Funny business

The latest thing for “daily” newspapers is to deliver only three or four days a week, leaving you to find a newsstand the other four or three days, or to say “Screw it” and go to their Web site. The second option apparently has little to recommend it:

No paper this morning, so I thought I would try their online version. Jumble is no problem, I’ve used it before, but the comics page sucks. They have a list of several dozen comics, but if you want to actually see the comic, you have to follow the link and the pages take forever to load. Even after the page loads you still aren’t there, you have to scroll down to see the funny, which generally isn’t. There are a whole bunch of comics listed that weren’t on the comics page, but this business of having to click, wait, and scroll to see each one is a pain.

Not having been afflicted with this particular problem myself — the Oklahoman still throws seven days a week, and six out of seven actually land on my driveway — I hadn’t looked at the local online comic offering, which is said to have “nearly 65 comics.” As it happens, has no obvious link to said online comic offering, so I had to go back to the actual paper to find the link, which turns out to be under the A&E heading. The pull-down list runs from The Amazing Spider-Man to Zits, as who wouldn’t? (Oh, and 9 to 5, which sorts before Spidey for, I suppose, ASCII-related reasons.) I admit to not expecting Rhymes with Orange or Bleeker the Rechargeable Dog.

And there are links to strips that the syndicator presumably wouldn’t allow them to host locally, even though they’re in the print version (for instance, B.C.) or strips they wouldn’t carry if their lives depended on it (for instance, Doonesbury).


  1. jimmy »

    3 October 2013 · 7:08 am

    When I’m out in Clinton, there is the Clinton “Daily” News. (They still call it that) There’s a weekend “daily” news edition that comes out on Saturday. And Monday is…ignored? So Tuesday is the real weekend news. They don’t throw ’em anymore. USPS or pick it up at a store.

    They get upset with me, monthly, when I take time to go ask them why they still call themselves a “daily”. It’s fun!

  2. fillyjonk »

    3 October 2013 · 7:21 am

    There’s also the option that some papers do, of actually cutting production a couple days a week, IIRC, before I dropped the local paper’s subscription, there was no Saturday paper (maybe there never was while I subscribed), I think no Monday paper either. I just decided it wasn’t worth what they were charging for six pages (most days), three of which were local high-school sports. And many weeks the Sunday paper was missing the comics section (such as it was….)

    I remember when I was a kid in Ohio and the Akron Beacon Journal was an afternoon paper, being able to come home from school and read at least the comics and Dear Abby before my dad got home and claimed it.

    I miss “real” newspapers.

  3. CGHill »

    3 October 2013 · 7:42 am

    Wow. We have a community weekly (the City Sentinel) that’s always at least eight pages. And it’s ten bucks a year for us lazy mail subscribers.

  4. Dan T. »

    3 October 2013 · 8:26 am

    Web site designs (with news sites being a major offender) are, these days, not designed to improve user experience; they’re just there to serve the publisher’s monetization goals, with lots of extra clicks being a “plus” because they increase ad impressions, and pages taking forever to load because of all the advertiser-oriented baggage, and design elements that looked good in Powerpoint presentations at management meetings.

  5. fillyjonk »

    3 October 2013 · 8:51 am

    And now I’m thinking of “Portlandia”‘s take on what is becoming of newspapers….

  6. McGehee »

    4 October 2013 · 6:36 am

    Our local “daily” skips Monday and Tuesday except online. But if you have a print subscription you aren’t guaranteed access to online stories; instead you’re allowed to peruse the digital edition, which is the print edition, digitized and posted online only five days a week.

    Each month they allow a certain number of peeks at the online edition for free, after which you either have to buy the additional online subscription or wait until Wednesday and hope the news item made it into print. Which, even back when they published every day a lot of news never made it into the paper…

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