Originally created 10/07/01

New 'Chronicle' is turning heads

After a week of the new format for The Augusta Chronicle, the response from our readers has been gratifying.

Whenever a newspaper makes changes we expect some resistance. Readers get used to things a certain way and they don't want us to change them. This time the complaints have been minimal. I think it shows we did our homework and tried to respond to things you told us you want.

You have noticed that we are covering more local news. You have noticed that we are organizing the content better, trying to put the same things in the same place every day. You have noticed the separate metro section and classified ad section every day.

Some of you have had questions and comments about the changes, so I thought I would share some of those and address the more common concerns.

First, we did not change the size of the type. It is not smaller. Some people thought it got bigger because the paper seems easier to read. I think that's because the design is more attractive, providing more white space around the areas with type. That makes the whole page easier to read.

Just because we are emphasizing local news does not mean we are eliminating national and foreign news. That should be obvious from the national and foreign coverage we have had since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But our obligation is to make sure coverage of events outside the Augusta area is relevant to your life. We can we put a story in the paper and say it is important but that doesn't mean you will take time out of your busy lives to read it. One good example of this is the two-page color map of the Mideast we ran Wednesday. It was packed with useful information you would have had to go to many sources to find.

We haven't eliminated longer stories. We're just making sure the longer stories are worth the space we devote to them. This is not a cut-down cheapened version of the news. In fact, we have a long list of projects, and they will be published in the months ahead.

What we are giving you is more - more short items put together in a more cohesive fashion in a way that's more organized so you can find the information you need.

We will give you fewer long, boring stories about government meetings. We will still cover the meetings, but the coverage will focus on things that are important to you packaged with a short list of actions taken by the governmental body.

Two big improvements are the Applause and Today's Home sections. It seemed like it took much longer than usual to read Applause, and the calendars with local events went on for pages. With the home section in today's paper, the larger format allowed us to run more color photos of the featured home, and there are many interesting stories inside.

We will continue to make adjustments as we move along, so please keep calling and writing with suggestions. That helps us to serve your needs better. And thanks for the help you've given us so far as we try to make The Chronicle the kind of paper you can't live without.

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