Forum, Feb. 10: ‘Doonesbury’ back where it belongs

Saturday, February 09, 2019
‘Doonesbury’ back where it belongs

When I unfolded our Valley News at 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 1, poof ! It had turned into The Boston Globe, with local news. The extra-wide margins took some getting used to, but the design is cool and crisp. The classified advertising section stood out. Best of all, I no longer have to hunt for my favorite comic strip, Doonesbury Flashbacks, which had been banished to the advertising section for years.

Margo Howland-Mastro

White River Junction

Type size needs to be increased

Perhaps you might consider reducing the size of the headlines and increasing the type size of the story. That way those of us who read the Valley News still can. Not all of us are blessed with 20/20 vision. Otherwise I predict a decline in subscribers.

Dick Lemay

West Lebanon

New width OK; comics are too small

I like the narrower width of the new Valley News. The paper is easier to hold, and it takes up less space on the breakfast table. But other changes, not so much. There was too much white space in the layout, especially on Page 1. I imagine designers consider this airy and avant-garde. But I want news, not white space.

However, the true disappointment is on the comics page, where Doonesbury has been shrunk to illegibility, and some of the other strips aren’t much better. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about the Valley News was your readable comics.

Please try again. There’s got to be a better way.

Richard Andrews

Springfield, Vt.

A step in the wrong direction

It’s probably too late for feedback on this, but I’ll offer it anyway. The Valley News has done a great job of remaining relevant as a print outlet in a digital age. I know how much effort and ingenuity that takes. However, I wonder if the new format is not a step in the wrong direction. Other papers I’m familiar with have done something similar, but what the new look suggests to me is a paper going downhill. Maybe that’s putting style before substance. Yet in other cases the change has accompanied a certain decline in quality and a less pleasant reading experience.

I hope that’s not what happens to the Valley News. But I have to admit that the sight of this drab product puts me one step closer to forsaking a daily newspaper altogether.

Dan Breslaw

West Corinth

New size is the only good thing

I really wanted to love it. I wanted to keep an open mind. And I liked the size of the paper, but nothing else. The paper is too light and curls up when I’m reading. The font is skinny, and the size is difficult to read. The paper quality does not accept pencil well, so doing puzzles is frustrating. The Cryptoquip is almost impossible to see and is in a bad location. It needs to be at the bottom of the page, not halfway up.

My first reaction was cancel my subscription. I just hate this new paper. But I guess I’ll give it a little more time to see if things get better. They will need to.

Betsy H. Bowse

White River Junction

New format not scoring well

I am not pleased with the new look of the Valley News. There also appears to be less content in general, specifically in the Sports section. The Feb. 3 editorial (“ ‘Valley News’ marks a new beginning: Newspaper takes next step in its long history”), mentions that the deadline is earlier, so the scores of some West Coast games will not be reported. Judging by the past few days, East Coast games may not be reported, either. A Celtics game on Wednesday that began at 7 was reported in Thursday’s paper, but the Friday night contest against the Knicks starting at 7:30 was not in Saturday’s paper. I am fearful that Red Sox evening games will not be in the next day’s paper at all, since baseball games last longer than basketball games.

Has one of my small joys in life, looking over the box score of a winning Sox game with my morning coffee, and the solace it provides after reading the news, been taken away?

Stephen Neirman

East Thetford

Puzzles page posed a problem

As I went through the first Valley News in its new format I felt that the change wasn’t so bad ... until I got to the puzzles. In the old format, I was able to fold the paper in half and then in half again and the crossword would be on one side and the Jumble on the other. Now when I do this it cuts the Jumble in half. I suggest you swap the Sudoku column with the Jumble and Cryptoquip column and all will be as it should be. Thanks for your consideration.

John Lanza


Seeing no reason for optimism

Older news delivered later. A smaller font that is difficult to read. An aging newspaper audience. What could possibly go wrong?

Jason Densmore