Sunday, May 14, 2006

A Modest Proposal: A Section for Adults

I understand that no newspaper can be all things to its readers. A little newspaper like the Arizona Daily Star has a special role in reporting local news and being ‘entertaining.’

There is a lot, well most, in the Star that I simply am not interested in. I don’t read the ponderous Sport Section; Accent, the women’s pages by any other name, doesn’t much attract me; and I feel no need to be informed about the touching life aspirations of some 15 year old girl, Summer fashions, or what the Seniors are wearing to the Prom.

Believe me, I understand that some people are interested in this, that they want to know who of their friends have been arrested, or where the fire was, or who has been promoted to be the chief assistant to the assistant chief.

I subscribe to the Star, but in the small hours of the morning rather than dashing out in my bathrobe and slippers I fire up the computer and get the Star on line. (Free) I look at one or two stories and then click on to my real news sources: The NY Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, a couple of on line sources, and Salon, and some local bloggers.

I’m interested in solid national and international political news, extended business news, and serious science reporting. If the Star wants to survive as a ‘paper’ newspaper it should try appealing to readers like me.

I would happily continue to subscribe to the Arizona Daily Star if only every other day it had a section that was headlined not “Sports” or “Accent” or “Opinion” but simply “Hard News.” (I have suggested “Adults” but that does seem too much like the back sections of the Tucson Weekly.)

Four pages would be nice. Sell ads if you must but leave at least three pages of news hole. All the sorts of stories I surf the web for would be right there in the new section and I could wrap garbage in the rest of the paper. Hey, Guys, you don’t even have to hire reporters. Just buy stories from the big- time papers.

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