

Dan Corkery wrote on June 30, 2014 at 10:06 am
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Thank you for your comments. We do adjust the kerning — in InDesign, I believe it's the tracking adjustment — so we can gain a line or expand a story by a line. In other words, it's about getting a story to fit. Generally speaking, it's a subtle adjustment.

I understand your comment about the gray screen over the story. To be honest, that's the first criticism of that particular design treatment that I've heard in years. But maybe there are others that agree with you, but they have not expressed their opinions.

I really appreciate the feedback. We're hearing from readers on a variety of issues and we're working on solutions.

Dan Corkery

managing editor for administration