Starting today, the Argus Leader is going through a format change. They're making a lot of changes to the paper to supposedly bring it into the "digital age." How exactly do you bring a printed newspaper into the "digital age?" Are we now going to get floppy disks tossed on our front porches or would they send us a CD every day like AOL?
Some of the changes are pretty good. I'm looking forward to the Voices section. And I like that the first section is going to be much more focused on local news. And some of their ideas for online, interactive content sounds interesting.
But there are many things I'm not sure I like about this change. The first thing for me is moving the weather page. It was so handy to have in right on page 2. Then there's the Life section. They're turning it into a magazine-like thing. I don't like that idea. The paper usually comes with a lot of magazine-like things in the form of ads and USA Weekend and other things that I throw away. I'd prefer the Life section to match the other sections, but I'll give this a shot.
Another concern I have is just how much content they plan to leave for the website. I'd rather not see stories that say, at the end, "go online for more on this story." Many people aren't online, especially older people. My parents use the internet only for the basics like e-mail, Google and doing taxes. If they have a choice, they'd sooner stop subscribing to the Argus rather than be forced to read content online. So I just hope they're keeping that in mind when they do this.
We'll see what happens tomorrow.