approaching

Archived Story

Do funnies still make you laugh?

Published 12:00am Sunday, July 15, 2012

For decades the funny pages have been a staple of the daily newspaper, having become an almost indispensable component of Sunday mornings for some.

But as technology changes and the habits of newspaper readers continue to evolve, the place of comics as a staple of Americana may be doing that as well.

For newspapers in today’s economic and cultural climate, it is more important than ever to evaluate every dollar spent and ensure that resources are being used in a way that best serves the readers.

That’s certainly true of the comics, daily and Sunday, which are a costly component of the newspaper.

Many years ago a former publisher made the decision to significantly trim the number of cartoons that were featured daily. It wasn’t a very popular decision but was necessary at the time.

It is been nearly a decade since that change and now is a good time to reevaluate what we offer and what readers want.

So my question to you, readers of the newspaper’s printed editions, is simple: Do you read the comics pages in The Tribune?

That opens the door to a number of more complex questions.

If the answer is no, is there something that would change that? Would you if there were different cartoons featured? What ones do you like? What ones don’t you like? Would you prefer to view these online daily?

What about puzzles and games? These fall in the same category. Do you enjoy the crosswords? What about jumble, the cryptoquote and sudoku? Are these things you buy the newspaper for?

Along the same lines, how important are features like Dear Abby and daily horoscopes?

Your feedback is very important. We don’t have any specific changes in mind at this point but we want to ensure we are providing what readers want and spending our resources in ways that most benefit our community.

So, let me know about your reading habits.

Sometimes these staples of American culture have to change. And sometimes they don’t.

Ultimately, newspapers’ continued success — print and digital — in this new era will hinge upon how well we serve readers and potential readers.

 

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@irontontribune.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MikeCaldwell_IT.

The Tribune believes it is possible for people with a variety of points of view to discuss issues in a civil manner and will remove comments that, in our opinion, foster incivility. We want to encourage an open exchange of information and ideas. Responsibility for what is posted or contributed to this site is the sole responsibility of each user. By contributing to this website, you agree not to post any defamatory, abusive, harassing, obscene, sexual, threatening or illegal material, or any other material that infringes on the ability of others to enjoy this site, or that infringes on the rights of others. Any user who feels that a contribution to this website is a violation of these terms of use is encouraged to email report-comments@irontontribune.com, or click the "report comment" link that is on all comments. We reserve the right to remove messages that violate these terms of use and we will make every effort to do so — within a reasonable time frame — if we determine that removal is necessary.

  • mickakers

    indieVoter; I can’t help it. I LOVED IT!!!! Your comment pertaining to conservatives and funnies. You made my day. Thanks.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Or you could appease tiger and run more conservative columns and/or more funnies.

    Come to think about it, there’s not much difference really.

    (Report comment)

  • tiger534

    Hey Mike you can always go to Indie on best way to run the Tribune lots of liberal writers you know like the New York Times then you could just coast one reason I do read other papers in our area and must sat the Herald dispatch seems to be a little better at presenting both sides.

    (Report comment)

  • tiger534

    Hate to say but at times best thing in the tribune.

    (Report comment)

  • Solange Robillard

    Marmaduke is clearly the crème de la crème of any funnies page.

    (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      Maybe so Scarlett but, frankly, I still don’t give a darn ;)

      (Report comment)

  • Bluemule

    I still read some of the “funnies”…my current favorites being “Dilbert” and “The born Loser”. Maybe a solution would be to run a few different ones (two or three) daily to fill some space on the editorial page. Some big papers now put the Sunday ones on the inside pages of an insert advertisement page..using the advertiser to offset the costs I am sure.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Here’s another thought Mike. You guys have done a nice job of cultivating polarizing editorial writers like Jim Crawford and Homer Campbell. You can always count on a reaction when you run stories from either of these guys, online at the very least.

    Why not drop Mike Reagan, Tom Purcell and the canned editorial guys and expand on what you are doing with local writers. Maybe if you did that you could even expand on your local talent pool.

    Maybe the sky is not falling, newspapers are not dying and you are not a fascist/socialist Mike:)

    Fair enough. Still, it might help your paper out to have a few more (alleged) fascists and socialists writing for you…if you know what i mean? I doubt we have any actual fascists or socialists around these parts but I’m sure that won’t stop readers from making the accusations and that’s ok.

    Seems to me that people love nothing more than to read a story where someone makes a strong case for exactly the opposite of what they believe personally.

    Just a thought Mike;) Keep up the good work here, and thanks for all you do.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    I think it’s a good idea to cut every one of the things mentioned in this story (funnies, horoscope, games, etc) and just focus on good stories and photojournalism.

    There is one reason why people buy the Ironton Tribune and that is for the local stories/features which they will not see in any other local newspaper or on local tv.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    As a PS: On-Line editions (newspapers), Kindle (books & newspapers) are inferior to the print editions. On-Line editions have no beauty, feel or smell, no long lasting enjoyment or effects, just a quick fix. At times (most of the time) I get the feeling, that is what society is looking for, to their detriment. The printed word, on paper, presents the long lasting gift of contemplation and study at ones leisure, in any place or posture. The ability to underline and make notes in the columns and also provides access at any time irregardless of power sources. Are we as smart as we think we are? Or is a little humility and reflection in order.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    My compliments to Michael Caldwell. This article demonstrates his care and concern for his newspaper and it’s readers. In my estimation, The Ironton Tribune, print and on-line editions are OUTSTANDING. The articles presented, and the quality of writing by the Tribune Staff is excellent!!! not to mention the great pictures. Whoever is primarily responsible for and taking of the photos is a true artist. I have lived eighteen years in the Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach and Saint Augustine area. The Florida Times Union, The Ponte Vedra Recorder and Saint Augustine Record take second place to The Ironton Tribune when it comes to quality. My compliments to the Ladies and Gentlemen of the Tribune. Don’t get the big head, the old Ironton News was one up on you (I had to throw that in). A good many of you were not around when it was in existence. Does anyone remember, The Ironton Courier? It took third place to the News and Tribune. God’s speed to you all. Keep up the good work.

    (Report comment)

Editor's Picks

Tackling addiction

Spectrum Outreach plans recovery housing for addicts   The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services on Nov. 10 announced a $10 million investment ... Read more

Mrs. Ohio All-Star makes impact

SOUTH POINT — Angela McKeone, of South Point, is one of a kind. She recently won the title of Mrs. Ohio All-Star. “I recognized when ... Read more