I just wanted to take a minute to thank readers for the nice comments I've already had about the Daily News redesign we're rolling out this week. We are still working out some glitches in our new workflow and finding things that we overlooked in the process, so you may notice some inconsistencies and oddities for a few days until we get everything worked out. Your patience is appreciated.
As striking as the visual part of the redesign might be, it's really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we've been doing this year, and are continuing to do, in trying to improve how we develop content for the newspaper and present it to you. We really wanted to go beyond just "making the newspaper look better," although that's important; giving you a product that's easier to read and use is good news for everyone.
But we've really been trying to plan our coverage better and take more time and thought in deciding how to present it in the past several months, and we hope it has been evident - in efforts such our series taking a look at Wal-Mart, and in many of our Saturday feature stories.
And we hope to go further in the coming months as we try to achieve goals such as getting more out of our coverage of public meetings; improving the variety and content of our photo coverage; doing a better job of reporting the local impact of state, regional and national stories; improving our coverage of local business; and, overall, giving you more reasons to pick up the paper every day - or subscribe.
The news business has been taking a lot of hits this past year, some deserved and some not. I take them all to heart, whether they apply specifically to the job I do or not, so I've had a pretty heavy heart in recent months about the state of our industry. Sometimes, looking at all the changes that are afoot, particularly with regard to online delivery of news and the challenges we face in that arena, it seems as if we print journalists are in about the same position as the craftsmen who built steam locomotives were in around 1955, when diesels were about to change their shops forever - or close their doors.
But working on the Daily News redesign, and hearing your comments, has helped me remember that people still depend on their local community newspapers, and that we provide a service that no one else can. We know you rely on the Daily News and care about it, and we promise to continue to honor that reliance and that care in the work we do.
If you have comments, questions, or suggestions about the redesign, or anything else we're doing - positive or negative - feel free to give me a call.
One thing that I'd like to try as we move ahead with the "new" Daily News is some reader participation on our "What's Happening" (entertainment) page on Saturdays. If you have read a new book, listened to a new CD, been to a new movie or attended a recent concert that you'd like to review, feel free to submit a short review (no more than 500 words) by e-mail or mail, including your name, hometown and a daytime phone number.
I can't promise we'll publish every submission, but I would like to try to start some local conversations on this page about what people are enjoying (or not) in the entertainment realm.