readers speak out on the new baltimore sun

August 30, 2008

I think the new Baltimore Sun is very nice, very informative, very colorful.

It will take me a while to get accustomed to where my favorite sections and features are. But the search is worthwhile.

Keep up the great service.

Marge Griffith, Pasadena

I am deeply disheartened by the new format of the once-venerable Baltimore Sun.

As a former newspaper reporter and long-time professor of journalism, I have lived through many of the changes major newspapers suffer: pressure to close foreign bureaus, pressure to shorten stories and pressure to mimic television by elevating celebrity news (and newscasters) over substantive local, national and global reporting.

But there is something about The Baltimore Sun's change that seems particularly self-defeating.

The layout seems to blur the distinction between news and advertising, which may make the newspaper's advertisers happy but is an affront to readers.

Wednesday's paper had only three stories on the front page and a banner ad for Carpet Land on the bottom that took up about as much space as the article about the Democratic National Convention.

And the decision to feature bloated, six-inch photos of middle-aged reporters and columnists is embarrassing, not only to readers but also (no doubt) to the journalists themselves.

McKay Jenkins, Newark, Del.

The writer is a professor of journalism at the University of Delaware.

What a disappointment: The new Baltimore Sun is nothing more than a picture book/advertising circular masquerading as a newspaper.

National and international news seems often to be hidden somewhere in the back pages while human interest stories and huge graphics are featured on the front page. The rest of the paper is filled with page after page of advertising.

The city of Baltimore and the surrounding counties are populated with intelligent, well-educated people who deserve a decent newspaper.

The Baltimore Sun has failed to provide that. Shame on you.

Beverly Wiseman, Pikesville

Plenty of people miss the great, massive automobiles of the past. But we are better served by the more efficient, better-performing smaller cars of today.

And, sure, we habitual newspaper addicts will read as much as we can get. But the reality is that newspapers must become more efficient to survive.

The wonder of The Baltimore Sun's redesign project is that the paper responded to the need for downsizing with a more engaging and easily navigated product that meets today's need for quick browsing as well as contemplative reflection.

David Kirby, Baltimore

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