City Paper is not for tourists
Hi there. So. Are you OK? Are you…coping? I ask because, as you might be aware, the Post is pretty concerned with how you’re feeling today. Starting last week a recurring note in the Style section warned readers that March 19 would mark some changes to the comics section. In are two strips, Agnes and Brewster Rockit: Space Guy!, and a panel, Brevity. Out are Mary Worth, Cathy, and Broom Hilda, among other tweaks.
“We realize change is unsettling but trust that you will quickly adjust to the new lineup,” read the closing paragraph of the anonymous editor’s note. I’m OK, thanks; I hardly noticed Mary Worth‘s existence until its imminent demise was announced, and though I think Brewster Rockit is a snooze, it’s not the worst comic strip in creation. But many newspaper readers famously become apoplectic when their favorite strips disappear, hence the the weeklong effort of hand-holding and collective mourning.
Are notes like these overly concerned? I don’t think so. In fact, I think these solemn, comforting dispatches ought to appear in daily papers more often. For instance:
- Local News: “Starting this month we’ll begin reworking our local news section by cutting staff and using stories written by you, the reader, as part of our ongoing “mojo” initiative. We realize that change is unsettling but trust you will enjoy writing for the paper that you pay for.”
- International News: “Starting this week we’ll be closing a number of our international bureaus. We realize that change is unsettling but trust that you weren’t all that interested in foreign news anyway.”
- Book Review: “Starting today we’ll be scaling back our book review section. As a result we will have less space to cover the nonfiction books that got written because newsrooms can no longer prioritize enterprise reporting. We realize that change is unsettling but trust that you will quickly adjust.”