Plain Dealer Change – Readers Are the Editors


The Cleveland Plain Dealer recently changed their format from six columns to four columns.

But now they don’t know what to do with it and are asking readers to design and edit the paper.

Our recent redesign made some of those questions more urgent and more obvious, and I’m writing to consult with our readers on the answers.

1. What’s the right mix of stories on our front page?

2. Generally, should our A section feature more briefs even if it means fewer longer stories?

3. What role should recipes play in our Taste section?

4. How should we handle the front-page wrap-around advertisement?


Readers have already begun the editing/production process:

We added more black ink to our pages after receiving complaints that the redesign made our type look too gray. Dozens of readers wrote to say they were delighted with the darker print. Thanks to everyone for encouraging us to make that change.


To get this a bit on-topic – their Sunday Funnies…

We said we’d restore the Non Sequitur comic strip, and we did — for one Sunday. But then, for reasons we ourselves don’t understand (the comics come to us pre-built), Animal Crackers returned to the Sunday comics. Animal Crackers still in this Sunday’s comics, but we also have found a place elsewhere in our Sunday section to temporarily house Non Sequitur.


I’m pretty sure before Summer starts the readers will be writing the editorials.

Here’s the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s surveymonkey article.