I don’t usually get much mail at the office.
You can imagine my surprise when there were 25 letters in my mailbox Monday morning, then another 20 on Tuesday, and 15 on Wednesday.
Apparently, if you ever want to get a lot of mail, all you have to do is ask readers of The Lima News to tell you what their favorite comics, puzzles and columnists are.
The newspaper ran a survey in print and online last week, and the responses came to me. Apparently some of them realized I’d be reading them personally, too, given the number of personal notes and even the one reader who scribbled on the ballot, “Hi, David!”
It’s been a while since we’d asked our readers what they liked or disliked about their newspaper. The last time we changed our comics page, many of the decisions were out of our hands on the local level. Eventually, we were able to rectify some of those by adding some comics back.
As we take a step back and think about how we’re using the limited amount of room in your daily newspaper, we decided it’d be smart to not assume we know what people think and ask them directly instead.
And gosh, did you. In all, we had more than 300 responses (and counting if you want to vote at LimaOhio.com/survey), including all those ones stuffed into my mailbox at work.
We’re still sifting through that mountain of information gathered from asking people their three favorite and three least-favorite features. A quick pass through it reminds me of the great challenge we have trying to keep everyone happy.
One great example is the Sudoku puzzle. The same number of people told us it was their favorite thing in the paper as told us it was their least-favorite thing in the paper.
The same held true in the online survey, which included asking people what their favorite sections or topic pages were, where the same number of people told us Sports was their favorite section as told us it was their least favorite section.
In fact, in every category, for every feature in the paper, there was at least one person who loved it and one person who hated it (except Pluggers, which had no nay-sayers as of Thursday).
The comments people left for us showed some of that differing opinion you get from one reader to another.
“The Lima News runs way too many editorials and op-eds featuring extreme right-wing political views,” one reader wrote. “Political extremism should not be promoted. We have far too much of that in Limaland already.”
Another reader countered, “I’m tired of the liberal slant on your editorial page.”
I suppose if we’re agitating the conservatives and the liberals, we must be doing a good job representing the middle.
I really do thank all the readers who voiced their opinions. We’ll be evaluating things soon, but fans of the Editorial, Reminisce and Sports pages don’t have much to worry about. Similarly, fans of the comic strips Baby, Pluggers and Pickles, should know they have enough kindred spirits in the area that they’ll remain a part of our plans.
And for all those folks who mailed in notes with their votes, thank you. Most of the time, newspaper editor is a thankless job mostly rewarded with angry phone calls, so I truly appreciated those notes thanking me for my efforts. It’s amazing how that kind of encouragement always finds you when you need it most.
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