Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cincy | Read Apple's critique of the new format

Page-by-page, newspaper designer Charles Apple walks you through The Cincinnati Enquirer's new, smaller format, launched yesterday, as the Ohio paper switches printing to The Columbus Dispatch, 100 miles northeast. "This isn’t a tabloid, exactly," Apple writes. "This is the new 'compact' format. It’s nearly as wide as a broadsheet." 

21 comments:

  1. That's not a critique, Jim. It's someone with an agenda posting weak comments to fit that agenda.

    You should know. You do the same thing.

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  2. Really, Jim - I agree with @12:41.

    Didn't you simply lift this link from a post and turn it into an item after readers goaded you into taking some kind of action. Action a day late and a dollar short, unfortunately for the readers.

    I do disagree with 12:41 on one thing: you don't even seem to have an agenda on this one, pro or con.

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    1. I have always relied on readers to supply links to stories that are worth my readers' attention. I won't pretend something isn't newsworthy by not posting it just to save face.

      Responding to other criticism:

      It's not feasible for me to travel to Cincinnati from San Francisco to gather reader reactions to the Enquirer's new format. And I don't have money to hire local freelancers.

      Charles Apple has much more expertise on design than I do, so deferring to his judgement just makes sense.

      Also, Charles has access to advance pages, and permission to use them, that I do not have. (Few Gannett employees dare cooperating with me because of understandable fears of being disciplined.)

      In the end, my readers are always more interested in each others' comments than in mine. Years of traffic measures prove that again and again.

      Finally, as always, this is very much a part-time venture for me. I have other demands in my time.

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    2. Summary of Jim's statement: I don't really know what I am talking about, so I rely on someone else's commentary. I don't even bother to look at the commentary, either, so I refer to it as a critique.

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    3. So, you like the new format (if so, why?) -- or you simply don't like Apple's critique?

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    4. Most of the reader comments here are bitching and complaining. That is fine if this blog is supposed to exist for that purpose. Very few offer anything of substance and you add to the mix by salting a new day with your "good morning" wishes.

      This news happened on a Monday, you knew it was happening months in advance and the day after there is nothing until a few readers that apparently don't spend all their time bitching and complaining called you to task. I guess you are down to no reader sources and can't even get someone to scan a current days issue and e-mail it to you.

      This is no longer about the format. It is now about the lack of anything here other than bitching and complaining - and I am even now joining that group.

      The purpose of this blog is to entice reader posts so you can show traffic for advertisers, something you deride Gannett for doing.

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  3. It isn't a critique, Jim. You seem to be struggling with that concept.

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  4. Me thinks all of these "posts" are likely from the same person....

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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. That may be the case, but there's nothing wrong with that. I don't mind debating one reader.

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    3. This is definitely a different poster than the above comment-writers, and I've noticed there are a large number of posts lately that seem to be written by Gannett employees who are being paid to put a smiley face on every situation, no matter how ridiculous.

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    4. Worthless post, 3:05. You are just trying to distract from the point of the discussion.

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  5. Up to recently, this blog was my go-to place for workplace information. Gannett and the community papers management team has been less than forthcoming with info on restructuring (ROF, early retirement and so on), and this forum always shed a bit of light on what was to come. Sure it was peppered with personal agendas and nitpicking of content and layouts of the various newspapers, sprinkled with hateful attacks on other posters, but all in all, I could weed through much of it, and get to the meat part of what interested me.
    Lately there hasn't been so much in terms of information, but what have been, has been much of the same-o same-o attacks on a few of the top part of the Gannett pyramid, and it is getting a little long in the tooth. Not that it isn't deserved, but I am getting tired of reading it here. Did those few in the know get kicked off the ship, or did they tire of throwing nuggets to swine?
    I still return on a regular basis to see, if my little corner of Gannett land (Southeast) will be affected of some grand scheme plan, or if we are going to continue being invisible.
    I know of quite a few, who are curious, as to the offer of early retirement will be offered this year. I am not, but it would affect my current responsibilities if just a few of those interested took the offer.

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  6. The new Enquirer looks pretty good. The test will come after more than a month's worth of saved-up enterprise and feature stories runs dry. For several years now, the Enquirer has been noticeably bereft of local copy, both during the week and on weekends. The website, worse, with stories and content up to a week old still sitting on the home page. Reviewers should see fit to pay a revisit in 4-6 months. The window-dressing will have run its course, and readers will be in a better position to make a buying decision.

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    1. That's why write-ups like Apple's, which do little more than say: "This page looks different!" are worthless. About the only thing more worthless is when a blogger directs people to those write-ups.

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    2. So true, 7:08. That Monday paper was HUGE for the Enquirer, and those enterprise stories weren't done on deadline. The question will be how long the paper can operate with such a huge newshole, and how long the staff can produce such enterprise on deadline.

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    3. The comments by Anonymouses 7:08, 9:13, and 1:47 are precisely on target. Enquirer Media editors have been cracking their whips to stockpile articles since early in the summer, when the launch was expected to be September or October, and later pushed back. Local Information Center (LIC) employees or resources to produce quality daily work, nevermind the top-down-approach enterprise stories advocated by under-experienced editors who have taken the helm and chopped, chopped and chopped. Reporters are cheaper and less experienced, largely because Gannett has targeted older, better-paid workers in favor of former weekly community journalists. Overtime payments, or lack thereof, have been an issue in recent years and again lately at The Enquirer. Look at the products two weeks from now and see what they look like, and the wreckage Editor Carolyn Washburn has created. Washburn despises any comments by employees or the public at large that don't salute her as the greatest media editor America has seen to date. Remember, she's the editor who was criticized after allowing her newspaper about a year ago to proclaim her one of the top Cincinnati-region women to watch. Staffers call this project an effort to produce a news magazine on a daily basis, with Gannett's "thrifty" approach to news coverage. News accounts are thinner than before, and the enterprise is watered down. With deadlines changing, Enquirer readers are scratching their heads, wondering why it takes until Friday for routine coverage of Wednesday events to appear in their hometown publication.

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  7. The real question is not whether readers will embrace the new format but rather will advertisers. My guess is that advertisers, particular the auto advertisers who've dominated the first two editions are being heavily subsidized. Will they stick around for the long run? My guess is that many will use this as a reason to hasten their move to other media.

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  8. no its a bate and switch . the will keep it going as add money will come in for the rest of march. with the help of march madness and opening day for the reds

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  9. Who were the 6 laid off today?

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    1. The Magnifcent Seven

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Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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