January 9th, 20094:34 pm
Wow! What a daunting task. But it looks like y’all’ve done a great job. Looks very clean while still having lots of content and stories on the home page like I enjoy. Well done! Will there be someplace for us to submit usability issues after the rollout?
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January 9th, 20095:03 pm
Deanna, thanks for your comments.
You’ll be able to post comments on this blog once the new design launches. We look forward to reading everyone’s feedback.
January 9th, 20096:12 pm
Enter your comments here Why couldn’t the change coincide with the stopped delivery of the print edition to the “hinterlands”? You sure know how to confuse folks.
January 9th, 20096:33 pm
Long as y’all don’t mess with Smiling Pets or Taco Mountain, I’m cool.
January 9th, 200910:11 pm
I am hoping you can delete older news stories from the home page on a more timely basis. I am a little perturbed when I click on a story only to have the dateline say it happened 3 or 4 months ago. Furthermore, your coverage of anything to do with intown Atlanta is sorely lacking. I rarely see stories that have anything to do with my area of the city. Yes, there are many readers in the city…it annoys us there is not adequate coverage of city life.
January 9th, 200910:21 pm
Nice redesign. It’s good to see that the leaderboard ad has been removed. Would it be easy to add a few more elements for weather, such as today’s high and tonight’s low, just to the right of current temperature? The Weather Channel does that in their IE toolbar. It would be nice to show a small image of current doppler as well. Okay so I’m a weather junkie.
January 10th, 200910:40 am
“Private Quarters” as the top photo nearly every time I hit ajc.com? Come on, what are y’all, a newspaper or Atlanta Magazine Homes?? Gimmie some news, not posh spaces of the monocle crowd!
January 10th, 200911:03 am
A very nice redesign – keep it clean, with plenty of customizable options and the readers will keep coming!
January 10th, 200912:25 pm
I’ll definitely watch for the changes, but from the mock-up you’ve provided, I really don’t see much that’s being altered. Everything looks basically the same. What am I missing or not seeing? Thanks.
January 10th, 20091:31 pm
agree w/ weather comments above. I use your little weather quick links all the time!
January 10th, 20092:26 pm
How about making it easier to find message boards on your site? Whenever i post something to a “discuss” forum i can never find the same discussion forum a couple of hours later that i just posted to.
January 10th, 20093:31 pm
Very nice. I’ve emailed several times saying your design needs to be refreshed and suggested you look at WashingtonPost.com as a guide, which it looks like you did. I visit the Post’s site daily and love their home page. In comparison, ajc.com was a huge disappointment. Thanks for listening to reader feedback. I can’t wait for the new design to launch!
January 10th, 20095:43 pm
Thanks for the much needed redesign. I’m not sold on the logo image or the colors of the logo. Thought you had a good thing going with the AJC Circle. Make sure navigation works fast on slower computers/connections unlike ESPN’s new design. I can’t believe they almost made that site unusable. Looking foward to seeing the udpate.
January 10th, 20095:45 pm
This looks really, really good! Couple of things I would suggest is to make the video table horizontal with the Inside AJC.com table. I would put a picture or graphic tease in the area that how has the video table. I would even take that space to promo print product (which I think you all would consider taboo, but you’ll be surprised what traffic that would bring. Oh, and I would move MundoHispanico ad under the new Buzz feature.
Overall, very good navigation and usability. Thanks!
January 10th, 200911:39 pm
Could you redo your jobs site? I’m someone outside your now-shrunken delivery area and I think your partnership with HotJobs stinks. I KNOW there are far more jobs printed in the paper than actually make it onto your website.
January 11th, 20097:05 am
I think your current design is fine. Much easier than many including the New York Times which I read often on the internet. Sometimes “change” in not always for the better. On another AJC matter, I am not happy that you have eliminated the Saturday LTE’s. You have also greatly “cut back” om the size of the Sunday LTE’s. I admit that I have a “bias” in this LTE thing, I have written around 400 of them to the paper in the last seven years.
January 11th, 200910:01 am
Since the ajc newspaper circulation area has continued to get smaller ajc.com is my only option. I can adjust to any format. I hope that the business section is totally revised.
In the current section news that is several months old fills most of the space. News items six months to a year old is not news anymore, only space filler. Please give us more current news.
January 11th, 200910:05 am
I hope that as part of the new design we will see more true news stories featured on the home page and less about every move some hip hop star or desperate housewife makes. I read several major newspapers online daily and none of them devote anywhere near as much home page attention to entertainers. Stick to the news affecting peoples lives on the homepage and leave the entertainment stories in accessatlanta. I do like the new design by the way.
January 11th, 200911:28 am
Thanks for the great comments and suggestions, they are extremely useful in helping us to improve the site. Many of the issues we have worked on in this rollout are issues that readers have suggested.
In my work – as part of the online design and user experience group – we had three main goals for this iteration of the site design.
- To clean up the design
- Make the site load faster
- Make navigating content easier
Keep in mind we are constantly making upgrades to the site (some visible and some behind the scenes to improve functionality and page loading times). We have many other design upgrades rolling out this year that will continue the design improvements throughout ajc.com.
Weather: BG and Lisa, we realize weather is very important to readers and have some major enhancements planned, unfortunately they won’t be ready in this iteration – so stay tuned.
Logo: Nick, in regards to the logo, there were other logo versions that we had worked on but there was a branding decision to go with a consistent logotype for the ajc brand.
January 11th, 20094:06 pm
It looks good. Does this coincide with a redesign of the printed project?
January 11th, 20095:37 pm
Wow, a few new graphics with no real change. Even after a redesign, AJC.com is still one of the ugliest newspaper Web sites on the Internet. It must’ve taken an incredible amount of time and energy to come up with something that is essentially the same as before – a clutter of advertising and pint size hyperlinks jammed onto the screen. The opening line of your redesign meeting must have been “How can we possibly get all of these headlines and ads crammed into the smallest block possible?”
The reason I feel bad for papers like the AJC is that your revenue plan has turned into something that is almost solely based on advertising with no regard to content/substance. For every link you have on your home page, users can click onto pages that are equally cluttered and ad-chaulked. The more graphics you have distracting the readers, the less likely any news is going to be read. And that raises the utlimate question – what is the point of AJC.com to begin with?
Promote your stories more with longer (or any) lede lines; don’t rely on the headlines by themselves. If you’re trying to attract new business or residents to the city, then start by cleaning up the AccessAtlanta pages for dining and theater. And for God’s sake, keep anything that qualifies as a story for “The Buzz” in that box and off the top stories list. It’s embarassing when the two categories – ACTUAL news, and entertainment – get mixed.
And next time you try to redesign the Web site, look at your competition before settling.
January 11th, 20099:18 pm
Please, please, PLEASE fix your polls that have multiple questions!
There are eight questions and 8 different forms on the page. When a visitor clicks “vote” it’s only for the single question and you have to click vote eight different times. There’s no session state either, so there’s no way to view multiple results on the same page.
Why not just have 8 radio collections and one form on the page? That way someone can answer all the questions at once and view all the results at once.
Also, the flash polls tied to the photo galleries have been broken for a long time. Vote on one question and it won’t let you vote again.
January 11th, 20099:43 pm
Patrick, sorry about that, it is a less than ideal user experience — a new template for this should be out next week.
January 11th, 200911:10 pm
Please include more pictures with your stories on the net.
January 12th, 200910:34 am
I would like either the time the past was last updated or something similar to MSNBC.com that says last updated x hours/minutes ago. I basically keep a browser window open to AJC all day and it would be nice to see if it had updated. Thanks!
January 12th, 200910:36 am
Oops, that should be “page” and not “past” above. I was thinking about the time in the past when the page was updated and the fingers led a magic life all their own.
January 12th, 20092:39 pm
I feel like the redesign has a lot of potential…however, I still feel like the page is too cluttered. Is it really necessary for you to show 5-6 linked stories under each section on the bottom part of the page? There must be some way to simplify that, especially since you’ve already got the headings up in the top of the page. I also would like to echo the suggestion that tells us how long ago the story was last updated (this is important for breaking news).
January 12th, 20092:46 pm
Scott, thanks for acknowledging my weather suggestions. I look forward to the new launch. Someone had referenced the ESPN site. I agree that it’s slick yet difficult to navigate, and attribute most of the difficulty to lack of familiarity.
January 12th, 20093:13 pm
The design looks pretty much the same. Are yall going to monitor the comments to keep the racist idiots’ comments off the web?
January 12th, 20094:36 pm
A few of you have mentioned wanting stories to include timestamps, later this year ajc.com is moving to a more powerful content management system that has that capability. Until then most stories (unless it’s a big breaking story) won’t have a timestamp. One other nice feature, we will also be able to have multiple templates, for example on stories having the option to include a video or larger photos.
January 13th, 20096:31 am
Where’s the weather tab?? I NEED that one! Otherwise, it looks great.
The logo is awful. No heart, no soul, no history at all. Look at the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, NY Times, etc. Great newspapers don’t disown their past and ditch the look that people know in print. Regain your identity, folks!
January 13th, 20096:33 am
The overall look is clean and fresh, and seems to be clutter free. The logo is very whimpy,cheap and a bit cheesy looking.I mean baby blue and that font?? ugh!
January 13th, 20096:39 am
I am normally a person who does not like change, but I LOVE your new format…..we are not Chicago or LA. THANK HEAVENS!
January 13th, 20096:40 am
Love the new look. Glad to see the Hollywood Buzz not so “Front and Center” I was beginning to lose respect for you guys as a viable news source. Thanks for the new look, and I notice the sports stories better now.
January 13th, 20097:15 am
Sucks, but I would guess a 14 yr old with html/css experience could have done it in 15 minutes. Just like the printed version, becoming more irrelevant each & every day.
January 13th, 20097:23 am
You ‘fixed’ something that wasn’t broken. I do not like it!
January 13th, 20097:25 am
I really like this new site. It looks really clean, streamlined and I like the new logo. Good job!
January 13th, 20097:26 am
As an avid ajc.com reader, Im not too impressed with the new look. It seems so plain-I would love the old look back!!!!!!
January 13th, 20097:29 am
The AJC is completely forgetting that they are the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and they have some history here. The newspapers that will make it out of this mess that they’re in are the ones that are not completely alienating their base with weaker content. What is the AJC offering readers and advertisers except a different logo and newsroom layoffs? Someone called me and told me they were from AJC Media Solutions. It sounds like a start up joke of a company.
Also, Diana is a plant comment.
I like the clean, crisp and fresh look of the new site. Good job to the team that redesigned the site.
Looks good, but PLEASE get rid of those darn drop-down ads that appear when the page is first opened. That is SOOO annoying!!
January 13th, 20097:30 am
now, if the AJC could only change Jim Wooten!
January 13th, 20097:32 am
I do not like the new format ar all. I’m not against new things or ideas but this format does not stand out at all.
January 13th, 20097:35 am
I love yu new format…and it does stand out.
Very clean looking. Great JOB AJC
January 13th, 20097:36 am
Hey, I will support the change, if that means someone keeps their job!! Good luck!!
January 13th, 20097:37 am
Good job, if it had to be done. Miss not being able to get a hard copy of AJC in my town. The Chattanooga Times is filling the vacuum.
January 13th, 20097:39 am
much, much better; old was much too “busy”
January 13th, 20097:40 am
Sorry not feeling it – very confusing – but change will happen I guess we will just have to get used to it.
January 13th, 20097:42 am
LOVE the new format – clean, easy to read, and best of all it loads so much faster! I hated waiting for all the “fancy” graphics and navigation tools to load before – just give me the news!
January 13th, 20097:48 am
I heard your publisher, John Mellot, resigned yesterday. Now I see why.
January 13th, 20097:49 am
Don’t like it! Like old format better.
January 13th, 20097:51 am
Where’d the crossword go? I have to pay for it now??? That sucks, really. I don’t even like sodiuko, however you spell it. YUK!
January 13th, 20097:53 am
Well I guess all of those branding compaigns were jsut spent on air?? For years you pushed the circle AJC and now this. I guess the AJC is just like Pepsi in changing their logo. Does it go with the changing of publishers but better yet please change executive editors, sorry but enough is enough. Looks like you hijacked the idea from another local paper.
Where are the blogs? Where is momania? I don’t like it!!!
January 13th, 20097:54 am
Look cleaner and easier to read. Love the new layout.
January 13th, 20097:55 am
Sorry, but I don’t like it … don’t like it at all.
January 13th, 20097:58 am
If you just gave us back the old logo, I could live with the layout, but what’s up with that logo?? That’s not the AJC’s logo.
January 13th, 20097:59 am
the print is so small and everything is running together in the stories that you can’t read the story just some of the headlines
So sick of the snarky internet comments! It’s different, It’s clean, get over it!
Besides the logo and the top left quadrant – the change isn’t drastic. It’ll do!
January 13th, 20098:01 am
Not at all impressed. Any student could have done as well.
STILL OBJECT TO THE FACT THAT NOWHERE DOES THE AJC, IN ANY WAY CONSIDER THAT DOUGLAS, PAULDING & THE WESTERN COUNTIES EVEN EXIST.
January 13th, 20098:02 am
Sorry, but in the words of Spencer Trilby (Charlton Heston character in True Lies)…”so far, this is not blowing my skirt up, gentlemen”
January 13th, 20098:04 am
can’t find the online vent now….
I do not like it. It does not greet you when you go unto the website. Other than that it’s O.K.
Nah, I don’t like it. Where are all of the choices? The county and local sections. I feel like I’m lost. Bring the old format back. An what is up with that simpleton logo? Its HORRIBLE.
January 13th, 20098:05 am
January 13th, 20098:07 am
its okay kind of plain, but if you must………..ps JEH don’t feel rained on….they dont recognize some of the eastern counties IE:Rockdale, Newton, etc…..
Great start at a new year. The new drop down is MUCH EASIER to manipulate. It really doesnt matter if the logo is pretty, DOES IT?
January 13th, 20098:09 am
the new layout is definitely an improvement.. it’s modern and user-friendly, and unlike before, it now feels professional. the new logo, however, is like an attempt at a “retro-looking” logo that only looks old.
Keep in mind the folks who don’t like change, are the same ones who forbid alcohol from being sold on Sundays.
It looks fine, and in a few days most will forget about the old design.
January 13th, 20098:10 am
Enter your comments here
January 13th, 20098:11 am
The new design is good, but the logo is washed-out looking. The two shades of blue are not complimentary to each other. It’s bland, amateurish, and irritating.
January 13th, 20098:15 am
Get rid of that racist Cynthia Tucker and you guys may survive. Otherwise, shut down the paper and this website.
The new format is confusing. I liked the old one. I, too, am tired of seeing the same outdated stories week after week. Private quarters? It is just a way for real estate agents to list their listings. Please defer them to the real estate section. I am interested in news worthy stories. I could careless about the latest escapade of some “celebrity”. Last but not least…where is the vent?
What lunkhead decided to eliminate the Opinion page from the links above the header? Is Entertainment worthy of inclusion, but Opinion deserving of deletion? Send this new publisher back to Florida or Ohio or wherever he came from. The guy has turned an attractive format into a so-so design I would expect to see in the Rome News-Tribune, not the AJC.
January 13th, 20098:17 am
I love it! Thanks for moving into the 21st Century. The old website looked like a tabloid with WAY too much junk on the home page. It’s so much more elegantly designed.
January 13th, 20098:21 am
I do not like the new look. Go back to the old one. The format now is terrible.
I cannot log in as a returning user as of 8:15 AM 1/14/08. Also, I do not like the look of the new logo, and the Sports page was slow to down load. I just filled out an on-line pop-up survey last week from your site, indicating I was Very Pleased with the site. Why would ya’ll have the survey, then go and mess everything up? I DO NOT like the new look.
January 13th, 20098:23 am
So far I like it! And I promise, if you stop featuring articles on those RIDICULOUS INSULTING “Real Housewives”, I will love you forever! Not only are they not *news*, they are an insult to the hardworking African-American women who shape Atlanta and, in fact, the entire city.
Need to have Local Sports Scores Posted on Front Page…..Maybe on the Left side of The Front Page…
January 13th, 20098:25 am
It’s about time for a change……
January 13th, 20098:27 am
The new logo looks like Hewlett-Packard’s logo. Other than that, the new layout is fine. It’s less busy than the previous one, I think.
January 13th, 20098:30 am
The new logo – borrowed from Hewlett Packard?
In the venacular, “it sucks”, but most of us will become accustomed to the new format and then when you change again for changes sake to maintain readership we will have a similar reaction and adjust once again.
Keeping up with my hometown’s local news was always easy but not easy on the eye. The new layout is great and I am enjoying it from a sunny and snowy Switzerland. Glad you made the changes!
Voice of Reason Originale
January 13th, 20098:32 am
I do not like this. It’s plain, no color; too white; boring. Sometimes the annoying ads are atop the drop-down menus. You need to put “Letters” in the “Opinion” drop-down. In fact, Opinion needs to be in the top navigationv bar. The Vent, etc., needs to be closer to the top and not in a drop down. I like the immediately previous version better. This is too plain and we have to do too much work to get to what we want.
Coca Cola is the most recognized logo in the world and one reason is that they don’t keep redesigning it every few years. Take a cue from another Atlanta staple and leave well enough alone! Don’t care much for the new plain jane layout either.
January 13th, 20098:33 am
personally, i like the new look – the new logo is pretty good, and the site’s appearance is far more streamlined and easy to look at than the old one. now if the AJC would stop changing the headlines of the same articles every 4 hours, and work on readability…
regardless of my snarky writing comments, nice job with the redesign. while the AJC and Atlanta have history, there’s no reason to keep things static – the AJC isn’t a museum. it can change as it grows.
Why do I not get a “Welcome, Michael” anymore? WHY can I NOT change the weather zip code for local weather like I could before today’s change? AND, WHY, OH WHY, DID Y’ALL NOT WARN ANYBODY THAT THESE CHANGES WERE COMING? (YES I KNOW I’M SHOUTING, AND I KNOW IT’S NOT GOOD ETIQUETTE, BUT I AM NOT HAPPY!)
January 13th, 20098:34 am
The layout is ok. but what web designer thinks that light blue or gray text on a white background has enough contrast to be easy to read? job #1 is making it easy for the viewer. fix that quickly, please.
January 13th, 20098:41 am
Best thing about this design:
The drop down menu gives a vertical list instead of the old horizontal. Much more logical and user-friendly. Good job!
January 13th, 20098:42 am
This design is hard to see; not as sharp, crisp and appealing. Worse, it is very hard to navigate and find things. It’s also boring. I really hate the opening dropdown ads, which you’ve kept. THAT, you could’ve eliminated. IMHO, this was NOT money well spent. Bring back the fun, colorful look, with easy to find columns and news!
The new design is an improvement. The previous design was so awful that just about anything would have been better.
January 13th, 20098:45 am
I do not like the new format and especially do not like that it was so sudden. The lack of contrast makes it too difficult to read.
January 13th, 20098:46 am
I really dont care for the new logo, and it will take me some time to get acclimated to the other changes. I agree that AJC says nothing about Atlanta, or the two newspapers that brought us the new for so many years.
January 13th, 20098:47 am
the site design is mediocre at best. like so many other newspapers that have ad directors, with no online experience other than attempting to sell a position their parent company asks them to, having way too much freedom to decide how websites should operate and look. stick to what you know, and let the developers do what they know. the overall product will be ten times better.
everyone that reads this: download firefox, and the ad block plus add on to block all of their ads, and the site is much easier to digest.
January 13th, 20098:48 am
Sirs…like the new format a lot…not as busy and confusing. Still wish you’d lose those pop-up ads that always appear when you open it. Know how many ignore those things?? Also…on the opinion section, how about listing Jim Wooten by his name, like the liberal writers on your staff…not by “Thinking Right.” I almost skipped it because I did not see his name anywhere!!
That logo makes you look weak and washed out….there is something to be said for continuity, constantly tweaking and changing yourself projects a poor self image
I don’t like the new design, but I guess as others said, we’ll just have to get used to it..To plain, to boring, to ugly, the list could go on & on..Where is MOMania??
Even the Comics suck now! I won’t be renewing my subscription!
January 13th, 20098:49 am
I’m an out-of-town reader, and one thing I enjoyed about the old format was my local weather forecast that appeared when the AJC page loaded. Could you please restore that feature?
January 13th, 20098:50 am
I can’t find the vents. Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Where is the vent!
The change is a w f u l
January 13th, 20098:54 am
I just don’t like it. Some parts are good, yes, but overall…me no likey. And Michael, I totally feel your pain. I wanna shout too, but I’m so bothered by this that I can’t. AJC, a heads up would have been nice. I may have adjusted easier with a little warning. Nevertheless, it’s here, and I’m obviously stuck with it if I decided to continue reading this paper online. Logging on is giving me HELL, and I actually enjoyed my personal “welcome” at the top of the page-so much for that! This just sucks…but life goes on. geesh!
January 13th, 20098:55 am
I also really like the new format, much easier to read through.
The first thing I noticed about the new format – I can’t tell whether I am logged in or not. Did I miss it or did your designers forget it?
Also, is there a link to log out? This is the one thing that is the least standard of the web sites I use, forcing me to search every month on sites I use to pay bills.
Not so great. Where are the blogs???
January 13th, 20098:57 am
As a graphic designer I think this change is horrible. Find some SCAD students to help you next time. It’s too bland and the logo looks very bland. Your photos and ads stand out more than your navigation and logo.
Where is MOMania? Things are hard to find and as a mom I don’t have time to find them.
January 13th, 20099:00 am
Poor design. The old was so much better. AWFUL!!!!!
I love the new website! This is a great new look and falls closely in line with google, cnn.com and other sites which garner huge traffic. Keep up the great work as this online geek, will continue to read!
I like it, I like it!!!
It’s like getting a brand new Portfolio binder…cool .
January 13th, 20099:01 am
Hate it – need I say more?
January 13th, 20099:02 am
It’s just OK. Agree with others that logo isn’t impressive; not something I would stop to take a second look at. We all will get used to the new navigation and not a problem; it definitely looks cleaner. However, I find it to be quite slow. Granted, I’m not on the speediest computer when I’m at work, but the old site was quite a bit faster. I also agree with the annoying roll down ads. So annoying that I never look at them and couldn’t tell you what they are advertising. Although I don’t pay much attention to any ads, I’m more likely to see one that’s just sitting there and my eye goes over it while I’m looking at the rest of the page. I just close the roll down ads as fast as I can find the button to do so.
January 13th, 20099:03 am
January 13th, 20099:07 am
Ugh! I just had a vocal reaction when I opened up the homepage. The old was one pretty crappy, but at least it had some contrast to help with navigation. This looks way less professional than the previous one. I like the new logo in theory, but it’s so soft-spoken and pastel and weak that it just isn’t doing it for me. Make a statement, use some color and contrast. What the hell, y’all???
ATL Is Better Than Chi/Crock-Town
I Do Not Like The New Format… and for those of you that always want to compare Atlanta with Chicago…Stop Please! We may do some illegal things here in Atlanta, but Chicago takes the Cake. Instead of being known for the self-proclaim 2nd city (which actually belongs to LA, but don’t tell the ppl from Chicago that) Its now known as the most embarrassing/corrupt city in America. No one in the US wants Chicago representing the US in the Olympics. Chicago or Illinois for that matter, will NEVER-EVER be respected as classy city. You lost that with 4 Governors in Jail. Now chew on that!
Like the new format, hate the logo
January 13th, 20099:08 am
I honestly had to recheck to make sure I was on the AJC. I even logged out and logged back in to see if that made a difference
January 13th, 20099:09 am
Clean and simple is good. Still too many ads. The logo doesn’t exactly scream “history and reputation,” but I guess it fits most of the writing here.
J David Raiteri
January 13th, 20099:10 am
I think paint newspapers, like the typewriter & landline phones & large novels & large file cabinets…..are a thing of the 1900s. In fact, JOURNALISM IS DEAD…..
January 13th, 20099:11 am
A lot of the changes are subtle, but it is a big improvement. The site is much cleaner and easier to navigate and it might help to remind people what you were starting with. Keep up the good work.
January 13th, 20099:12 am
The logo looks childish, boring. I’m still looking over the site, but that lower case ‘ajc’ caught my eye and I thought something must be wrong with my internet settings :-/
Not a big fan of the redo. Taking away the Opinion page is a big mistake. No more letters to the editor? No more editorials? Seems you are using this redo to hide the fact that you have greatly reduced the content in the Opinion section. I guess people are easily fooled by flashy diversions.
I agree with so many others. I do not like to new web-site. I think it is very childish and un professional. I would like for the AJC to come into the same as the NY Times and Chicago Tribune. So, with all of the resources that you have, please do something that look more 21st century and not to RETRO. I actually logged out then logged back-in to ensure that I was on the correct page.
Some have mentioned they can’t find certain things… here’s a cheat sheet…
- News Buzz is now “The Buzz” and is moves to the top of the right column (away from the real news)
-Take a Break items are now found further down the homepage in the right column under the ads – these include:
* The Vent
Navigation: Under each section there are the subsections (ie under Sports is the Atlanta Falcons section) here are the changes…
- Blogs are now under each section, with top Blogs and a link to the directory
- Breaking news alerts are now in the right rail of every page below the ad
- E-mail newsletters are now in the right rail of every page below the ad
- Featured content (databases, quizzes, etc) are now under each section, with top Featured content and a link to the directory
- Health is now a subsection of Lifestyle
- Living is now called Lifestyle
- Metro news sections (all of them including County pages) have moved under “News”
- Mobile edition is now in the right rail of every page below the ad
- Nation / World news sections have moved under “News”
- Opinion columns and blogs have moved under “News”
- Photos are now under each section
- Print edition are now in the right rail of every page below the ad
- RSS feeds are now in the right rail of every page below the ad
- Tools and widgets are now in the right rail of every page below the ad
- Topics pages are now under each section, with top Topics for that section and a link to the Hot Topics page
- Videos are now under each section
- Weather is now in the header on every page
January 13th, 20099:13 am
I use Mozilla firefox for a browser and the text is difficult to read. One of the reasons I prefer the AJC for local news is that I prefer reading to watching a video clip. I would recommend making the site cross browser compatible.
I miss being able to click on the print edition to get stories that aren’t posted on the AJC Online. Also, I miss the separate health entries. This new version doesn’t seem as user friendly as the former design.
January 13th, 20099:14 am
Did you get your logo design done by RITEAID? It’s almost as cheap and hideous looking. Go take a look at west coast or even say the Augusta Chronicle newspaper sites. I also want print ads available such as Fry’s available in a pdf format or able to read them online.
Thanks for making the changes. I would also like to thank you for making changes to the mobile version that I get on my PDA so I can see the same version as I see on my laptop. That was a very frustrating few weeks when the mobile version was the only one available. And I hope you guys won’t be going back to that. thanks -
January 13th, 20099:15 am
Boooooo!!!! The old design was much better. This is plain and amateur looking. I thought I was on the wrong site for a minute. Back to the old!!!
Everything looks faded. Not enough color.
This is the only webpage that I have trouble reading. Did you change the fonts? I agree the Logo is boring, but I like the new layout.
I like the new look! It’s cleaner, less cluttered and a bit easier to read.
January 13th, 20099:16 am
This sucks. The AJC website looks something that you would find use the proxy server at work. Please change back!!
January 13th, 20099:19 am
Looks washed out. I am not against change, but it needs sharpening. I agree that the logo should not change. I don’t know and don’t really care what Chicago, LA, and New York do.
I’ve participated in several surveys to help improve the site, but had I known this is what they’d do with my feedback, I’d have taken greater pains to be clear. This is washed-out, faded, and doesn’t speak well of Atlanta. A newspaper can be a city’s face — it’s identity. This mimics other Cox sites, sure, but doesn’t do anything for the city’s identity. Maybe busy is good, sometimes. Maybe busy means there’s a lot going on. Maybe busy fits the city’s identity better.
I do not like the new look or format. Not that I am opposed to change, but there is still plenty of room for the old stuff, especiall in today’s world where there is/has been SO much changing that the small creature comforts make life good!! I moved to Birmingham about 2 years ago and the “Birmingham News” cannot hold a candle to the AJC. I looked foward to reading the AJC daily via the internet, or at least I use to…………………….
January 13th, 20099:20 am
Way to check your links under business / georgia top stocks – it is forbidden.
No major objections to the new look, but the LOGO IS HORRIBLE. It’s not aesthetically pleasing and does not connected to the AJC brand. Big mistake – I hope no one got paid to create it.
Chardonnay Nicole Thomas
January 13th, 20099:21 am
The new look is okay, but the AJC logo could have been done more creatively by a really experienced graphic designer/artist. I actually think that the old look was a little more accessible and easier to read, but sometimes change is good.
January 13th, 20099:24 am
The Opinion page is still located at:
It’s in the navigation under “News”
January 13th, 20099:25 am
I make a better looking web site for myself at school on a MAC computer. Your logo is not what Mr Henry Grady would expect. History does matter and change is not always better.
I think AJC, you learned your lesson about the mobile format. I want to see the exact same thing on my iPhone and my laptop.
January 13th, 20099:26 am
You really need to lose the big drop down ads, they are as bad as pop-ups. I opened your site and thought I was at firestone.com. I don’t know why a company would do that to their website. Have some pride would you!
Curt….the print version of ajc is antiquated…print is dead…if online keeps the same print business plan/look/identity…it will fail just like the auto industry.
January 13th, 20099:27 am
Can you please move The Buzz from the very top of the page? How will the AJC ever be taken seriously as a source of news if you have Hollywood news and gossip and the latest from those horrible ATL housewives front and center. Seriously, look at WashingtonPost.com, NYTimes.com, heck even USAToday.com for how a news site should look like.
Nice change in the format..much needed…one problem though….the blue is hard to see for older eyes…..perhaps you could darken it more…
Trendy, lazy. The faded blue font hurts the eyes. It’s an obvious product of the no-design Facebook and MySpace generation. Do a usability study–or at least read one.
January 13th, 20099:28 am
I already sent an email saying I thought the new logo was terrible, I really hope this wasn’t a senior level graphic designer who created that for a newspaper. So much is conveyed in the type of font, colors, style that is used and nothing about the new logo says newspaper. The original was much better.
If the AJC folks are bored and need something to do they should try proofreading their online articles before publishing them, I see bad typos all the time.
Not a single change is for the better. I wasn’t a big fan of the old layout but at least it wasn’t bland and anemic. Now it’s like looking at a website predigested for second graders. It’s pathetic. Rethink this please!
Not bad. The navigation bar needs some color though. It gets lost up there and you almost overlook it.
January 13th, 20099:29 am
Staring to look like USAToday. Maybe you oughtto re-doo access Atlanta for the eneteratinment. I find it the worse to figure out what is where and when (timely reviews would help too).
Linnie D Williams
January 13th, 20099:30 am
I agree with the others. I dont like the logo. The light blue is not
an eye catcher when you long on. When I first signed on I had to look twice cause I thougth I was on the wrong web page.
The info at top of page does not stand out. It seems like now you have
to search more on front page to see if there is any news you want to read. Again with the lighter font—Im working harder now.
Pls change the color if you must keep the design.
Right now, people just don’t like it because it is different than what they are used to. I think the new logo is cute and appealing to a younger audience. The new format is much easier to use and understand. Thanks for taking a good thing and making it better
January 13th, 20099:31 am
Mr. Baker, I appreciate your tips for navigation. However, you have said NOTHING about being able to get the Local Weather or folks not knowing if we are logged in or not. Really, I’m sorry if I am sounding rude, that’s not my intent. However, the AJC has ALWAYS been my go-to site for news and information, and I am not comfortable with that anymore as of today.
January 13th, 20099:51 am
I don’t mind the new design; it’s the site’s performance that’s annoying me. Slow, slow, slow…
Mr. Scharff, I just wanted to followup and let you know that Weather is still at the same location ( http://www.ajc.com/weather ) and can be accessed from the header on every page. We have some major improvements coming in the next few for this section. Also, if you are not logged in you should be directed to a sign in page. You can access email newsletters and breaking news subscriptions fromthe My Account link in the header on every page. Hope that helps.
January 13th, 20099:58 am
You can find all the stuff you are looking for in the menus, people. Learn how to use the Internet. It is cleaner, but the logo is a bit bland. The changes aren’t that drastic. I can barely tell, except it is not as jumbled together.
January 13th, 200910:01 am
Looks better, but you really didn’t fix any of the navigation or usability issues that have continually bugged me. Typical ‘redesign’ – all fluff, no substance.
We had a server issue that was causing slowness, fixed now
I still haven’t located the features I like.This site loads like cold molasses.I suppose you spent a lot of money to make this mess.Change for the sake of change.Someone justifying their job.Been there seen that.
January 13th, 200910:02 am
Like anything else, it will take getting used to. I agree that the logo is not great.
What I miss is the “Metro” tab in the header. It allowed us to check on stories in each county. Why did you take it out?
The new look is terrible there is not place to sign in on the front page of this website it’s confusing, i hate it.
The redesign is a HUGE improvement over the previous site. Better in every way. Well done!
January 13th, 200910:03 am
It’s about time you made some changes…it’s always been very difficult to navigate
Why mess with a good thing? In an effrot to get better, you mucked it up!!!
January 13th, 200910:04 am
The one thing I always loved about the AJC website is it felt like I was looking at the actual paper. That made it special to me and the navigation was easier. This new format all just seems to blend together. I’m not impressed.
Who cares what color it is,it’s the information thats important. Fantastic Job!
The new look is great! Much cleaner and more streamlined. I don’t have any issues with the logo — I don’t visit your site to see the logo. Most people probably visit your site for easily accessible, quality news.
Now you should try to make your online presence match your print presence, and put more focus on real news stories, as opposed to silly videos or celebrity news. You can’t match Youtube or celebrity sites like TMZ.com.
January 13th, 200910:06 am
Gray bars on sides reminds me of “letter boxing”,wuwt?
Like someone recently said, “You can put lipstick on a pig….” The fact that “Buzz,” “Inside the AJC,” and other fluff are so prominently featured near the top of the page accurately reflects your standing among true news organizations. Why not be more truthful and just rename it the Atlanta Entertainment Journal?
January 13th, 200910:08 am
I HATE IT!!!!!!! AJC, why change a good thing?! Bring back the old format. Where in the HECK is the local news???? What’s with the logo? I hate the font as well – it’s hard to read & I’m finding myself squinting to read it!! It’s plain out awful! FIX THIS MESS AJC! WE HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hate is a strong word and honestly it’s exactly how I feel about these UNNECESSARY changes!
January 13th, 200910:09 am
The new logo looks like a generic brand of cookies at a Piggly Wiggly.
Oh, get over it…change can be good..and it has come…it does have a cleaner look and feel to it…and it may prove to be easier to navigate over time.
It really doesn’t matter what it looks like because its still the same crappy content. AJC sucks.
January 13th, 200910:10 am
Why not keep the old logo/branding? You can do a site redesign without changing traditional elements. The new logo doesn’t convey newspaper to me – more like grocery store.
I can see a lot of cosmetic changes were made, but you’ve still neglected to fix a lot of the usability and layout issues. Perhaps take a look at other, great versions of online newspapers like The Washington Post or the New York Post before making a decision on the final version of the site.
January 13th, 200910:11 am
I like it. Much more streamlined and easy to navigate. Question: Will other section fronts be getting the same new “look” as the homepage? The sports section et. al seems to be the same, other than the new nav bar.
Nice look….too bad the same biased editor is in charge and the same staff is writing for you.
January 13th, 200910:12 am
I like the cleaner look/feel to the site but have to agree with the comments about the logo. The color isn’t strong enough.
And as many others have said, the content is still mediocre. I read/refer to the AJC because it’s our city’s paper of record, but in terms of reading hard/incisive news, it’s a joke.
January 13th, 200910:13 am
Much better! The old was very hard to navigate. The naysayers just don’t like change.
January 13th, 200910:18 am
The layout is less important than the annoying scrolling advertisements at the top of the page. It says to me, “I don’t respect you so I reserve the right to annoy you with banners advertising products 90% of the readers aren’t interested in”. Take some time to look at Google or Yahoo some day. You don’t see these annoying things do you? Compare their traffic to yours. Ask yourself “how do I advertise to a repeat reader who has a narrow range of interests without annoying him with irrelevant ads?” The answer is not hard.
Why am I reminded of Planet Radio? But seriously, I like the navigation a little bit better but the logo looks too femme or Apple like or something. I know it’s the style today but with news, I like the traditional look like the WSJ and NYT. But that’s me. The format and navigation are win. It’s only the logo that bites.
January 13th, 200910:19 am
actually, most of the “naysayers who don’t like change” are probably on firefox like me, where it’s loading like crap with navigation loading on top of each other. i could care less about the design, before or after. i didn’t even notice it had changed until i tried to go somewhere from the home page, and noticed the loading problems.
January 13th, 200910:20 am
I could care less about the logo… the layout is much better. I wish y’all had a feature where you can move around the different “boxes”, like nation/world, sports, entertainment, etc. so that whatever you read the most could be higher up on the page, like how Google’s personalized web page allows you to do.
January 13th, 200910:21 am
I don’t like it at all. They say “change is good,” but not this one. The new look is bland and unimpressive. The AJC can and should do so much better.
January 13th, 200910:25 am
well, given the sorry state of newspapers today, i sincerely doubt the ajc had the budget to hire web & graphic designers that knew what they were doing. it shows.
January 13th, 200910:26 am
I love the new layout. It is much cleaner and easier to navigate. Imagine a news web site that makes it easy to find stories, who would have ever thunk it?
A newspaper website should be about the information and not fancy logos and other useless bells and whistles. People that crticise the logo maybe ought to think about what it was they are visiting the site for in the first place. No doubt there will probably be several updates to the logo to strike a balance that pleases the people who value style over substance but so far I have enjoyed visiting the site.
I haven’t been what you call a big fan of the AJC, but that is related to the editorial slant taken. This web site update in my book is a positive.
Change? It’s still cluttered and it still looks like it was made by a 9th grader. There is just too much irrelevant news showing up. The page is just too noisy!
January 13th, 200910:27 am
Regarding the logo, you couldn’t have created a more blatant rip-off of HP if you copied and pasted HP’s logo from their website.
Go to google, type in HP, and click on images.
Far cleaner and simpler than before. Text stands out better. Bold primary colors splashed around before were a distraction. The simple interface explains much of the success of the Google search engine and Facebook.
January 13th, 200910:28 am
I don’t mind the layout chagnes but the logo looks like you’ve reached the webpage of a cleaning product or company. It’s to sterile and cold. The old logo reflects the history of the paper.
January 13th, 200910:29 am
I’m ok with change… but the font is waaaaaaaaaaaay to small now!
The fonts chosen for this site are not clearly rendered in my browser (IE 7). Letters are not spaced properly, the tops or bottoms of capitals are clipped. I suspect someone allowed this choice to be made without adequate testing.
January 13th, 200910:31 am
I like the format, but miss seeing the sports links in the sports recap on the main page. I will get used to clicking the link from the main navigation, but it means I probably won’t scroll around on the main page as much. This is good for me, but not sure it is good for the people that write on the various sections.
January 13th, 200910:38 am
One more thing. Could you *please* change to a serif font? It will help make the site look more polished and the AJC look more serious as a news organization.
January 13th, 200910:41 am
If Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman are still running editorial content, then the new look is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…
January 13th, 200910:43 am
the font is too small for people with ageing eyes. also the blue on the white is messes with the eyse.
January 13th, 200910:49 am
It is a bit cleaner – may take some time to get used to…but… why all the focus in your announcement on Entertainment and The Buzz… are you a news organization or E! ?
January 13th, 200910:50 am
I like the new look (logo) it is refreshing, and clean looking. It even implements the original look and makes the entire page look more organized – good move! When will the logo be in the browser?
January 13th, 200910:52 am
Well, you people have got it wrong from the beginning of the internet. Change everything else, leave the logo alone. That is who you are. Which one of the marketing people is responsible for the new logo? Should be on the next bus out. At least it is the same font.
January 13th, 200910:54 am
The new logo is horrible. It looks amateur. The type, colors, rounded corners. Yuck. Not professional at all. This logo belongs on the box of a cheap toy.
January 13th, 200910:58 am
Where is the quick link to the blogs? Like Momania? Am I overlooking them?
While I definitely think it is an improvement over the look of the previous site, it’s still not befitting the largest paper of one of the nation’s largest metros.
local news please
January 13th, 200911:00 am
I’d like to read more about metro Atlanta on the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s web site. Not some guy who crashed his plane in Alabama, which is currently your featured main article. Readers turn to the AJC for local news, about local people. Not pilots in Alabama.
January 13th, 200911:01 am
I wonder if “Scott Baker” is the one who ERASED my comment. Hmmmm, pretty weird & well typical to say the least! Guess the AJC cannot accept nor take negative feedback on the redesign.
PS: I hate the layout, I hate the font, the logo is horrible and where in the heck is the local news now? I hate everything about the new change! SUCKS!
January 13th, 200911:07 am
I have put the DENIED stamp on the AJC page. I like the old look much better please change it back asap.
January 13th, 200911:10 am
The logo is terrible. I agree with others that the colors are washed out, don’t complement each other very well, and just looks a little to small town to me. But, I like the updated look of the site in terms of fonts and arrangement. Easier to read.
January 13th, 200911:12 am
THE NEW HOME PAGE SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t see any difference other than the lack of color. The site is still very busy and cluttered.
January 13th, 200911:13 am
The new look is clean, but way too plain for my taste. I agree with the posters that say that the AJC is moving too far from the great roots that have been apart of the city of Atlanta for years! Please change it back to “THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION”, and do so before you loose the rest of your readers!
January 13th, 200911:16 am
Where is Momania? I can’t find the blogs!!!!!!!!!
January 13th, 200911:21 am
Can’t tell that its been improved, just different. Seems to take a long time to load and it took about four tries to get to this blog because server kept timing out. Also, blue on white or white on blue are the two hardest color combinations to read, might want to research that that next time. The dark blue is ok, but the light blue just kind of fades away. Seems to take more steps to get to some items. Again, not improved, just different.
Atlanta is very deserving of a first class newspaper, when you guys at AJC get it right it is magnificent.
More investigative reporting, and the Food section needs to be refurbished, it used to be a weekly highlight not that long ago, when John Kessler still had “unfortunate” hair, LOL. I hate the new logo, it looks like a middle school contest winner.
seems harder to find things (navigate) because its blah-er and nothing much stands out. Need more obvious menus. Now I have to scroll down and look for vent link. I also still miss the old scrolling video strip from many months ago. I never look at the videos in their current design.
What’s with the removal of color? It’s cheaper in print, but easy in digital.
long time reader
January 13th, 200911:23 am
Looks very much as a student did the design – do Not like the new logo. Harder to find the various sections – too much “pop entertainment” on the “front page”. Must be wanting to become a tabloid from the layout.
Makes me glad I have found better written and informed news sources than the AJC.
January 13th, 200911:24 am
It looks highly GENERIC!!!!!!!! Hate it!!!!!!!!
January 13th, 200911:27 am
First, you cannot tell it is a newspaper from the site. “AJC” could be anything. It looks cheap and does not import verity or gravitas at all. I’ll bet even Bookman will agree with me on this one thing. From the new look, all your columnists are reduced to mere bloggers as there is no indication this is a newspaper.
Second – it navigates fine now, so that is OK. It wasn’t so bad to begin with.
Third, the logo reminds me of the Sealy mattress company or perhaps dental floss. New is not necessarily better. Remember “Izzy” and “Everyday is an opening day in Atlanta” or “ATL” as short for Atlanta (except it takes longer to say). Just because the marketing department or the outside consultants claim it is a good idea or their surveys seem to show that, dosen’t mean it’s not garbage and merely an attempt to justify their continued employment at the cost of your readership.
The new design reminds me of Underground Atlanta – a completely bland mall and food court with the same name as the original; but with no connection to its history, no resemblance to the original and nothing accomplished to make Atlanta a better place.
Does it fit Atlanta? Yes, because it has no connection with the city or its history, a common theme in Atlanta. This is the city that tried to tear down the Fox. This is the city where foreign visitors are amazed that there is no museum of slavery in the South. This is the City that destroyed the Arts Festival by moving to to concrete well before any drought.
Keep messing with the logo and cutting down on my newspaper and my visits will decrease and 20+ year subscription will eventually end. Keep in touch with our history and cater to your audience and you will keep me.
January 13th, 200911:30 am
The site redesign looks great. AJC.com is my homepage, so I see it several times during the day, and always browse the top stories and breaking news. Overall the site looks very clean and very well organized. I have to agree with several of the other comments…the new logo looks awful! It looks like a total copy of Hewlett-Packard. Take a look at any printer or fax machine made in the last 10 years and you’ll see exactly what I mean!
I don’t care for the new style at all!! While the pages seem to load quicker, it’s hard to find the sections I want to read.
January 13th, 200911:31 am
Looks fantastic. Thanks for updating and streamlining the webpage. I think this is long overdue.
January 13th, 200911:32 am
The new look is blah, the logo is terrible, but you’ve GOT to start making an effort to update story and special feature links faster. I just clicked on a Budget Travel link about a weekend fare to Salt Lake that was originally published LAST FRIDAY!!! Pathetic.
January 13th, 200911:33 am
seriously? this is a redesign? honestly? oh, wait, no you just took a module from a CMS and copied that. The truly defining thing about the ajc and for that matter, the logo, is the utter lack of respect to history and any sort of tribute that could have been implied in this “redesign”
Guys, who did you hire? have you guys talked to the people at Mario Garcia? Poynter? anyone? Please hire a consultant.
Maybe the new publisher (Doug Franklin) will realize how terrible this is and add his input. Please please please before the AJC loses all credibility.
January 13th, 200911:36 am
I like the top navigation. It’s crisp, much more informative and I feel like I can access more of the site now. I would like to see Atlanta Weather/Traffic complimented with alerts, big incidents, warnings.
The logo, which has been repeated many times, is off the quality of the rest of your product. I would recommend the circle 2.0ish “AJC” to take it’s place. It would add a darker blue to the top, maintain the feel of the redesign and not look like it was thrown together to get width out of a constrained logo. Add Atlanta Journal-Constitution under if it you need width still to fill the space. Even a typographic logo would be better than the two-tone rounded box.
Major headline font needs work. The font has too much space between letters to be the headline font online. A serif font, as mentioned above, could do the trick or a heavier, more stylized sans-serif headline font.
Overall, good job. I think it’s a definite step in the right direction. I think making subtle changes over time will help your design get tweaked.
January 13th, 200911:37 am
I don’t like it at all! It’s difficult to navigate, and took me forever to find my favorites…the vents. Put it back the way it was, or AJC will no longer be my homepage.
Nancy - Jackson, GA
The new design is cleaner, but my questions are regarding the lack of AJC paper copies in my county.
1. Will the AJC make Parade Mag available through your site?
2. Will sale ADs from the Sunday paper be available on your site?
3. What about the Sunday Comics?
4. I tried the AJC Print version and the font is much too small when an article is printed. I attempted to fit it to the page and portions of the article did not print. Please help with this issue.
5. If it is not feasible to home deliver in outlying counties, at least provide weekend papers to some of the convenience stores/gas stations in the county.
Obviously, the AJC must really be suffering, since it spent NOTHING on the redesign of this site. It navigation leaves much to be desired and the logo is hideous. I will not start on the content, which in brief has always sucked. But come on, this is the city where I live and I cannot read this paper, though I force myself everyday. At least promise us faster updates on stories (that are poorly written) and links (that may or may not work).
January 13th, 200911:38 am
Where is the “Opinion” section? How do you expect me to find Luckovitch? In a word, this new format SUCKS!!!
Why isn’t our local news on the headline? How stupid AJC? You guys gave the headline to a pilot who aborted his plane in another state headlines over Atlanta headlines. P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C!!!!!
By the way, what’s with the horrible, small sized font. This is definitely a turn for the worse. I would expect way better from a major news source. Bring the old back!
January 13th, 200911:39 am
I am sorry, but I cannot agree with previous posts. I actually think the logo looks antiquated and borderline comical–not at all journalistic or anything to be taken seriously. I understand wanting a sleeker look, but this is not it. Nonetheless, I am an avid reader and will try my best to adjust.
January 13th, 200911:48 am
The new format is OK. I prefer the old one. I hope you have made changes to the video section, whereas we can read the caption without scrolling up and down.
January 13th, 200911:50 am
If you aren’t from Atlanta, and are unaware of the abbreviation of AJC to mean The Atlanta Journal-Constitution then how are you supposed to know you are visiting the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s website? I think the Atlanta Journal-Constitution should be spelled out somewhere on that hideous AJC logo.
January 13th, 200911:52 am
I like it! Good job.
January 13th, 200911:56 am
Everyone needs to quit b****ing! Bunch of drama queens. It’s a subtle change that cleans it up, not real reason to be excited either way.
January 13th, 200911:57 am
This new format is expedient, and very exciting, I like it very much and welcome the new change. Once others begin to use it they will also love it. great job on the design.
January 13th, 200912:00 pm
The type is kinda small isn’t it? Hard to read and I’ve go 20/20. I can’t even read what I’m writing now. Well, if I get my nose on the screen.
January 13th, 200912:06 pm
Quickly, (before to many folks see this) go back to the old format. I’ll forgive and forget this mess….btw I still haven’t forgiven or forgotten your removing @Issue from the sunday paper, for that reason alone I no longer buy a sunday paper. Surprise me and do the right thing, go back.
HORRIBLE!!!! HP needs to sue !!! Fire the design team and art director for approving such crap!!!
Just like Atlanta, the AJC has no identity! Look at the NY Times site, NY Daily News site, LA times site. They all has a sense of history and establishment. Your new logo would have been “new” in 1985…but its 2009. Get the original header back up, and hire a new layout team. Be SMART in design, not just NEW. Once again you are thinking everyone in Atlanta is a dumb as you.
The AJC is no longer reaching to be world class huh? Just a big “town” with stupid drinking laws, no nitelife, and horrible cookie cutter developments going up everywhere. Why doesnt anybody here have any style??????????
January 13th, 200912:09 pm
Where’s the link to ajcblogs on the front page. Do we have to go searching in different depts just to get to a variety of blogs?
Mr. Baker, I’m just now getting back on after a long morning meeting. I appreciate you response. However, i am afraid you did not address my actual concern as to the weather. Before today, you could enter a zip code for a different location (it could be anywhere in the U.S.) in the link at the top of the home page, and then, that would be the default weather for the user as long as he or she was signed in. So, me being in Augusta, GA, I always knew what my current conditions were anytime I went to the home page.
January 13th, 200912:15 pm
What? You guys changed the web page? Haven’t noticed….
The new logo is not good. Not good at all. Really bad. Ugly.
January 13th, 200912:21 pm
It’s somewhat better, BUT…
the AJC is not going to survive much longer. seems like you guys are taking the “dumbed down” AOL approach by featuring funny videos on your front page.
and those giant dynamic ads are a disaster. they may make short-term money but they are killing the website.
we all have access to the NY Times and WSJ for national news.
we use craigslist for classifieds.
we use Yelp and Urbanspoon for restaurants
we use rottentomatoes for movie times.
AJC should focus on providing top-notch local coverage. break out into community sections.
AJC cannot survive in its current format. it’s the worst major paper in the country and even the good ones are struggling.
i can’t really blame the web designers for being given such a poor product. there’s not much you can do if you are being asked to cater to the lower-income people who still would read this paper.
There has been a few comments about not being able to find MOMania. This blog can now be found under “Lifestlye” in the navigation and then under blogs. All blogs can be found at http://blogs.ajc.com/
January 13th, 200912:28 pm
I don’t like how the Opinion section is no longer on the menu bar across the top. Otherwise the change is fine.
January 13th, 200912:34 pm
The new design is better. People may think they don’t like it more, but I’ll bet you see more traffic.
January 13th, 200912:37 pm
I like the new look for the site, but DO NOT like the logo at all!!!!! Please keep the old one or try something else.
whew! OK , I have calmed down now.
I was so angry that I did not see my typos.
I just get so upset when an opportunity for IMPROVEMENT arises, and so often, this city FAILS.
The AJC and the website look should be a bridge of the past and the future. Having been a graphic designer for the past 20 years, I know what good design looks like. And this is NOT it. Sorry.
If the AJC was some small local paper…fine, the “logo” would work. But for a city of 4 million people, that is struggling to find itself STILL, you must do better.
Its very simple really… observe what SUCCESSFUL cities are doing. (And not to copy, but learn.)
Being the MAIN source of news about Atlanta gives your paper and your designers a HEAVY burden. You bear the task of giving Atlanta the respect, and admiration of the world. Sounds silly to some, but true. This is how design is viewed in New York City ad firms. (I’ve worked at the best) You cannot just slap something together and think you have done your job.
Its very plain to see by the many negative comments here, thats EXACTLY what has happened.
**step your game up AJC designers…BAD DESIGN.**
January 13th, 200912:38 pm
As a daily reader, this is a step in the right direction. The editing still needs work though. Several times a week I find articles plagued with misleading headlines, typos and chopped sentences. Also, dead links are frequently a problem. And just because it’s a blog doesn’t mean the writer gets to be sloppy (this means you Rodney Ho). I hope the redesign isn’t just superficial. There needs to be a commitment to overall site quality.
January 13th, 200912:40 pm
P.S. I agree that the new logo looks like it’s from 1972.
January 13th, 200912:42 pm
Put it back like you had it for God’s sakes. No improvement; just an irritation. Have to hit “search” to even find the Vents. Nuf said…
January 13th, 200912:46 pm
I have to agree with the majority… I do not like the new site. Sometimes it’s okay to leave things as they were. It lacks any real design and the navigation sucks, as an avid reader of this site( I check several times a day) I think I will start getting my new at Foxnews.com or WSBTV.com.. their sites are very graphic and easily navigated.
January 13th, 200912:50 pm
Hate it…..but that won’t stop me from visiting the web site all day….everyday.
January 13th, 200912:56 pm
Like the new format, HATE the new logo. Why the heck would you choose baby blue??? UGLY!
There needs to be vent access at the top of the page by the weather – for our urgent venting needs.
January 13th, 200912:57 pm
Of course you expected pro/con comments…that’s what happens with change. I like it…smooth, sharp, clean looking. I have been doing logos over the years and I’m glad you took the giant risky step of ‘coming up to date’. No matter what other graphic artists say, because even there you will diffence of opinions, you did a super job! Although I do miss the ‘feels like temperature’. Good luck!
January 13th, 200912:58 pm
Hard to read font.
January 13th, 20091:00 pm
Chiming in to echo “I understand wanting a sleeker look, but this is not it.”
The design is far too soft, the logo looks silly and the focus problem (blur of nondescript content toward the center of the page) that the old one had is still there and perhaps been magnified now due to the mushy look of the right rail. The design could really use some punch.
Paper or Plastic
January 13th, 20091:04 pm
I am a native of Atlanta but currently reside in Philadelphia. I religiously visit http://www.ajc.com, often multiple times daily, just to keep abreast of the happenings of my native city from afar. Though invigorated by the call for a new design, I have to say that I, like many others apparently, am underwelmed by the simplisty and passe’ style of the final product. AJC is a one of Atlanta’s signature pieces, and the world is browsing-believe it or not! Might there be slightly more energy exuded to make the design appear more forward and representative of the level of southern sophistication that the city stands for? Or shall we resign to being stuck with this current rudimentary and uninspired style?
With the exception of the weather and date/time stamp in the margins, I’m not moved at all. Hmmm…I think I’ll browse nytimes.com instead…or how bout this, paper anyone?
January 13th, 20091:08 pm
Before I didn’t have to scroll down – now I do. How is that progress? As for the logo – I don’t remember what the old one looked like but it’s 3 letters either way. However, I would say this new logo looks less like serious journalism and more like Teen Beat.
The clean look is nice, but I miss the larger number of stories available from the front page of the old design. Where’s the Vent?! I would like to see a logo that is not so bland. I also can’t find the link to the Print Edition. That’s the only place you can find Ken Thomas’ genealogy column. He has so many readers, there should be a prominent link somewhere.
January 13th, 20091:10 pm
I don’t like it when i pulled it up this morning i thought i was on the wrong site. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” bring the old style back. This one looks like it’s missing something
January 13th, 20091:14 pm
I thought I was on the wrong site, but when I figured out it was a new format, I really liked it. I am okay with change, and I like the more up to date (looking) format!!
January 13th, 20091:15 pm
Hate it, hate it, hate it. It is so generic. Nothing pops out at you and makes you want to read it.I am all for change, but not all change is good.Right now all I want to do is find out where you put the vent, and maybe I’ll be okay.
January 13th, 20091:20 pm
Nothing to get too excited about….it’s OK. Where is the print edition tab. I like to see a list of all the articles like before.
January 13th, 20091:24 pm
I have laughed all day at the new logo. It looks like an old ’70’s grocery store or maybe a generic brand of canned beans! I give it a month tops!
January 13th, 20091:25 pm
You can find the vent under “Take a Break” on the homepage. You can also access via “News” in the navigation. Looking for the Living Vent? Look under “Lifestyle” and then under features.
January 13th, 20091:27 pm
Check out our brand new layoff!!
Oops, we meant lay-OUT!
Where is the leadership at this company?
AJC is abandoning everything, including the employees, that made it great. Good luck with your new, exciting changes. Give me a break.
I don’t like this new look at all. The AJC has been suffering from a HORRIBLE identity crisis in recent years! They seem much more interested in catering to those who moved here in the last 10 years from Boston, Chicago, Ohio, New York, etc., instead of taking care of its CORE AUDIENCE – those of us who have lived here and grown up here all our lives. You need to ditch these new “gimmicky” ideas of a new logo, more fancy crap, online video, a stand-up comedian link, etc. and get back to being a NEWS-PAPER…. give me information, content and features that me as a NATIVE ATLANTAN would care about. The old web site look was JUST FINE – this new one has no heart, no soul, no identity. It looks like it could be one of 1,000 newspapers anywhere in the world. Give me back my traditional AJC logo and traditional AJC web site… this new one is garbage and I have no interest in visiting here anymore. I’ll go to a regional paper’s web site or USA Today to get my info now, thank you very much.
Lacks pizazz. Very bland. Liked the previous homepage so much better.
January 13th, 20091:28 pm
So generic! I recently moved to Baltimore and loved the AJC web layout, organization, etc so much that I continued to read the AJC online over 600 miles away! Now it looks about the same as the Baltimore Sun, which is not impressive, hard to read and difficult to navigate.
It lacks personality, the logo is so “blah!” and there is nothing that identifies this site with the history and reputation of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution! What a disappointment, and this coming from someone who does welcome change!
Don’t like it….
January 13th, 20091:29 pm
I like that the new format is cleaner. Navigating the site really did get much easier. I can now more easily find more of the features I previously wasn’t aware of.
The logo could be better, but it’s just a logo — doesn’t bother me too much whether it looks like something that belongs on a box of dryer sheets, or if it looks “newsy.” The content matters much more to me.
Having a link to the “Print Edition” somewhere at the top would be most helpful. The NY Times website has a great example of this.
I see there’s slightly less emphasis on the trashy celebrity news junk. The less emphasis, the better. I would appreciate more emphasis on the stuff that actually matters. What’s going on in my part of town?
When the AJC got rid of the Horizon section, there was a promise that there would be more of the type of coverage seen in Horizon. I would love to see an online version of the Horizon section. You could demonstrate that you really are giving more coverage of Horizon-like stories by labeling them “Horizon” and dedicating a page of the website to those stories.
January 13th, 20091:32 pm
I really thought I was on the wrong site. Just this morning everything was fine. Now, after lunch, I find this. I really don’t like it at all. I really thought I had did something wrong. Please change it back! Please! AJC gives great coverage of news happening now and I truly look forward to it each and every day. Keep up the great work, but in the meantime, correct this error! Thanks
January 13th, 20091:35 pm
I hate the new look…but I greatly appreciate your letting me critcize you again and again about it.
Don’t like the logo (after I found it). The old logo was your brand and recognizable. The new one blends into the banner. While the format of the may be easier to navigate, the page is just like all the other internet site.
January 13th, 20091:37 pm
The home page is a bit less cluttered, and seems as if it might actually emphasize NEWS a bit more. If so, that’s an improvement.
The arts page, as always, stinks. It is sloppy, incoherent, seldom maintained or updated, and most of the arts stories in the print edition can only be found if you click on the little note at the bottom for people who are looking for a story they saw in the print edition. Stop and think about how pathetic that is. For an example of what real arts pages (plural) in an online edition look like, check out the Denver Post website.
No, I mean it, really: look at the Denver Post website, and imitate what they do (within the bounds of copyright law); no one at the AJC seems to have the imagination to design one themselves, and none of the editors seems to care.
I agree with the critique that the logo is bland; at least you should put, underneath it, “Atlanta Journal-Constitution” in the familiar script. It’s a familiar mark of your brand.
Also, I agree with joeventures about the Horizon stories; some of the best journalism you have done was part of that section, and there’s plenty to report on as Atlanta’s development patterns continue to change.
January 13th, 20091:39 pm
they censored my previous blog post b/c i pointed out that they were becoming irrelevant since we get classifieds from craigslist, restaurant reviews from Urbanspoon, national news from the NYT.
AJC now caters to people who read Blondie and watch “funny” youtube videos.
this paper is finished. but the Cox sisters have more money than god so they can keep it on lifesupport.
January 13th, 20091:40 pm
What was the point?
January 13th, 20091:41 pm
Bring back the old design…
Do not like it.
January 13th, 20091:44 pm
Colors are too light, too bland, amateurish looking. Needs some dash.
The new logo looks like the style of logo that would have been on a Braves’s cap in the early 1980’s. The new font is a distraction, not an improvement.
January 13th, 20091:46 pm
I really like the pulldown designs on the header bar. It’s nicely thought out and brings most of the most-looked-for elements into easy reach.
So far, the layout/design is much cleaner. I agree with a previous commenter: when is the AJC going to recognize that Coweta, Douglas, and other western counties exist? Not EVERYONE lives in Cobb or Gwinnett.
Where have real journalists gone?
January 13th, 20091:48 pm
Is it that hard to look at the LA Times, the Tribune, the Washington Post, or the NY Times websites to see what real newspaper sites look like? I mean, yes, what Atlanta’s pets are wearing and who slept with who on what tv show is absolutely the most important news going on in our area. Way to cover the important stories, AJC. If nothing else, the site looks more like the rag that the newspaper has become.
January 13th, 20091:57 pm
how about a poll about the changes…dynamite or dogpoop, I suspect it would be about 80% dogpoop
January 13th, 20091:59 pm
The new “ajc” design looks like it could be a logo for an appliance manufacturer, and it kind of gets lost. It’s not prominant enough and looks like part of an advertisement link.
January 13th, 20092:00 pm
January 13th, 20092:11 pm
New design is awful!!!
January 13th, 20092:24 pm
I HATE IT!!!!! GO BACK TO THE OLD!
January 13th, 20092:26 pm
I like the old look from this morning. I was blown away this afternoon to see this change. There is an old saying, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.
January 13th, 20092:30 pm
I don’t like it. When I opened it up the first time, I thought that I made a mistake by going to another site. The color is gone – where is the color. Go back to the original. It was great!
this is awful — why in the world would you change something that looked so classy????? did somebody have nothing to do? was their job going to be eliminated? well it should be now — get this online ajc back the way it used to be — i was always so proud to think when looking at other papers online how good ours looked — now it’s so ugly just awful — and like everyone is saying “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”!!!!!!!!! GET IT BACK THE WAY IT WAS!!!!
January 13th, 20092:31 pm
Nice!!!!!Clean, Crisp, No distractions.
January 13th, 20092:33 pm
where are my manners — PLEASE GET IT BACK THE WAY IT WAS!!!! THANKING YOU IN ADVANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
January 13th, 20092:35 pm
It is not user friendly. Drop down menu is cluttered. Liked the old setup better.
January 13th, 20092:36 pm
Like I said before, why fix it if it isn’t broken. It looks like a student project and not a very good student at that. The adds on the right are larger than the articles/menus. The drop down adds need to go bye-bye!! It is just very boring. Doesn’t invite me to look further into it.
The two main things I want to see from the mainpage are news by county and the op-ed page. You’ve made both harder to access. Brilliant.
January 13th, 20092:37 pm
oops, meant to say “ads” not adds.
January 13th, 20092:39 pm
Sorry guys, I hate it. Very sterile. Guess it’s just another sign that southern charm is gone:-(
January 13th, 20092:40 pm
I found a bug. Although the main headline changes (now it’s the Ron Clark band), the link associated with that headline still points to the previous headline (the Smoltz story).
January 13th, 20092:41 pm
this may be the worst page of all time. i use to come over here and rip all day long. i now will have to take my rippin elsewhere. maybe cnn?
January 13th, 20092:45 pm
This site is dog$%*^! Bring back the old one and bring back Smoltz.
January 13th, 20092:52 pm
Your new look stinks, just like your sorry columnists such as that MORON Cynthia Tucker!!! Your paper is not even Journalism, it is biased towards the LEFT way tooo far, and that is the true reason why the AJC and papers all over the country are failing!! People are sick of the rampant YELLOW JOURNALISM that exists today, and tired of the fact that all fairness, and unbiased reporting is DEAD today! Whatever happened with telling a story based on fact, and reporting news in a way that the facts are delivered, without the manipulation and author’s personal thoughts trying to tell the people what they should be thinking? The new look of the AJC will not fix that!!! Maybe instead of pathetic marketing attempts, you guys should focus on trying to be REAL JOURNALISTS? And what’s up with highlighting and making “ENTERTAINMENT” news so important? That is part of the problem with this country, so many people can tell you the latest BULLCRAP about who Paris Hilton is slumming around with, but God forbid someone knows who their state Senator is!! The AJC is PATHETIC and I personally can’t wait for you to go BANKRUPT!!
The logo looks like a knockoff of the Hewlett Packard Logo. As someone that visits the site everyday sometimes two or more times a day, sorry I’m not impressed. It kind of looks like the draft before you complete the project. Especially since the layout is pretty much the same you just moved headings around a bit, and all I can really see that’s has changed majorly is the logo. A established paper such as this should never change their logo. Your logo is the first thing people see and say oh..that’s the AJC. Right now it looks like a start up paper.
January 13th, 20092:56 pm
I like everything about the redesign except the logo.
January 13th, 20093:00 pm
needs a tad bit more color – maybe a green to compliment to blue
too much white – a second color would help to highlight areas of interest to your readers
I got an even better idea… why don’t you change the logo like Pepsi did and make it look like the “Obama Change/Hope BS Logo” I mean, this pathetic paper threw Real Journalism out the window during the election cycle to worship Obama like the rest of our American-Idol crazed society, why not go all the way? Why not just change the log and the name of the paper to “OJC”… Instead of the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation, you can call yourselves the “Obama Journal of Corruption”…
Sharon Grandberry Burton
January 13th, 20093:01 pm
Thank you to everyone at the AJC for your hard work to keep us informed. Overall, you’ve done a great job! I appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback about the website redesign. I am a frequent internet user.
1) The logo is not catchy. I would have preferred to see something more unique in terms of color selection and font. The brand identity is not distinctive enough for the viewer. It is almost generic. I would prefer to something more creative.
2) The organization of content is much better. The content is easily accessible in terms of navigation on the screen. I enjoy the stories. The timing of stories and the accuracy works well for my needs.
3) I like the visual enhancements such as more video, pictures, flash elements.
4) You offer a great variety of stories. I enjoy Private Quarters and Vacation pictures. Nice touch to keep your general audience connected. We are invited to add to the site. Great engagement opportunity. I really like the photo galleries.
5) Good use of space. I like the white space.
Professional Web Designer
It’s still slow, clunky, and lacks good design. All you did was change the logo and move some stuff around. Thankfully those stupid expanding ads are gone but this is much the same old design with a few minor changes. A true redesign would have addressed usability, the clutter, and directed my eyes somewhere important.
January 13th, 20093:04 pm
Its cleaner and easier to navigate… not sure about the new logo yet…
Please redo the logo. Looks like your were trying to save money or noone could agree on a new design.
January 13th, 20093:05 pm
Is Woman to Woman gone?
Also, the logo is so 1989.
It sucks. Hard on the eyes. However, on the plus side it is so “white” Terence Moore probably does not like it.
January 13th, 20093:06 pm
Those drop down-ads is what pays for you to read AJC online!
January 13th, 20093:07 pm
The layout is nice and clean. However, it took me forever to find the Vent- should be a little more prominent.
January 13th, 20093:11 pm
Please return to the old layout. The new layout has too many empty spaces.
January 13th, 20093:14 pm
Woman to Woman is still on the site and can be found under “News” in the navigation and then under opinion.
Tom H awks
January 13th, 20093:15 pm
I subscribed to the AJC for several years, and when they quit delivering in my area I bought it at the store. I loved setting down in my easy chair at night and reading the AJC. I am sorry but setting down at a computer and reading the paper is one of the most non relaxing things I can think of. I called about mail delivery but could not get same day delivery Thanks goodness the Gainesville times and the USA Today still serve my area.
January 13th, 20093:16 pm
I thought I was on the wrong web page and had to log in twice. I am not feeling the new layout, prefer the old one. However, change is supposed to be- my suggestion would be to tweak it just a bit.
The logo and header line are too light in color and too plain. A graphic designer needs to work on it!
Everyone bow to the authority of Professional Web Designer!!! All hail, his holiness!!! Lean not on your own understandings, but trust all html queries to Professional Web Designer!
I’m surprised you didn’t post a picture of your degree, or better yea link to your portfolio. Yeesh! While I don’t necessarily disagree with anything you said, AS A GRAPHIC DESIGNER WHO DEALS FREQUENTLY WITH WEB DESIGN (see I’m legit now), your attempt to legitimize your comment through your pretentious title is one of the douchiest things I’ve seen in quite a while.
January 13th, 20093:17 pm
I do appreciate that I no longer have to wade through several columns of celebrity or non-Atlanta news to know what’s happening here, today. If I want entertainment news, I’ll go to people.com. I count on your expertise for local and regional happenings. Keep those at the top!
In general, I find your new layout more scannable than before.
January 13th, 20093:19 pm
Bozo – funny comment.
I agree the new logo is quite “HP”-ish
January 13th, 20093:27 pm
ONly two headlines really pop. The rest of the type is very light and almost sinks into the background. It’s a lot of small type on the page. Also, the banner photo is kind of small to be a banner photo. But I like the layout–much easier to find things that I want.
January 13th, 20093:29 pm
Looks like my 4 year old designed it. Very plain and not pretty at all. Must have taken at least an hour to design. There isn’t even a Living tab. I guess you must have let go your real designers.
January 13th, 20093:30 pm
It appears the new logo is going over as well as the New Coke did.
Carter is a Fool
January 13th, 20093:53 pm
The look is perfect. It is washed up, just like the AJC. We once had a great newspaper, but now it is a mere shadow of itself and staffed by left wing hate mongers such as no talent Cartoon Boy with his sidekicks – Cynthia Tucherheadinthesand and Jay Boogerman. It really is a great design for this washed up rag.
No worries, they soon will be bankrupt and out of business. It would not take much to get back to being a great paper. Report the news not Invent the News or Slant the News or Spin the News. Try being an impartial observer who reports the news instead of spinning it to the left.
Fire the idiots who run the Editorial Board as they have NO TALENT. Cynthia always finds life is viewed best through her racial glasses. Jay looks at the world through a funhouse mirror designed to distort the truth such as his recent hack job on Ronald Reagan. This group has no idea that Carter is our worst President and Ex-President.
I agree with this earlier comment:
If Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman are still running editorial content, then the new look is just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic…
January 13th, 20094:02 pm
I do not like the new format AT ALL!! Where is the Metro section? It looks like you guys tried to copy the cnn page!?!?!?!?
January 13th, 20094:12 pm
I’m not too crazy about the new format. It was a bit text heavy to me. Visually I found it harder to pinpoint what I was looking for, like this was my first time looking at it rather than being a frequent user. Also, the blogs were hard to find. As a side note, why isn’t Henry included on the metro page anymore. We didn’t fall off the planet you know, and as one of the fastest growing counties, you’d think the AJC could find us important enough to include. I agree with others about those half page ads, get rid of them. Keep them small, if I’m interested I click on them, but please don’t splash them in my face. The AJC.com used to be a pleasure to view, but now I’m not sure sure.
January 13th, 20094:17 pm
In the words of the inimmitiable (sic) Bert Lance, “If it ain’t broke, Don’t fix it !”. I DO NOT LIKE IT !!!
January 13th, 20094:23 pm
It looks like the HP logo.
January 13th, 20094:32 pm
What happened to the name of the paper? You seem to have lost your identity of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The format seems more readable, though. Wish there as a tab for the Metro section.
January 13th, 20094:34 pm
Hey “Carter is a Fool”. Real pple work here. People who may or may not agree with a lot of those leftist. People who would be in some serious serious trouble if they lost their job. Please don’t be so flippant about the company going down. We don’t need any more bad news during this trying time. Talk about the design, not your opinion.
January 13th, 20094:38 pm
After further reveiw,your site still lacks any style to it.
Aalso why do you continue to leave links to some things that are old & useless, ie: under clayton / metro Katrina General Stepping down/ after 11 months I believe he’s left the building, & 95 new high school coaches
begin practice, only 8 months old. WHO’S SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING THESE THING ?????
January 13th, 20094:55 pm
Oh that is what you call it….well if dumbing down the paper version was more of a shock after 35 years of subscribing to something not even big enough to lay in the bottom of my birdcage….this is not a surprise because WHOMEVER is making decisions over there doesn’t know what the heck they are doing. I am canceling my paper and going with a real newspaper–the times or even gasp usa today.
This resembles more of an amateur college paper. But then again. That probably is fitting. You used to be a great paper, did you lay everyone off???? and now ith a staff of two you are pretending to have a paper?
Bye Bye AJC. You are history.
January 13th, 20094:57 pm
So far, I like it. A lot more articles right on the 1st page.
January 13th, 20095:03 pm
Not bad, I can get used to it, BUT the blogs are too hard to find. May want to consider putting them as an option in the top bar (not just under “entertainment”).
January 13th, 20095:58 pm
Well, it’s not as craptastic as The Tennessean, but it’s getting there.
January 13th, 20096:03 pm
Fool with your layout all you want, but please show some discipline in your headline writing “Branake: Stimulus would help economy” is not what the Fed chairman said. As quoted in the first paragraph of the story, he said “could help”, as long as his other suggestions were implemented. Was this an oversight, or propaganda? Hard to tell with the AJC, new logo or not.
January 13th, 20096:07 pm
I do not find this format pleasing or any easier to use. I find it cluttered and totally uninteresting. It reminds me of the drab Chicago Suntimes and the New York Times. Lifeless. Where has all the southern heritage gone.
January 13th, 20096:11 pm
I love it, its clean cut and easy to navagate
January 13th, 20096:13 pm
I like the new layout.
January 13th, 20096:14 pm
I like the new format- cleaner and easier to use. Only thing I am not sure about is the logo- Why don’t you go back to the old one? It had more “class” and distinction, in my opinion.
This design does not not look good at all. It’s not attractive to the eye at all and makes me think of a website designed for pre-schoolers, Please change it immediately!
January 13th, 20096:15 pm
Hate the new format.I read the ajc.com every day, or I used to. I’m even going to delete it from my “Favorites”. Good-by ajc.com!
January 13th, 20096:16 pm
Love the new layout. It was long overdue. Kudos to your web team for making such a bold change. As with everything people hate change and unfortunately the majority or web users adapt to this change very slowly but be proud of your new website and don’t worry about all the complainers. They will soon forget AJC.com was ever any different.
BIG improvement! Looks great!
January 13th, 20096:17 pm
Wow! I can finally read AJC online easily! Everything is much cleaner and easy to find. Thanks AJC
January 13th, 20096:23 pm
BIG step backward! Site is busier than it was before in my opinion; old site was much simpler to navigate and stood out among other news sites that I have seen. Now AJC.com looks worse and like other newpapers sites, staid, busy, navigation-difficult and like any other newsite. But why ask us what we think? You’re not going to change it anyways (though you should change it back).
January 13th, 20096:24 pm
I’m glad you went back to the straight drop-down menus. Previously highlighting ‘Sports’ and then having to mouse down and left or right to choose ‘Hawks’, etc was a pain — if you moused over adjacent categories (easy to do on a laptop with a touchpad) you lost your place and had to go back and start over.
January 13th, 20096:26 pm
Julia, Scott, AJC,
I think it’s great that you “manned” this blog to help readers navigate. Very nice service.
It was probably a BAD idea to post the question/blog on the first day. It appears most people can’t find things – that’s to be expected with a rearrangement. We also know that a lot of people just don’t adapt well to anything different.
IMO, the site is fine… I read it today actually not even knowing it was a redesign (I did find it less cluttered), and I did notice after 17 years the link to “Would you name your child Exxon, Peach, or Texaco” is FINALLY gone from the home page.
I must agree with the others though. Whoever thought that logo was representative of the paper, this era, or a city like Atlanta was way off. That logo is real, real tired.
January 13th, 20096:27 pm
Nice enough, I guess. Why spend the money to change it? In my next life, I want to be a consultant convincing companies to change things so that they can be…changed. Not necessarily better, just changed
January 13th, 20096:29 pm
What was wrong w/ the old format?
Sp Ed Teacher
Let’s all vote with our fingers. Just like the changes a few months ago to the mobile web site, I waited 1 week, went back and it had not reverted back, so I deleted AJC from my bookmark bar. AJC relented and it came back.
I will check back in one week and if it is the same, I will delete it from the bookmark bar. I went cold turkey to the AJC 2 years ago after getting it for almost 30 years. You removed the sections of the paper I liked to read.
If I had a HS student in Digital Media turn in something like this, their grade would be “below” average.
January 13th, 20096:30 pm
The logo is quite forgettable. I would not abandon a decades long logo for something that looks suspiciously like the HP logo. Try, try again.
This is terrible – does it have all the bells and whistles on it yet? The NY Times site is white, and it doesn’t look this wimpy. I just redid my blog, and at this point, there’s not much difference between the two – which means that you guys have lost some juice, because I should be able to instantly tell that some professional level graphic designers have been at work here.
The logo is as bad as that Izzy thing that was promoted as the Olympic mascot.
Can we get some swagger back into the logo? Some sharpness? Some design sense that evokes the hand of a mighty corporate news behemoth, rather than the efforts of a teenager tooling around with the Adobe software he got for Christmas?
I know damn well you’re not going to give the VP who spearheaded this sh&t a bonus, unless its a bus pass for him and his family to get out of town. This is the FLAGSHIP paper in your enterprise – how could you do this to your readers?
January 13th, 20096:32 pm
We’re missing one MAJOR component here … a DIRECT link to The (Metro) Vent from the home page! In fact, the Vents should be their own drop-down menu item under Entertainment or Opinions … just make it EASIER to find The Vent quickly! Otherwise, I like the simplified structure!
January 13th, 20096:33 pm
The logo is boring, but the rest is nice.
January 13th, 20096:35 pm
It looks like you’re trying to compete with the big boys…and doing a poor job of it. C’mon guys. Be the local newspaper that you are and stick with what you know. Bad design, bad banner ad placement, horrible logo. Nuff said.
January 13th, 20096:36 pm
Everything looks fine but the logo is really plain. You all can do better on the logo.
January 13th, 20096:37 pm
The new web page loads much faster – and “gone” is that stupid ad that blocked half my screen for the first minute the page was open. This is an overall improvement.
January 13th, 20096:40 pm
I’m digging it. It’s not as busy and is easier on the eyes. It didn’t take as long load on my screen, either. I’m lukewarm on the logo, simply because it’s rather dull. You could use a tad more color, though.
January 13th, 20096:44 pm
Hate it. Too much sizzle…no steak. The drop down ads are a pain. More news and less BS.
January 13th, 20096:48 pm
Your newly designed home page demonstrates that not all change is necessary or effective. The overall appearance is unappealing and forgettable. Please think this through more carefully and give us something more creative and visually appealing!
January 13th, 20096:54 pm
I LOVE THE NEW LOOK! IT SHOWS MORE NEWS AT A GLANCE, WHICH IS WHAT WE NEEDED~! THANK YOU!
January 13th, 20096:55 pm
Sorry, doesn’t do it for me. To bland, the logo doesn’t pop, layout doesn’t have a natural flow. I’ll be seeing this forever, won’t I. *sigh*
January 13th, 20096:56 pm
would like brighter colors and a vent person that will print( all) printable vents ty james
January 13th, 20097:02 pm
Typical Atlanta style….bland, no real identity, the only one in the place that thinks it looks good, and is scared silly by true cities like NYC, Chicago, and LA.
January 13th, 20097:04 pm
The ajc looks like the logo for Sealy Posturepedic. The site is kind of bland, I”m not very impressed.
January 13th, 20097:06 pm
Weak, bland, disappointing. I’m rooting for you guys, but new design looks like it was done on the cheap. No imagination, no creativity.
January 13th, 20097:07 pm
Uninspired logo, too little content, no real organization to the page. This new design is not an improvement, and I am spending less time navigating the site as a result of it.
January 13th, 20097:08 pm
The page is too weak, not crisp enough. Departments should be bolder. This looks like a step backward.
January 13th, 20097:09 pm
Did’nt like the other one,hate this one
January 13th, 20097:16 pm
Not sure why you felt the need to change your site but it is now extremely difficult to read. I don’t like the changes at all. At least give us some contrast so it will be easier to read.
January 13th, 20097:22 pm
I’m not impressed at all. Too blah!! Just has no pep
Too much on each page, like going to home depot the first time, you get lost and walk away
January 13th, 20097:23 pm
I don’t like the new format. The old one was fine – why change it?? Seems like a big waste or employee time…….and money.
January 13th, 20097:26 pm
Looks like AJC copied almost identical 11alive web format
January 13th, 20097:27 pm
I visited the AJC site several times a day and knew exactly where to find the info I needed. Now I can’t find a thing… I don’t like it at all. Its not about making changes its about making changes that make sense. This does not make sense to me.
I really like the new format! Simple and less flashy is definitely the way to go. Looks like your serious about information and less about eye candy banners and blinking advertisements. Thanks!!!! I’ll continue my subscription!
January 13th, 20097:30 pm
i like the new format very much. i think if the people who don`t like it would open their minds to change, and sit back, exhale and be patient. they too will find that there is always some new way to open the mind whenever we view something `different`. it`s all about how you open your mind to `change`.
January 13th, 20097:34 pm
The Delta logo was screwed up by its new designers and now the AJC has followed suit. Both should return to the logo that that was their identity.
January 13th, 20097:36 pm
dont like it at all no i dont i guess fox will be home page
Hate it! The only thing I enjoy is the online vent and there isn’t a link to be found for it! Goodbye!
January 13th, 20097:37 pm
Awesome! I love the fresh, new, clean look. Keep it up. Now be sure to give us real news and not fluff.
January 13th, 20097:39 pm
It is so much easier to check on the weather now. I like other changes, too. Thanks!
January 13th, 20097:40 pm
This new design must have been done by a student at North Metro Technical College. We used to do stuff like this when I was a student there.
January 13th, 20097:42 pm
Why not use the same format as the Drudge Report? It’s simple, easy to locate stories.
AJC is still about as easy to navigate as Rubic’s Cube.
Jane in GA
Nope. My very first comment when the page opened ” I hate this new page”. Plain, boring, nothing special. It does look like webmaster101. Is this another sign of the economic times? I’ll go to MyFoxAtlanta.com.
January 13th, 20097:47 pm
Everything is all over the place. Too junky. I like the old look.
January 13th, 20097:49 pm
I think the new homepage design is a step down from where you were. It’s much harder to find key news items. Not user friendly and way less attractive. You’ve butchered your logo with the graphic treatment around it.
January 13th, 20097:51 pm
Not crazy about it.
January 13th, 20097:53 pm
new one? sorry. Just “Tweek” the old one a little and you’ll have it right!
I guess I will get used to it. Seems like something is missing. Please get rid of the drop down adds on the front page, very annoying. Change will happen but this seems a bit too plain. Maybe that’s a good thing.
January 13th, 20097:59 pm
This format is too BRIGHT and not comfortable to read. I usually read ajc.com early in the morning and late at night. The new format is like an overexposed picture, or a SLAP in the face! Also – it appears very similar to CNN.COM, the old format was unique and colorful. The new format is stark and plain. THUMBS DOWN!
Better, because its faster. Speed kills.
January 13th, 20098:00 pm
I don’t mind the new look. What I mind is meaningless headlines. Nobody cares that Madonna’s dog died except for Madonna’s dog and it died. Seriously, put up some real news on those headlines.
January 13th, 20098:03 pm
Well it seems that Atlanta has spoken!!!!! It gives me hope that this city has some style…so substance.
Sadly the people in charge need to either – die off, leave for Alabama, or just quit whatever job they have.
WE NEED A CITY THAT HAS A REAL NEWSPAPER. we need a paper that honors the past and looks foward to the future, all the while making any changes WITH CLASS… THOUGHT AND REAL TASTE.
WE NEED A CITY THAT HAS REAL ARCHITECTURE!!!!!!! Not this bullcrap cookie cutter Post, Gables, Psuedo McMansion crap. For example- Why would the developer of the new property going up at the base of Freedom Parkway and the Blvd ave. and hwy interchange be allowed to put up such a disgusting plain -Jane building?? Why did these idiots get approved???? This was an opportunity to create some amazing buildings that ADDED to the Atlanta skyline that is so stunning in that area. ALL OF ATLANTA’S POSTCARDS SHOW THIS AREA!!! Why did not one INSIST this be designed by an award winning noted designer??? SHAME ON ATLANTA!!!!!
ATLANTA NEEDS TO BE A CITY THAT HAS PUBLIC ART!!!! I have never seen a “city” so devoid of art!!!! Does this place have NO CULTURE?????!!!!!
From now on any project exceeding 2 million $$$$ needs to have 100k in public art factored in… this art needs to be approved by a panel of Atlanta’s taste-makers…NOT some old crusty losers that think that STUPID FAKE ARCHWAY at Atlantic Station is art… what a joke!!!
WE NEED A CITY THAT HAS A REAL NITE-LIFE!!!!! Why is this city so damn boring???!!!!! Tourists have NO REASON to come here!!!!! That WACK Cenntenial park?? LOL That wack, WACK world of COKE? That WACK Aquarium?? The Underground?? LOLOL
STOP MAKING IT HARD FOR PROGRESSIVE BUSINESS OWNERS WHO WANT TO OPEN UP BARS, CLUBS AND STORES A HEADACHE!!!!
SELL LIQUOR AND BEER ON SUNDAY!!!! Like REAL cities do!!
CLOSE CLUBS AT 3AM Like REAL cities do!!!!
GET A CLUE ATLANTA!!!!!!
WE NEED A REAL CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THIS HORRIBLE AJC LOGO AND LAYOUT IS EXACTLY THE SAME STUPID SIMPLETON THINKING THAT HOLDS THIS CITY BACK.
(and no…… I’m NOT moving back to NYC… so don’t waste your breath!) LOL
The new layout is just fine. A lot of the major newspapers are going for the new streamlined appearance (and for those of you that are surprised that this happened so soon, the AJC sent out that survey MONTHS ago – I received the survey and the additional information related to content last year).
Yes, the look and a lot of the features and functions have moved, but do you complain when a shopping site changes how it looks? Oh, a shopping site doesn’t have a blog where you CAN complain. You just have to be able to navigate to an area that LOOKS like what you want. I don’t think that this is SO bad that you just stop pulling up the website. Are you gonna go and start picking up the physical paper? The one that most of you can’t stand? Get over yourselves. The AJC made a business decision, one that most forward thinking companies make to keep up w/ the times. The old layout was a bit dated; it’s been in service for more than a few years. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to view it, but I challenge you to find another local site w/ the coverage that ajc.com provides.
January 13th, 20098:06 pm
the new logo is just horrible
i know we’re in a recession but dang the teenage computer geek next door could have designed a more colorful page.
DO NOT WANT
January 13th, 20098:07 pm
TERRIBLE new format !!!! You all got ripped off if you paid a dime for this.
January 13th, 20098:14 pm
New logo, which we DIDN’T ask for, but STILL no Hawks and Thrashers Vents, which we DID ask for…?
January 13th, 20098:15 pm
Clean, fresh, white, bright – I like it.
January 13th, 20098:19 pm
Not enough Color . Too Drab
January 13th, 20098:24 pm
The new format does make it easier to find what I read AJC for (state news, esp politics), but I don’t like the new logo and AJC website is still more like People magazine than a substantive newspaper.
…blah, dull, drab, non-descript, ordinary, mundane, awful, terrible, sucks, crappy, and did i mention blah? please, go to the new york times, la times or chicago sun times for inspiration. this design does absolutely nothing for me. it’s an embarassment to all those who call atlanta home. please change it. thanks, JiMiFLiX!
January 13th, 20098:25 pm
I’m sorry. But this is not attractive. I don’t think I’ll be visiting as often.
January 13th, 20098:26 pm
Where is the PRINT EDITION NOW?
January 13th, 20098:27 pm
Where’s the opinion page? Oh-and the Metro section?
January 13th, 20098:28 pm
**This is racist.**
January 13th, 20098:29 pm
great look. congrats.
Same s…, different day.
January 13th, 20098:30 pm
AJC? Ummm….are we selling soda pop or reporting news here? The logo looks like it belongs on a soda pop cap. I love the new menu,,,but the old design and old logo was much better.
January 13th, 20098:33 pm
If your designers were looking for an ‘about face’ for the spread, they achieved it. However, as a long time reader and lifetime resident, I have always associated the AJC with a classier more refined look. This one will take a LOT of getting used to.
Pamela Y Jones
This looks like something that my granddaughter who is 11 years old could have done. Who is so desperate for job security decided to
do something so childish and unprofessional. Making changes just
for the sake of change just to make sure you justify your job is
January 13th, 20098:36 pm
AJC…..I think this new format is terrible. It’s just plain and it does not catch my eye or i’m sure alot of other viewers also.
January 13th, 20098:40 pm
i don’t like the new logo either – it’s throwback hp with ‘ajc’ letters in the middle instead. the font is very juvenile/whimsy. branding didn’t get this right.
January 13th, 20098:41 pm
Great change! I would like to offer a couple of improvements. Please add more babes in short skirts & bikini’s, and an expanded sports section – then it would be perfect! Change is good!
January 13th, 20098:46 pm
I guess the AJC has joined the “CHANGE” bandwagon eh? I am not sure I like the new format…but in time it will grow on me. Will the print version format change as well? Is this a way to cut costs? I can’t even find my favorites…Metro section, horoscopes etc. I have to hunt & peck to find what I want. Don’t particularily like it…but it’s free so I login, read what I want to read and log back out…nothing to get too bent out of shape about. Don’t sweat the small stuff people.
January 13th, 20098:50 pm
Hate it! Just hate it. Give me the old layout. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!
January 13th, 20098:51 pm
If it wasn’t broken… Sorry folks you blew it. This format is a big step back…
January 13th, 20098:52 pm
This is style over substance. Bring real change to the AJC —> Fire Jay Bookman and Cynthia Tucker.
January 13th, 20098:53 pm
I really hate this new look. It’s boring and doesn’t stand out like the previous layout was. The colors are to calm and not vibriant enough.
I like the new format but I have also noticed lately that there have been frequent grammatical errors. For example, the Obama link reads Obama wants “reamining” 350B bailout money. There have been numerous other stories that have one or more errors and I know everyone makes mistakes but there should be much more scrutiny when it comes to print.
January 13th, 20098:54 pm
Okay where’s the Metro link in the header?
January 13th, 20098:57 pm
The old format was much easier to navigate and stood out much better. Makes me wonder why you changed it. Hope you did not pay too much for someone to come up with a lesser option than what you had.
Can you add the ability to comment on your stories. Maybe even offer suggestions for additional stories so you can become a mainstream player again.
It breaks my heart that the logo changed. The AJC logo always has been bold and powerful. The new logo? Soft and fluffy, totally dismissive of the history of this once-great newspaper.
As for the layout … I actually like the white space and some of the reorganization. But I don’t know if I’ll ever get past the changing of the logo.
If there ever was a doubt whether or not this paper still covered Dixie like the dew, this new logo answers that question more definitely than any words ever could.
January 13th, 20099:01 pm
Dont give a hoot about the layout of the webpage. Im more interested in the content, which still SUCKS!!! Still reads like a cross between USA Today and STAR magazine.
Geez, where did your webpage designer get the inspiration for the “new” logo…looked at a Hewitt-Packard printer during the thought process???
do we have to cater to blacks so much in atlanta?
January 13th, 20099:07 pm
hey you guyz, stop dissin the new logo, Bristol worked at it for like……over an hour!
shes be commisioned to redesign that gold topped building you guyz got downtown!
she’s gonna have it painted Bratz Pink! you betcha!
January 13th, 20099:08 pm
I think the new format is very bland and lacks creativity. It appears the AJC has taken a few steps back. This is not “Change we can believe in”
I’d have to agree with some of the other posts regarding the logo. We can do better than that. Probably a result of design by committee.
Otherwise, though, I think this is very good work. You’ve stuck to solid grid, you have a good footer that’s packed with consistent global navigation, and the main navigation at the top is very good and makes it easier to get get anywhere with minimal clicks. The typeface is airy enough and readable for the older crowd. The sliding ‘Inside the AJC’ feature is nice also — clean and easy to use. For a newspaper, a clean layout is more important than eye popping design, and you — like the New York Times Online — have taken a good step in the right direction.
January 13th, 20099:09 pm
Being of the older generation,who reads the comics every day.It would be nice if the font in the comics and elsewhere could be larger.
Change is good sometimes. I think the new look is good. It is not the look that is important but rather what we are reading.
January 13th, 20099:10 pm
The new look is fresher, more current, cleaner — all together better! Glad to see AJC is not afraid of change.
January 13th, 20099:11 pm
January 13th, 20099:12 pm
Whoever did the new logo is NOT smarter than a 5th grader! Very disappointed with the new logo – loss of identity with the faded, lighter blue vs the strong bold blue; all that history washed away. It’s hard to look at the logo seriously. For the headmast, I’d like to see some background color used. That along with the old logo would give it an immediate and strong presentation! The font is easy on the eyes. The basic layout is better organized.
January 13th, 20099:13 pm
Nothing wrong with change, however, this format puts me in the mind of a blog as opposed to a news periodical. If I didn’t know the AJC I wouldn’t think that this was the city newspaper. I might think it some offshoot type of site like accessatlanta.com. My feeling is that this is a newspaper and therefore you should let it be known that you are just that in your logo.
January 13th, 20099:14 pm
Did that dude say “don’t sweat the small stuff”???
Hey Bubba –
Its thinking like that, that gave us that stupid looking yellow bridge across 75/85.
Its thinking like that, that gave us that stupid slogan “everydays opening day-ATL”.
Its thinking like that, that gave us that stupid community around Atlantic Station.
Its thinking like that, that gave us that stupid Atlantic Station!!!
Its thinking like that, that gave us that stupid GW Bush.
– I wish Obama was our Mayor.
January 13th, 20099:17 pm
Not my favorite. I think the old format grabbed the readers attention quicker.
January 13th, 20099:18 pm
I don’t like it. It’s very genetic. The other format was the AJC that I was familiar with. Even though it was “busier” I didn’t mind it because it reminded me of the print edition. Looking for a new home page as we speak.
January 13th, 20099:19 pm
What about a tab for Arts and Culture…? Your reduced coverage and visual arts reviews are really hurting you among folks I talk to in the arts community, as AJC becomes less read…there’s so much going on locally, in large AND smaller venues; we want to read about it, and see images…
Without all the dramatics, I also agree that the new ajc logo looks too much like HP and seems uninspired. I do think, however, that the site is crisp, clear, and it doesn’t stand out (in a good way). I like that it’s heavy on text with images lightly interspersed. I agree with others that the drop down ads are annoying, but I have been tuning it out since the first time I saw them.
January 13th, 20099:20 pm
I LIKE IT, IT LOOKS CLEAN AND UNCLUTTERED, MORE PROFESSIONAL
For the love of God, could someone correct the spelling of “remaining”, under the heading politics and transition, it was mentioned 20 mins. ago. There’s a nifty thing called spell check someone might want to look into.
January 13th, 20099:23 pm
I do not like the new format…too plain.
In order to see the homepage I have to adjust the text size to medium. Now the page is unjumbled but the text is too small for me to read!@%#$#@@#$%
January 13th, 20099:24 pm
Just like the end of last year’s Peachtree Road Race….AWFUL!
January 13th, 20099:26 pm
Like the layout – the logo mimics the old HP logo too much – plus it doesn’t give the AJC a ’serious paper’ appeal against the other big ones. The logo looks kinda like a gossip site. The page is perfect, the items easy to find, just feel the logo isn’t ‘professional’ enough in a world class market!
January 13th, 20099:27 pm
Rest assured that your feedback will be taken seriously when you refer to the design as ‘genetic’. This is why aptitude tests ought to be prerequisite to the right to vote.
January 13th, 20099:32 pm
I love it! Old school Bravos “A”.
Sorry guys. For a world-class publication in a world-class city, I find this new look a bit simplistic, juvenile, and magazine-like. At first glance it appears too colorful and not a good package for hard news. Sorry but you asked!
I really like the new logo – gives weight to the fact that more people are getting their news online & online readership is going to drive business decisions & revenue not print production. The rest of the site really looks like a re-skin more than a redesign because my eyes go to where I’m used to seeing things (breaking news, images, etc) and I easily find what I’m looking for and expect to see. Nice job!
ps – SEO’s rocking too(kudos Mrs. Fabella)
January 13th, 20099:34 pm
New logo looks like a cheap rendition of HP logo. They may not appreciate their corporate logo being copied so badly. Liked the old format better even though it was too busy. It at least looked like there was more substance to it. The new one looks washed out. A decent high school student could have done about as good. Very disappointed in the effort especially with all the decent web designers out there.
The whole thing looks terrible – cheap and tacky! Logo looks like a rip-off between hp and Pfizer. Blech!
January 13th, 20099:35 pm
Nice, clean, and easy to find what I’m looking for quickly. I like it a lot.
January 13th, 20099:37 pm
looks great like the real newspaper
Huge improvement over the old site! Very clean, info is where you expect, and the 90s-era design is gone now.
January 13th, 20099:39 pm
Seriously…do you really think we want to HEAR Ton Shane?????? Get a clue
January 13th, 20099:42 pm
January 13th, 20099:44 pm
Did you get the money to do this be alienating all of your readers in the North Georgia that you stopped delivering the paper to to save money?? Idiots…
January 13th, 20099:48 pm
I love the new look. Now if you’d just get rid of Terrence Moore I’d be in heaven.
I like the clean design of the homepage. Easy to read. The logo is very weak though. I think the AJC needs a very powerful dynamic logo that everyone recognizes like the NYT. I do like to read the online “Print Edition.” I miss holding a real paper in my hand but convenience, ease and costs make this not reasonable. I wish the Print and Online Editions matched verbatim. I also hope that the AJC recognizes what they have lost in shrinking their delivery area so severely. Lots of people love the AJC around Georgia and they no longer get it. Like my Mother, only 1.5 hours drive from downtown ATL. I even heard of a man selling the AJC out of the back of his truck so people could get it in the hinterlands. I think the use of the word “footprint” for circulation territory is a PR nightmare. Very insensitive. The AJC has been a part of people’s lives for many years before some of the punks that work there were born. The other Georgia is important. Not just some metro counties, despite the costs of delivery. I live in Midtown Atlanta and only read the paper online so that is fine for me. The AJC always needs to be truly customer service oriented and that will solve the problem. Keep at it!!
January 13th, 20099:49 pm
Please stop screwing with the comics. I don’t want anything dropped or changed. Color is great for Sunday, but totally not necessary for weekdays. You had it right, but just had to “fix it”.
I get links on the net from all over the place concerning news article from different media sources (i.e. radio, newspaper, and TV sites). My biggest complaint is having to search for the state or nation of the source of the article on the net. I live in the Atlanta area so I know it the largest newspaper in Georgia, but I could not find anywhere that said it was in the state of “Georgia”. I doubt anyone with basic geography knowledge would not know the newspaper is in Georgia, but mapquest does list 10 different cities of Atlanta in the United States. Regardless, I think the AJC would like to be considered a major news source in Georgia unless the cuts in circulation to rural areas of Georgia meant that the AJC was going to try to disown most the state.
January 13th, 20099:50 pm
January 13th, 20099:52 pm
ATTENTION AJC!!! I HAVE TAKEN THE LIBERTY OF DOING MY VERSION OF YOUR “NEW ” LOGO…THE LINK TO SEE IT IS…
I CAN BE CONTACTED THRU THE EMAIL SUPPLIED HERE AND HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH YOU USING MY VERSION FOR A NOMINAL DESIGN FEE ($300) AND CREDITOF ITS CREATION. As you may notice in my redesign I was very aware of the historical feel of the spelled out version, I feel usage of this is important when a serious, “journal-istic” feel is wanted. The sleek AJC font is meant to convey the future, modern world we are speeding towards. The circle is symbolic of 285 and gives the ability to “stamp” or brand when needed. The colors are a bit bolder than that thing at the top of this page. Atlanta needs to be viewed by the world as BOLD, NEW and Cutting Edge.
January 13th, 200910:06 pm
heres the logo on a web page….
January 13th, 200910:21 pm
it’s a bad knockoff of the chicago tribune. check it for yourself chicagotribune.com. while you’re there, check out some of the articles. the writers at the ajc could learn a thing or two about writing from the trib. and the editors too–some papers, online or print, catch spelling and grammatical errors.
January 13th, 200910:36 pm
The logo font is too thin and there is no focal point. The logo is a weak generic design with a very bland color. The website overall is not as easy to use as the old one and many people are going to have to reset their fonts in order to even read the site. So WHY?
January 13th, 200910:48 pm
I like the new streamlined look. The previous design of the site was too crowded and busy. Good work!
Michael in Decatur
January 13th, 200910:52 pm
It’s be nice to have the date up top near the logo…..
January 13th, 200911:04 pm
I love the new look and feel but miss the easy access to the Metro section from the header. Your readers want news from their home counties without having to hunt for it. Put METRO back on top. Otherwise… kudos on the new design. Well done.
January 13th, 200911:18 pm
AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!! IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT. WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THE OLD FORMAT?
January 13th, 200911:39 pm
Please do not keep this boring, uninspired and utterly lackluster design. I makes it hard to return to the site. Design is supposed to draw the reader in, visually communicate something grand, tell the reader what they can expect. In short, it should make the reader want to read. This design fails miserably. It looks like a logo for an upstart soap company. I admonish you to reconsider. It’s a graphically a disaster. Remember New Coke? Change is good when it’s inspired, and there is nothing about this that says inspiration. It’s a do-over.
January 14th, 20091:24 am
Ugg-leeee. And I agree wholeheartedly with the comments that the new “trendy” logo is a pointless – no, stupid – effort to distance the site from one of the proudest journalistic traditions in America. People turn to a newspaper website, rather than Joe’s News Blog, because of the history and gravitas of that institution. Did the new publisher have something to do with this lunacy?
January 14th, 20091:42 am
The new website looks is great! Fresh, clean modern. Umm, about the new logo….Its flat out unacceptable!
January 14th, 20092:12 am
Oh goody! Now I have another reason to HATE Atlanta!
Mom 2 Boys
January 14th, 20092:21 am
Sorry don’t like it. We check the site often and it just seems to much to me now. Something is just not right, sometimes less is more. Also all the pop up adds and moving adds are a little to much. All we want is to read the news. I don’t mind change, when it’s for the better. Cannot say this is better, Sorry!
January 14th, 20093:51 am
I miss having the BLOG highlights as part of the “front page”. I especially miss having the direct access to Momania.
January 14th, 20096:40 am
I’ve got a 22 inch high resoolution display panel and I cannoth read most of your website because of the font size.
January 14th, 20096:52 am
increase the font size on your monitor
The new logo made me think of Sealy mattresses logo when I saw it. hmmmm…dont know if that matters. OTherwise the format looks fine to me.
January 14th, 20097:01 am
what happened to accessing the on-line print version of the paper? don’t like the new format at all.
January 14th, 20097:06 am
The design or color makes no difference to me. However, I am yet to find Rick Badie’s blog or any of the others. I have searched for a long time. I can not waste any more of my time looking.
January 14th, 20097:09 am
You might want to do some testing of your new design with the Firefox browser – not everyone is using IE.
January 14th, 20097:15 am
January 14th, 20097:20 am
I like the direction you are going (simplified), but I think you need to simplify even more. I don’t like the new logo…but the logo doesn’t really matter to me. Thank you for making the top banner expansion optional.
My suggestion would be to allow users to customize the layout to their liking (like http://my.yahoo.com and http://igoogle.com). Otherwise, you will never satisfy a majority of readers.
January 14th, 20097:38 am
I agree with Curt. Adopting a logo that matches your URL makes sense, however to abandon the traditional masthead script is short-sighted. Minimally, you should have kept “The Atlanta Journal Constitution” script across the top, that’s your brand, or do you wish to deny it? The clean look of the rest of the home page is refreshing and simple.
January 14th, 20097:42 am
Don’t care for it. Where are the blogs?
January 14th, 20097:53 am
I HOPE THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS REDESIGN GETS FIRED.
January 14th, 20097:56 am
just deleted ajc from my bookmarks….i like things quick and easy. bye ajc.
January 14th, 20098:07 am
Logo is horrible and the site is very bland design-wise. I preferred the old better.
January 14th, 20098:13 am
The new publisher needs to be fired…and I wouldn’t pay Douglas $1.00 for the new logo- it sucks. Douglas might want to rethink his career choice.
January 14th, 20098:18 am
It’s different…keep changing. To quote a army general: “If they don’t like change, they are going to like irrelevance even less.”.
January 14th, 20098:21 am
I don’t like the new format because I can’t find the “Question and Answers” section. It may seem trivial, but I always looked for to reading that section to learn something new.
January 14th, 20098:32 am
Hate it! It is very boring and plain. The site looks like it has been left in the sun too long and has washed out all the color! And the new logo really is very bland and washed out as well. I can understand making changes, but this was too drastically in the wrong direction. I also agree about the ads when you first log on-HATE THEM!!
Get rid of the pop-up commercials on the front page. They always take away from the headlines, and are a pain to eliminate. Annoying your readers is not the best thing to do.
January 14th, 20098:35 am
It’s cleaner. Not as cluttered or messy. I like it!
January 14th, 20098:41 am
I think it’s easier on the eyes – not cluttered and junky. But I do agree w/ others who say you need to get rid of the drop down ads. Annoying!
January 14th, 20098:53 am
I’m not as concerned about the color of the page or the logo as much as others seem to be. What concerns me is content and navigation. Thus far it seems much easier to get around, less cluttered, and the pages seem to load faster. These things I like. I’m fine with the new logo and honestly was fine with the old logo. I haven’t noticed a change in content.
January 14th, 20098:59 am
the layout is ok. The new logo is atrocious.
January 14th, 20099:08 am
The opinion page needs it’s own section on the navigation bar. It was much easier to get to the opinion section on the old site. It is also misleading and ironic to put opinion under news.
January 14th, 20099:21 am
I like the NYT cover style better where the front page of the website actually looks like the newspaper.
January 14th, 20099:52 am
I do not like the new format. The new logo is just plain. It does not stand out at all. The ads are thee only things that pop. The news articles are lost on the ads.
January 14th, 20099:59 am
Where is the tab for the GA Drought/lake levels? This is desperately needed and viewed by many…
The new logo reeks! It looks cheap! Please bring back the old logo!!! Everything else is fine.
January 14th, 200910:01 am
Very nice redesign-clean,easier to read and locate top stories. Thanks. One item-please, please dismiss with the drop-down ads.
Uh where is the date? I dont think I really like it as much as the other format… Cleaner.. but I think something is missing
I absolutely hate that you took the opinion section off the bar at the top.
January 14th, 200910:05 am
Love the new logo and the larger type and clean layout. Would love to see more feature material from Catherine Fox, Pierre Ruhe, Bo Emerson and Jim Auchmutey. They are such good writers, but don’t appear enought in print. Please use their talents more and more. Can only help your circulation.
January 14th, 200910:06 am
Whose kid did you get to redesign this?
January 14th, 200910:12 am
I am not crazy about the look of the redesign, the drop down menus take up too much screen space and are no match to the previous dynamic menu bars. Most of all, the new ajc.com appears to be much slower than before, it times out all the time which it never did before. GET A BETTER WEB SERVER, OR, GET A BETTER WEB DEVELOPER…
January 14th, 200910:35 am
My first reaction upon loading the new page was to double check the headlines of the news stories to see if they were current. The page, or maybe it was that logo, struck me as so 2003. Literally, it looked as tired as your editorial stance.
I think your money would have been better spent replacing your editorial staff (pretty much the entire staff with the exception of Jim Wooten) and bringing in some decent, and honorable, people to assist Mr. Wooten in a true message of hope, and compassion.
Oh well, absent such improvement to your blatently obvious, unapologetic, hate filled, elitist editorial bias, I will continue to visit the Vents (assuming I can find them each day) and nothing else.
The worst part on this online edition is that I can not wrap day old fish, of the kid’s soiled diaper in it.
The new format is horrible. No info, no news, just a list of headlines. NO content — much like the printed portion of the paper. Most of your experienced, best reporters and writers have been laid off, and it shows in superficial coverage and thinner papers. But hey, color comics!!! That certainly helps. Every day there is less and less reason to read you — on line or in print. As a former journalist, and a long time resident of Atlanta I am deeply saddened by this decline.
January 14th, 200910:36 am
I like the new layout. The flow of information on the page is easier to read, and the page seems brighter without all the graphics the prior layout had.
I do agree with the other poster that the huge ad that shows when you load a page is annoying.
As for the logo, it’s about brand recognition. The average person feels comfortable with something familiar in the midst of something new, so you may want to consider changing that portion back to the original.
January 14th, 200910:46 am
The layout is fine. The logo however is miserable. It looks chaep. Totally forgettable. Please change it back.
The more I use it, or TRY to use it, the more I hate it!
January 14th, 200911:42 am
Overall, I think the layout is fine, but I thought the old search format was better. I think the new logo is too simple, but I can live with it.
January 14th, 200911:43 am
Simpler is not always better. Now the home page looks like a term paper. Every headline is 1.5 spaced. Way to go.
January 14th, 200912:49 pm
THEY NEED TO FIRE ALL OF YOU!!!!!
THE NERVE OF YOU TO EDIT ALL OF THE COMPLAINTS AND LEAVE THE POSITIVE COMMENTS.
January 14th, 20093:41 pm
don’t like it. logo has no personality, website seems to have less content than before. lame all around.
January 15th, 200910:45 am
If you must use my name, pls. use only first name. Re new format, the home page is too cluttered, there’s no link for the Vent, & who cares about celebrity over indulgences?
January 16th, 20092:59 pm
Your new logo is really not attractive. The two colors, the serif font,it’s way too busy – what were you thinking? It’s very “old” looking, not in a good way.
January 16th, 20096:05 pm
How do I find Cynthia Tucker’s & other’s editorials?
Is there another online AJC newspaper in addition to this site?
The AJC has preserved the freedom of all of us by being a statewide and nationwide government watchdog providing a check and balance to politician’s excesses.
I am concerned that this will be lost due to cancelling statewide delivery.
February 5th, 20099:40 pm
I think the changes are fabulous. What a wonderful addition to your site. Thanks for making the site so easy to use!
February 17th, 20099:51 am
The site improvements are fine. It’s the content that’s lacking. OLD, out of date reviews, especially of restaurants that are now closed is ridiculous. If you can’t update a review in 4 or 5 years what good is it. I understand every restaurant can’t be constantly updated, but don’t act like your information is somehow relevant because a writer made a couple of comments about a place in 2004.
February 17th, 20093:43 pm
We rely greatly on our users to let us know when a restaurant is closed (or newly opened). As often as restaurants open and close in a metro area of this size, it’s the only realistic way we can offer what we do. So please do tell us! We want this to be an environment where you can recommend, review and exchange information with fellow users. Thank you for your input — we appreciate hearing from you.
March 8th, 20099:18 am
I consider myself to be a Republican. Conservative and Libertarian at the same time. I sometimes find Jimm Wooten to be too far Right. I oftentimes find Jay Bookman to be too far Left.
There are times I could agree with both gentlemen.
Yet, I don’t see the bias that evidently quite a few readers see. Because I get my news from more than one source. And, I think, I have enough intelligence to form my own opinion with out any reporting bias (real or perceived) influencing it.
March 8th, 20099:29 am
Tucker only writes one day a week now. Is she going back to two days a week? Once a week is plenty for her slanted views. Wooten is retiring and you are stating that he is still working once a week. Is this true?
With Barr once a week, Wooten once a week and the new columnist 3 times a week, you are still not balanced. Bookman blogs daily and if Tucker now writes twice a week along with the constant left leaning editorial cartoons, there is no balance. To balance this, you need two conservative columnists and another editorial cartoon.
The most biased part of the editorial page are the left leaning drawings of Luckovich. You need a more conservative editorial cartoonist to balance his left leaning scribbles. I would suggest a syndicated cartoonist such as Michael Ramirez from the Investors Business Daily.
March 8th, 20099:31 am
I quit a 10+ year subscription to the AJC due to its far-left positions on all issues. Cynthia Tucker is the biggest racist in the entire metroplex. The AJC wouldn’t have to make all these cuts if they just reported the news and didn’t interject its political and racist philosophies. You want to increase subscriptions? Maybe look at successful publications like the Wall Street Journal. Learn from your fallen leftist rags like the Denver paper and the LA Times.
March 8th, 20099:36 am
I agree that the paper is too liberal and seems to be trying to appeal more to one racial group and that is exactly the reason why I quit subscribing years ago. Balanced coverage…equal parts liberal and conservative, black and white, would make a difference in my considering another shot at subscribing. In order for the AJC to make a run at staying in print, you need to appeal to a broader base…..Business 101, anybody?
March 8th, 20099:37 am
Perhaps another reason for a dive in subscriptions is that, for example, the editor writes things like “None of these choices HAS been easy”. It’s HAVE been easy nimrod. The AJC’s English is typically awful.
March 8th, 20099:38 am
A lot of folks (in GA, at least) perceive bias as anything that does not agree with their opinion. I think the AJC has a balance, but, even as someone pretty liberal, there has been a tendency, IMHO, to the left side of the equation. It would be nice to have a mix of liberal/conservative in all sorts of ways. For example, liberal in social policy but conservative in economics–those do exist.
As for me, I have to drive 100 miles roundtrip now to get the AJC (I don’t do that), or squint at the print on a computer screen. I am not a happy camper about that. IMHO, the AJC, as Georgia’s premier newspaper, owes something to us in the hinterlands as well. The local paper is a weekly, filled with advice from preachers and the ag economist, as well as the vet. I can get a paper from Chattanooga, but not from Atlanta, and I live closer to Atlanta!
March 8th, 20099:40 am
I totally appreciate the albeit late response from the AJC and the willingness to afford change in their approach to bringing us the news. I wish these changes had been prompted more by a desire to be fair and balanced than a reaction to economic conditions but I’ll take this anyway. For a mighty long time the AJC has slipped down the path of liberalism and bias in their reporting and quite frankly lost the respect of many. Without real competition in the Atlanta market, the AJC has been allowed to go their own way because readers had no other substantial choices. Only now, with the economic times, does the AJC see the benefit of trying to appeal to all of its potential readers. Like I said, it’s a late but welcomed change. I look forward to seeing these changes unfold in the near future. It is my hope the AJC has once again realized its position in the city and in the state and in the south and will focus on delivering the news in an unbiased and credible manner. I’ve been disappointed in the focus and the content of the AJC in the past but will embrace changes towards fair and unslanted coverage if those changes truly materialize.
March 8th, 20099:41 am
Tom–none means not one. Not one of these choices HAS been easy. If they had chosen more than one choice, it would be have. Of these choices is a prepositional phrase, not the subject of the verb. Geez!
March 8th, 20099:45 am
Just to clarify on questions from “Carter is a fool.”
By July 1, Our new columnist will blog. Wooten will continue to blog and will write a once a week column. Tucker will return to twice a week. So… by the numbers (and columnists are tough to categorize and play a straight numbers games)… We will have the new columnist, Wooten and Barr for five columns a week; and Bookman and Tucker for four columns a week. You raise a good point on Luckovich. Our op-ed page editor has added more conservative syndicated cartoonists in recent months. I hope you’ve noticed.
Carter is a Fool
March 8th, 2009
Tucker only writes one day a week now. Is she going back to two days a week? Once a week is plenty for her slanted views. Wooten is retiring and you are stating that he is still working once a week. Is this true?
With Barr once a week, Wooten once a week and the new columnist 3 times a week, you are still not balanced. Bookman blogs daily and if Tucker now writes twice a week along with the constant left leaning editorial cartoons, there is no balance. To balance this, you need two conservative columnists and another editorial cartoon.
The most biased part of the editorial page are the left leaning drawings of Luckovich. You need a more conservative editorial cartoonist to balance his left leaning scribbles. I would suggest a syndicated cartoonist such as Michael Ramirez from the Investors Business Daily.
March 8th, 20099:46 am
I read your “The path ahead for AJC” article. I wish your market research people would have contacted me as I would have given them some advice.
If you want to sell papers, first get in touch with your readers.
For example: in the Living Section artical: “Dozens of ways to stretch your dollars,” many of the restaurants are ridiculously priced such as the Melting Pot $25 dollar fondue dinner and $5 drink specials. Exactly which group you are catering to with these so-called dining dollar stretchers is beyond me. Why not stick to the very companies that use ads and coupons within your own paper for promotion such as the Logans Roadhouse which is underneath Ecco $44 for two?
Next: Technology. In this high tech age, it seems that Husted’s column is ever-shrinking. I am not a big fan of his writing per se, but wake up AJC as this is the internet age. When I do manage to find information such as web sites that may be a benefit, it was worth the five minute read.
Oh but we have the homefinder! like anyone is actually looking for a home right now and a “Caribbean outpost in Cobb. Where is the beneficial news and information there? Perhaps a couple years ago before the bottom fell out of the economy it would have been a good article.
For now, my advice is to focus on the “news” and information that may benefit your readers and help them through these tough times. At this point the only reaon I may keep my subscription is for the wife and her coupons unless I can talk her into the savings difference from the price of your paper.
One last thing, in case you did not know, the metro area expands beyond Cobb, Gwinnett, Fulton, Clayton and Dekalb Counties. “Paulding County” seems to be featured in your paper only when there is a homicide which may be once or twice a year.
I doubt you will consider my offerings to any degree, as this paper has always seemed to be ignorant of the people who subscribe but since this is the only major paper, I thought I would give it s a shot.
March 8th, 20099:47 am
This may come across as petty compared to the liberal vs. conservative debate. I have noticed how many stories on-line have missing words or typo’s. I would estimate it to be running at about half the articles. In my view, you lose some credibility when you can’t even put out a story with fully correct spelling, good sentences, and no typos. I really don’t know what the rate is for the print edition. I rarely read the AJC that way. But it is really disappointing to be reading along and have to figure out what word the writer left out and what was really meant.
March 8th, 200910:01 am
Have you considered recycling all the AJC papers that people read and then throw away? How many tons of paper would that be, do you think? There would need to be several convenient locations of course, for people to drop their papers off. I know that there are large dumpsters at several schools, etc., but would it make a difference if the AJC were doing it’s own recycling? Probably not cost effective!
March 8th, 200910:08 am
Lenny… Thanks for your comments. Even though you weren’t in the market research… you reflect much of what we heard. People want news. They want us to play the role of watchdog in the community (read Alan Judd’s story today on peanut inspections). On Sunday, they want us to be a bit more thoughtful and explain the “why” behind the news (James Salzer’s story on Georgia legislators’ personal financial problems; the op-ed piece today by William Egart, a flight safety instructor from McDonough). And they want us to help them live their lives. In homefinder, you’re right, we need to find a balance. Stories about beautiful homes remain popular. I suppose it’s a welcome break from these tough economic times. Those are some of most clicked-on photo galleries on ajc.com. However, there are many people facing much more serious home issues, and we need to provide that information as well.
March 8th, 200910:17 am
All you need to do is look at the total staff of the editorial page. Wooten has been the only voice of the conservatives. Every one else is a radical liberal, lead by one of the most radicals in the country. Who is she going to surround herself with….moderates??? This paper serves the community at large, but it has a decided slant in both it’s reporting, editorials, and ‘that issue that makes white Americans cowards’.
March 8th, 200910:20 am
I read on Page A-3 in your article from Julia Wallace how the paper was going to start proof reading to stop bias. I turn to the next page and read an article titled “President says recovery not certain this year”, only to see true liberal bias. The article states how Obama is going to “redistribute wealth from about 3 million elite familes to forgotten lower and middle classes.” A non bias paper would have said upper income to lower income, and left out the true liberal bias, class warfare word of elite and forgotten. This is why the AJC is a Liberal paper losing readers, and having to sell the sunday paper on the corner for $1.00.
March 8th, 200910:23 am
You say you want my business. I have been a reader for over 25 years.
Now each week, I hear that this or that is being cut from the paper. Today my Sunday paper did not arrive until 9:30. The excuse was that the truck was late. I will say the same thing to you that I stated to your representative who I waited almost 10 minutes to speak with this morning, “Totally unacceptable”. I will be contacting a local paper for a subscription. Thank you and I am sorry that your newspaper no longer meets my needs.
March 8th, 200910:25 am
So liberal editors are assigned to look for bias & balance. Good luck with that. You are in the business of public trust and you have lost it. I used to get the AJC at my office and at home. You lost my business several years ago.
Free advice on limiting content- cut your racial articles in half and you can add content. Your “all things have racial undertones, overtones, or bias” gets old very, very quickly.
March 8th, 200910:31 am
This paper will never be worth killing trees for until Ms. Tucker apologizes for what she has done to this once-great paper and walks out the door.
March 8th, 200910:34 am
Dear Ms. Wallace,
Thank you for the reply. I truly hope that these changes will bring more balance to the opinion section. For the online readers, we do not see the other political cartoons. This needs to be addressed.
David Hill’s comment about the bias in the stories is right on point. You need to look at this carefully as your reporters often makes these types of assertions.
March 8th, 200910:37 am
Totally liberal view points!! Many of my friends now just get the Marietta Journal in Cobb. Used to get AJC, but now live in a different area. Also channels 2,5,11 are totally controlled by left wing! Most need to learn to read many different sources and then draw their own opinion, but don’t do it.
March 8th, 200910:42 am
The AJC has always been in the tank for the left, and no amount of cosmetics will change that fact. The reason? Name one journalism school which is even slightly conservative.
March 8th, 200910:52 am
A few years ago the AJC dropped O’reilly and Ringwald columns in an attemp to bring what was said at the time to bring balance to the editorial page. What I saw was a further down hill slide. How about just printing the truth and you won’t have to worry about being liberal or conservative or is that asking too much from the AJC.
Longtime Atlanta subscriber
March 8th, 200910:57 am
Dear Ms. Wallace:
Although I appreciate the AJC’s efforts to offer balanced reporting, you do need to realize that those so-called conservatives who resort to name calling and yelling will never subscribe to the paper, anyway. They use terms such as “radical Liberals” while portraying themselves as thoughtful conservatives. David Hill (above) laments as “liberal” a statement in an article that says Obama’s plan “redistributes wealth from about 3 million elite families to forgotten lower and middle classes.” Actually, Obama’s plan gives a tax break to 98% of Americans, while letting a huge tax break for 2% of the very highest wage earners expire. You don’t see that in many articles, and cannot be described as a “redistribution of wealth” – but apparently, some people see this as an example of liberal bias. My point is that you will never, ever, make these right-wing complainers happy, unless you ask Rush Limbaugh to write your entire paper for you. Please keep the mix of columnists that you have. We live in a state that is dominated by Republicans whose idea of consumerism is to give a mammoth fee increase to Georgia Power. We need the excellent voices of Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman, and of the Atlanta Journal Consititution, more than ever. Don’t give in.
March 8th, 200910:59 am
You seem to be trying to admit that the AJC has a strong liberal slant but just can’t quite get yourself say it. For example, Wooten is rarely mentioned without a descriptor of “conservative” or “right” but I can never remember you using “liberal” or “left leaning” when you refer to Bookman or Tucker. Please correct me if I’m mistaken.
March 8th, 200911:00 am
I read your comments in this morning’s paper and want to affirm the desire to take deliberate steps to address the bias issue. Like many of your readers, I was very disppointed in what appeared to me was a lack of balance in your news coverage and editorials. It was for this very reason that I failed to renew my subscription. I now purchase the paper only on Sunday to keep up with local advertising. Although I do not intend to resubscribe at this time I do want you to know I affirm your desire to provide balanced coverage.
I think that it is quite humorous that the AJC is failing and now is making a token attempt to appeal to conservatives to boost circulation! What happened to all of the Obama pandering during the campaign? Did it not give the paper the numbers that you thought it would?
March 8th, 200911:03 am
As the AJC makes its selection of a new conservative columnist, please do your part not to fan the flames of culture war. Surely we’ve had enough self-righteous rhetoric and blind ideology to last us all a lifetime, and surely we’ve degraded what passes for civic discourse shamefully enough for all to agree that we owe both ourselves and posterity an honest attempt to be more responsible, more thoughtful, and more more worthy of respect. I would ask that you disqualify any columnist candidate who used the word “liberal” in his or her trial column. Newt Gingrich’s shamelessly Orwellian transformation of the word into an obscenity was foul enough in his day, and has by now become the hallmark of rigidly hostile, destructive, and frankly stupid discourse.
Please choose a conservative columnist who can make the case for his or her views without resorting to cheap straw-man counter-arguments, without ranting about fundamentally irrelevant far-fringe opponents, and without feeling compelled to oppose, regardless of its merits, any idea not already approved by the current dictators of far-fringe conservatism.
One can be more conservative than David Brooks and still make sense. One can be as serious as William Buckley and still be a real conservative. One can be a conservative and an actual patriot at the same time, determined to think, write, and speak in a way that is good for our country, that helps frame honest debate about critical issues, that encourages us to stop shouting and think. Faced with current proof of the bankruptcy of our lifestyles and our hyper-partisan politics, we cannot afford for a newspaper as important as the AJC is to its region to contribute any further to the breakdown of public civility and reason. A knee-jerk conservative partisan might generate strong, partisan reactions from your readers, but would we be better off? Would Atlanta be a better city for it? Would you be able to get along better with your neighbors, or expect more meaningful public conversation about the great issues and difficult solutions confronting us?
I suspect (and fervently hope) that a clear AJC decision to walk away from the culture wars, to publish points of view that clearly start from sense of shared responsibility, and to encourage its readers to work together to create a meaningful, sustainable community would actually be good for the paper’s long-term viability. We need the AJC to lead, and in doing so make its editorial page an indispensable agent of change for the better rather than just another place where the angry get angrier and the foolish feel confirmed.
Good luck and godspeed!
March 8th, 200911:33 am
I am new to this “conservative/liberal” stuff, I always was into the “Republican/ Democrat” divisions. All this seems silly. If we could stick to the truth, to the facts written in a neutral way, as for a factual school report then we could all, maybe, be happy. If opinions are needed in print, then they should be clearly labeled as such and your counting of bias makes sense. If we must read “factual” articles for bias then all facts are suspect. I would say that the paper needs to keep that old TV cop,Joe Friday, in mind and stick to “the facts, just the facts”…unless it is clearly stated that this is opinion. If all this brouhaha is about the two editorial pages of your relatively fat newspaper then we all involved in a tempest in a small teapot! After all, I, at least, read your paper for news facts, not for your collected opinions of it.
March 8th, 200911:36 am
You will have a tough time identifying liberal leanings when the survey is done by liberal leaning editors. The problem with perspective is that the statements are usually factually correct. Example: During the election Sarah Palin was usually referred to as “first-term Governor Sarah Palin”; I NEVER saw a reference to “first-term Senator Barack Obama.” It’s the same thing with congressmen who are suspected of improper behavior. Has anyone ever seen a reference to “Democrat Gary Condit”? Even during its proper targeting of Mayor Bill Campbell, did anyone ever see any reference to him being a Democrat? Contrast that with Republican Senator Larry Craig and Republican Senator David Vitter. AJC: It doesn’t have to be a lie to show bias.
Fetuses With Relish
March 8th, 200911:38 am
This argument about bias is so stupid. This country is basically split 50-50 (or 45-45 with 10 being undecided). If you stop the so-called bias then you’ll alienate the 50% of liberal readers you have. Stopping the bias will only make it so that the conservatives are happy and the liberals are angry. That won’t help your circulation any (or very marginally since Georgia is a red state but only by 5 points). The problems with the decline in Newspapers in general is much deeper than the bias argument. And to all the conservatives who are going to chew me out I would like to point out the entry about The Washington Times on Wikipedia. Surely we can agree that the Washington Times is not biased. The Times has lost money every year since it’s inception and has had nearly 2 billion dollars poured into it. All the while having only 1/7th the readership of the Washington Post.
March 8th, 200911:39 am
Bill asks why we describe Wooten as an conservative, but don’t describe Bookman or Tucker as liberals. That’s a good point! We haven’t had anyone question where Bookman or Tucker stand on the political spectrum. We do however often hear people say that we have NO conservative columnists, so have pointed them toward Wooten and some of our regular conservative columnists like Krauthmammer. They see David Brooks as a liberal, because he writes for the New York Times. You know it’s more complicated than that. In some of the market testing, we did one version of the editorial page where every columnist was labeled. The readers rejected that, saying (appropriately) that not all opinion is so easily categorized.
March 8th, 200911:54 am
The AJC needs to focus more on local stories. You can get national news, sports, ect., from a variety of sources online, yet the one area AJC can COMMAND remains the “redheaded stepchild.” You took an even bigger step backward by doing away with the zone coverage. Same with sports. Instead of covering more preps (seed-beds for future subscribers) you cut back.
And PLEASE, don’t reply with some kind of spin about how great you do local coverage. I READ the AJC everyday. I KNOW what you do.
March 8th, 200912:00 pm
The politically correct format of you newspaper/website is sickening. For example, every gay news story/issue is always put front and center on your website, and stays there for days. But unlike the Gwinnett Daily Post; the almost daily stories about rape, hit-and-run, drug running, home invasion, etc., carried out by the Hispanics in Gwinnett County are almost never reported by you. By the way, when are you going to enlighten your readership with a story about the tuberculosis epidemic in Gwinnett County, and the illegal aliens who are responsible for it?
Your pathetical PC policy of selectively publishing photos of defendants in crime stories also deserves mention. Two homegrown stories come to mind. In July, 2006, a Coca-Cola executive was arrested for attempting to sell trade secrets to Pepsi. When the story broke, you reported it without showing a photo of the perp. The story, w/perp photo, quickly went national, and about four days later, you were one of the last publications to add her photo to a story update, revealing to your readership that she was black. Talk about white liberal guilt!
By contrast, in January 2009, you reported (w/ no photos) about an Obama-supporting couple whose house was torched while they were on their way to his inauguration. Days later, when it was revealed that they were the prime suspects and subsequently arrested for arson, you put their photos front and center in your story update, revealing that they were white. Again, white liberal guilt in play here.
In closing, your publication is doomed. Your intellectually dishonest approach to news reporting will continue, in spite of your best efforts, because of your irrational aversion to the truth, and the twisted liberal logic that goes into your day- to-day editorial decisions.
March 8th, 200912:05 pm
I subscribed to the AJC 5 years ago when first moving to the Atlanta area as a way of getting to know this metro region. Besides being a news junkie, I always enjoyed reading newspapers and getting the facts of what is happening.
In that time, I have threatened to cancel my subscription several times only to clench my teeth and shake my head at the total lack of objectivity throughout the paper, not just the editorial pages. I can even stand Luckovich, if he was balanced on alternate days with an opposing view. Cythia Tucker……..well, she has done more harm to your paper than you seem to understand. Have you ever considered the demographics of your typical subscriber? They are not Cythia Tucker. To make a point, let me exaggerate the biased messages you are sending: 1), Atlanta is a well run crime free visitor mecca, 2), hip hop is God’s gift to the area, 3) Gay life style is celebrated and 4) individual responsibility is not important as long as the local, state and federal government are there to provide handouts. Exaggerated yes, but not by much.
My last 6 month’s subscription is coming due. This time, I will not renew. Despite past promises of fair reporting, it never happens. Nearly every change you make to the paper is a negative in one way or the other. Good objective investigative reporting is sadly lacking. It is time to use my laptop with my morning coffee……………
Longtime subscriber # 2
March 8th, 200912:08 pm
March 8th, 200912:09 pm
Ms. Wallace, it is true that not all opinion is “easily categoriezed”- but apparently “conservative” opinion is since it is always labled as such. I do think that having a base understanding of where the writer lies politically does help in understanding their perspective. The AJC agrees or they wouldn’t do with with Mr. Wooten 100% of the time. The likely reason your first effort at “labeling” was rejected is becuase you have largely alienated your conservative readers. I doubt very seriously you have enough of a conservative base left to offset how liberals feel when one of their own is labled. Us on the right are used to it.
March 8th, 200912:10 pm
I am white, Christian, Atlanta Public School educated, and a Georgia Tech graduate. One of my most valued and trustworthy partners is Black Muslim. Being fiscally conservative, socially liberal, I agree with most of the above comments. Not only is the news reporting slanted including the lead headlines and paragraphs, the liberal editorial headlines and opinions tend to be misleading and omit important facts. The AJC has created more bias and racism in the public through its publication.
I find it hard to believe that even Ralph Magill would approve of your editorial staff.
March 8th, 200912:19 pm
I don’t read a newspaper to get confirmation of my political views. If you are so twisted with hate that you want to conduct political warfare even in your newspaper choice, I feel sorry for you. I read Tucker and Wooten too. I watch CNN as well as Fox. I’m fully capable of weeding out the news from the slant. In fact, I don’t believe it’s possible to get a perspective on the news without looking at the media from both sides of the political spectrum.
However, I want the news primarily. I find such actions as completely reformatting the online version of the AJC to be not only unnecessary but also confusing. I don’t need to go on an Easter egg hunt to find my favorite features in the AJC.
Finally, I disagree with those who want even more local news in the AJC.
The newspaper has already become so parochial that it’s necessary to go elsewhere to find a full range of national stories. The front page consists almost entirely of Georgia coverage. The Metro section focuses on petty political squabbles within the 100 or jurisdictions in the area. Finally, the Sports section is so focused on the Georgia Bulldogs, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Atlanta Braves, and the Atlanta Falcons that it’s necessary to go elsewhere for national coverage. Why can’t the sports editors recognize that millions of people who’ve moved to Georgia aren’t very interested in which state players got arrested this week?
If the AJC wants to survive, it needs to become a national newspaper.
March 8th, 200912:23 pm
Judging from a large number of the comments by the conservatives, it is hard not conclude that they consider the AJC biased whenever the views expressed don’t match their own. That’s what makes the AJC a racist, liberal rag.
Georgia is a blood-red state so even middle-of-the-road comments smack of the dreaded liberalism to most conservatives no matter the level of reasoning in the article because they are so far to the right. Ask them about Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and they’ll say they get it right most of the time. For such people there is no middle ground. There is only the demented Left and the patriotic, God-fearing Right.
Therein lies the dilemna for the AJC. Does the paper wish to continue its tradition of balanced reporting pointing out the good and bad about the Left and the Right from the high middle ground or will it become a cheerleader for the Hard Right?
The choice the AJC may be facing is between maintaining its integrity and boosting its sales. That will be a very difficult choice.
Frankly, though, most of the people I refer to would not subscribe to the paper because the have Rush Limbaugh to comfort them.
What the hard conservatives here will surely reject is that with the overall bias of reporting via TV (especially CNN and FOX) being very conservative (and often distorted), a more moderate voice is badly needed.
March 8th, 200912:34 pm
I’m not in such a forgiving or understanding mood as “Longtime subscriber”. How sad that wide-ranging decisions of such great import are being made based on your assertion that …”A few think we’re too conservative. But many more believe that our editorial pages are too liberal and that bias seeps into our news coverage. We have heard you on the bias issue and are taking deliberate steps to address this.” Count me in on the “few” who think you are too conservative (aside from your coverage of the local/state angle, do you ever stop and read the AP headlines/articles?). Why are you promoting Thomas Oliver (who I thought had been banished once before to outer Gwinnett for journalistic incompetence) for articles that encourage people to go out and buy handguns as they await the collapse of our society? Does your turn to the right mean we look forward to more like-minded tripe? I’ve never written to complain or comment (much unlike the conservative readers you regularly publish in “Letters to the Editor”), but now as budgets tighten I see no reason to continue to throw good money at the AJC as it gives greater content legitimacy to these factions. You are the journalists and the professionals and you should be making decisions based as to the accuracy, quality, and immediacy of the AJC and not based on whether you are being judged as “fair and balanced” on the content. Bottom-line, I realize you have to run the AJC as a business, but in the future you can count me in on the Atlantans who will cancel subscriptions based on your decision to kowtow to the very vocal and misguided right-wing base. Reading the obits and the comics will no longer be enough to entice me to renew my subscription.
March 8th, 200912:36 pm
I DO NOT LIVE IN GEORGIA, BUT READ THE AJC EVERY DAY ONLINE. YOU SEND ME ALL THE BREAKING NEWS ALONG WITH ALL THE REST. AS A DELTA RETIREE, I ESPECIALLY
LOVE YOUR COVERAGE OF DELTA AIRLINES. IT IS FIRST CLASS. IT HAS KEPT ALL OF
US WELL INFORMED THROUGH THIS BANKRUPTCY AND MERGER MESS.
NOW, IN MY OPINION, YOU ARE TOO LIBERAL. YOU HAVE TWO ON YOUR STAFF THAT MAKE ME CRINGE. CYNTHIA TUCKER’S COLUMN APPEARS IN OUR NEW ORLEANS PAPER TOO. HER WRITINGS ARE NOT FIT TO LINE THE BOTTOM OF A BIRD CAGE. THERE IS ALSO YOUR CARTOONIST LUCKOVICH. HE IS TALENTED, BUT LEANS WAY TOO FAR LEFT. HE WAS JUST AS BAD WHEN HE WAS WITH OUR LOCAL PAPER. I CAN’T SPEAK FOR ALL OF NEW ORLEANS, BUT MANY OF US DON’T MISS HIM AT ALL.
WE NOW HAVE A TALENTED AS WELL AS BALANCED EDITORIAL CARTOONIST, THANK YOU. I DO HOPE YOUR PAPER SURVIVES IN SPITE OF THESE TWO LEFTISTS!!!!
March 8th, 200912:54 pm
I used to subscribe and then quit for three reasons 1. It was much better when there were two papers, If you had the Journal and the Constitution again the more conservative one would bury the other. 2 When it came time to re-new, you automatically doubled, tripled or quadrupled the rate! 3. Too much left leaning editors, opinion articles, cartoonists and mega-maniac race-baters. Your subscribers are those who vote conservative in GA, you are losing these and the ad dollars that follow them. Your paper cannot survive on the liberal, and majority black south Atlanta metro area. THEY DONT SUBSCRIBE! You are the major paper in GA, outside of the 285 loop and south Metro, THEY VOTE CONSERVATIVE, they are conservative and whether you believe it or not, they are Atlanta and GA’s money base. They don’t want to be constantly bombarded by your liberal editors opinions and views on issues. Thats why they don’t subscribe or advertise. Even so called “non-bias” news media, must be operated as a business and cater to their customers. And but for a few exceptions (mid-town), the liberal, or majority in ATL minority, are not your customers. The liberal papers in LA and New York can survive because of their subscriber make-up, THE AJC CANNOT!!!
PS> Hey Vent Guy, and ONLINE Vent Guys; Since you won’t post this comment I’ll post it here!!
SEE WHAT HAPPENS ATLANTA, CLAYTON COUNTY, DETROIT, WASHINGTON DC, OAKLAND; WHEN YOU VOTE COLOR INSTEAD OF A PERSONS CHARACTER, INTEGRITY, EXPIERENCE AND ABILITY…..OR IF YOU VOTE FOR A PARTY INSTEAD OF A PERSON. ALL THESE ARE DEMOCRAT AND FAILING…..
March 8th, 200912:58 pm
I would like a response to having another cartoonist balance the scribblings of Luckovich for the online readers.
Here is another case in point as to bias. Cynthia Tucker writes glorifying Barney Frank who is most likely one of the people who should be held accountable for the economic mess we are in by his repeated assertions that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were solvent. He blocked the repeated attempts to overhaul these institutions and head off the coming problem.
I would like an answer to the cartoons for online readers.
March 8th, 20091:10 pm
CARTER IS A FOOL writes: Here is another case in point as to bias. Cynthia Tucker writes glorifying Barney Frank who is most likely one of the people who should be held accountable for the economic mess we are in by his repeated assertions that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were solvent. He blocked the repeated attempts to overhaul these institutions and head off the coming problem
This is just so much Hard Right propaganda. The policies that lead to the housing bubble very much belong to Mr. Bush who espoused home ownership as a means of building Republican majorities. Mr. Frank is on record as having warned that not everyone will have the income to own and that quality rental housing should be a priority. Mr. Bush’s policies originated during his first term when Mr. Frank was not chairman of the Congressional committee.
CARTER IS A FOOL’s comments illustrate the myopia afflicting so many. We’ve just finished eight years of Mr. Bush and we’ve had Mr. Obama for a month and a half yet the Hard Right is trying to pin all the fault for our economy on Mr. Obama. That’s why a moderate voice is needed so badly.
March 8th, 20091:19 pm
I totally appreciate the albeit late response from the AJC and the willingness to afford change in their approach to bringing us the news. I wish these changes had been prompted more by a desire to be fair and balanced than a reaction to economic conditions but I’ll take this anyway. For a mighty long time the AJC has slipped down the path of liberalism and bias in their reporting and quite frankly lost the respect of many. Without real competition in the Atlanta market, the AJC has been allowed to go their own way because readers had no other substantial choices. Only now, with the economic times, does the AJC see the benefit of trying to appeal to all of its potential readers. Like I said, it’s a late but welcomed change. I look forward to seeing these changes unfold in the near future. It is my hope the AJC has once again realized its position in the city and in the state and in the south and will focus on delivering the news in an unbiased and credible manner. I’ve been disappointed in the focus and the content of the AJC in the past but will embrace changes towards fair and unslanted coverage if those changes truly materialize.
March 8th, 20091:20 pm
Someone needs to say this out loud.
No matter how you reformat the paper,
reformulate your news content or
redesign your logo, Cynthia Tucker is
March 8th, 20091:23 pm
If I want to read Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd or David Brooks, I’ll read The New York Times, not the AJC. While adding another local columnist is a step in the right direction, the commentary section needs to and should focus much more on local news, issues and problems that face metro Atlanta, not giving prime real estate to syndicated columnists from elsewhere due to a lack of printable content or space that needs to be filled. Write more local news oriented editorials, have a larger, more diverse or more specialized commentary staff or have your current columnists write more.
Also, I think using terms like ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’ to describe your commentary staff undermines them intellectually, and their audience by the way. That’s an easy way out to appease critics of bias. It basically pigeonholes them in such a way prevents them from writing commentary that could lean both ways. The issues that affect people today are too complex to be rigidly labeled as ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’. That kind of language furthers the partisan divide at a time when Atlantans (and America) can’t really afford it.
The worst thing a local newspaper can do is misinterpret their audience and not specialize, especially in the commentary section. The AJC does a good job to a certain extent, but as readers, we want (and need) more local opinion, because that’s why we read the AJC. If we want national or international news, we’ll pick up the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal or turn on CNN.
March 8th, 20091:26 pm
Read the following for a well thought out discussion on Barney Frank’s significant contribution to the economic problems. Houckster is incorrect. The requirement for loaning money to those who could not afford to pay it back is NOT Bush’s dictate. The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 (another Foolish Carter problem) was revised during the Clinton years to force lenders to lend money to those not qualified or face additional federal regulations.
Nowhere did I say that this Obama’s fault. It is the fault of those who did not fix the problem in Congress when it was brought to their attention. Not only did Frank not attempt to fix the problem, he blocked these attempts.
This is not a HARD RIGHT position. Liberals love to jump up and call names to make their case. The issues are far more complicated than calling names and making wild accusations.
A fair and balanced view of the world through reporting is needed. Not a biased view that said Bush is at fault for everything and is Bad.
March 8th, 20091:27 pm
Ms. Wallace, first of all, liberal or conservative is in the eye of the beholder. I recall when some professional women decided to be known by their own first name (e.g. Mrs. Mary Johnson instead of Mrs. Frank Johnson), that was considered liberal and those women were derisively called “modern women”. Then, some women decided not to take their husband’s last name at all and THAT was considered downright militant by some people. My point is that anything the AJC does is going to be labeled by *some*one as biased. Balance is a good goal but given how fickle people are, I doubt that it is a destination that can be achieved.
Second, on any given day, I will read a number of things in the AJC which I think are liberal or a number of things that I perceive as conservative. I would not assume that changes in subscriptions are reflective of anything other than the impact of electronic publishing on the print medium. (I didn’t understand the concept until I bought a house with built in shelves but, since most of my reading is done electronically, I have nothing on my shelves.) People don’t subscribe to what they can get online. So, in addition to agreeing with the comment that people who don’t subscribe now aren’t likely to subscribe because of an attempt to be “unbiased” (whatever that means), I think the AJC should look at other business models instead of trying to meet a nebulous and (in my opinion) unattainable standard.
One suggestion I have is to allow more opportunities to comment on stories in the online version. I think people might be surprised to know what other people are thinking about the news in Metro Atlanta.
March 8th, 20091:33 pm
I ended my subscription to the AJC because the paper kept getting delivered to my neighbor. Every day it was on the neighbor’s driveway. Every stinkin’ day. Complained three times to the AJC. Each time they promised to get it right. They never did. Unbelievable. I now throw their solicitations in the trash without even opening them. Who needs the aggravation.
March 8th, 20091:34 pm
The AJC is a far left drivel of a newspaper. I will never subscribe to it as long as Cynthia Tucker runs her anti-white/anti-Jew/anti-American/pro-Islamic Obama propaganda.
Shame that the Cox family is too stubborn to allow their affirmative action mouthpiece to drive this newspaper to the ground.
Good riddance. May the AJC soon join the Rocky Mountain News
March 8th, 20092:03 pm
I agree with Will’s comment about making sure the opinions pages put focus on local issues. AJC staff opinion writers do address national news, but local commentary is a crucial part of their jobs. It also will be so for the new conservative columnist, who generally will be expected to write about local and Georgia issues 60 percent of the time.
March 8th, 20092:19 pm
I am amazed at the number of respondents to this issue who want more conservative issues discussed and who think the AJC is extremely liberal. I am middle of the road, used to be Republican, now somewhat liberal and newly turned Democrat. I don’t want to see more conservative columnists in the paper. Mostly, they lean too far to the right. If you can find a conservative columnist who keeps to the facts, and reports constructively, then fine. I don’t think this can happen. As for the liberals like Cynthia Tucker, I agree with most everyone that she is too extreme. I personally don’t read her or Jim Wooten most of the time. And I also agree with some of the other people who wrote in, that we need to see less of those writers who write for New York papers or Washington papers as their views hardly pertain to issues here in the South. Since you are essentially a Southern regional paper, can you not report on issues here in the Southern states? I would like to see more well-rounded bias free articles and I do like some national and International news. You can keep the comics and I can do without the Living section. Just give me the news, the plain news will do without bias and without embellishments.
I haven’t paid for a subscription since 1989. The militant left-wing hate machine (Tucker and Luckovich) would have to disappear before I would consider buying an issue of AJC again.
March 8th, 20092:22 pm
I don’t subscribe to the AJC any longer for three reasons (1) Jay Bookman (2) Cynthia Tucker (3) Luckovich. For Bookman all things big government and socialist are wonderful and anything restricting government intrusion into a person’s life or encouraging self responsibility are bad. Tucker sees everything in black and white, black is good and white is bad or worse. Luckovich is neither amusing nor thought provoking merely pathetically bitter towards anyone or anything with which he disagrees. I read the AJC on line for local news but quite often skip certain articles when the headline is blatantly biased one way or the other. I don’t just blindly drink the conservative kool-aid but I also don’t want the liberal “big government knows best” baloney force fed to me by some reporter with a personal save the world agenda. Most of the racial uproars in the Atlanta area are stirred up and kept roiling by the all media outlets especially if it concerns some of our immense number of illegal residents. I do not feel the least bit of sympathy or remorse when an illegal is deported or locked up, they aren’t supposed to be here that is why they are referred to as “illegal.” Tear jerker articles about their plight should be published in the Mexico City paper.
March 8th, 20092:34 pm
Here’s an idea – how about the media promoting MODERATION instead of liberal or conservative? I am convinced that the root of every problem we have in this country is a result of our polarization of ideas. At least, that is how we are portrayed in the media and by politicians. However, I am equally convinced that the majority of the population falls somewhere smack in the middle of the bird, and not just on its right or left wing.
But controversy sells papers and gets ratings. If we were all holding hands and singing Kumbaya, a lot of media types and politicians would be out of a job.
Granted, it is over-simplification to equate this to a sports analogy, but in some ways, politics and racial issues in particular are a little like sports. It’s only natural to root for your own “team”. But the more the other side gets in your face and taunts you, the more hostile you become. Before long, a brawl breaks out and you can no longer just enjoy being a sports fan. It becomes personal.
We are a nation divided, and the blame for this falls squarely on the shoulders of the media and our politicians, because you all have chosen to portray the extremes of every subject, forcing the populus to feel we have to pick sides and go to war with one another.
The fact is that most of us, regardless of race, religion or political beliefs, want the same thing – a good job, a nice place to live, good education, equal pay and equal opportunity. But we have been led to believe that in order to accomplish this, the other side is standing in our way. If the media focused more on what we all have in common, instead of polarizing our differences and labeling us as one side or the other, we would all stand a better chance of reaching our goals.
Frankly, I stopped subscribing to the AJC years ago because I felt that none of the articles represented my place in society. As a white, lower-middle class working person, all I could read about was the unfortunate plight of African-Americans and how whites are bad and blacks are victims. This type of journalism is grossly unfair to both races, and is just another example of portraying the extremes and pitting us against one another. Whites are tired of being labeled as racists and being made to feel that no matter what we do, it’s never enough. Is it any wonder there’s a growing resentment on our “side”? It’s not racism, it’s self-preservation. And I feel confident that there are just as many African-Americans who are tired of being portrayed as the race of victims and would like to go about there business without skin color being front and center of every conversation.
So how about more articles that portray BOTH sides of a situation and give the readers credit for being able to think for ourselves. Right now, the only options we have are to have our collective blood pressure skyrocket at being perpetually forced to side with diametrically opposed opinions. It would be refreshing to have both sides tone down the rhetoric and find ways to bring us together. But as I said before, what’s in the best interest of our nation doesn’t always equate with what’s in the best interest of media and politics, i.e., money and power.
So how about starting a trend in the media… everything in moderation. Try it. We might like.
March 8th, 20092:52 pm
Now living in a area that was deemed by the newspaper to be “too far out side the metro area” to have delivery, I will say that I miss my Sunday paper. You say that the ad dollars were down and that is why you couldn’t deliver the paper out to Habersham any longer. My family used to get the ads and drive into Gainesville or to Buford depending on what the sales were. Now we have no way to know. How does that help anyone? Seems like a shorted sighted way to save a few dollars.
On the recycling issue…when I was in elementary school, every month there was a news paper recycle contest. Every class room had a sign out by the sidewalk and every famliy lined up their news papers behind the correct sign in brown grocery store basg or tied with a string. The class with the most papers got to have an ice cream party.
March 8th, 20093:08 pm
CARTIS IS A FOOL’s weak response to my comments is noted.
To supply an IBD editorial as any indication of the real state of affairs is simply asking too much. I would as likely buy the Brooklyn Bridge. It is one distortion after another. The true state of affairs will have to be determined by a much more rigorous analysis. Suffice it to say it is stretching the imagination to pin so much blame on a congressman as opposed to the President of the United States and the majority Republican party.
Nor did I say that CARTER IS A FOOL blamed Mr. Obama for the current state of our economy. I was speaking in the broader realm that the Hard Right is busily trying to build this very case and even a quick look at the blogs (heavily Hard Right in number) will confirm this. And yes, Barney Frank (because he’s a Democrat and especially because he’s gay) is a juicy target.
The reality is the Mr. George W. Bush was president of the United States during the time the housing bubble began to emerge. Hard Right adherents like to, as CARTER IS A FOOL has done, point to Mr. Clinton’s attempts to get more people to qualify for loans by relaxing the standards under which the ability of the borrower to pay back the loan was adjudged. They fail to note however, as CARTER IS A FOOL does, that the economy was in a different condition then and incomes were still expected to increase making the higher risk tolerable.
Under Mr. Bush, however, incomes stagnated and American debt climbed. This changed the situation and Mr. Bush was responsible for tightening up on requirements if that was what was prudent to do. With a majority in the House and Senate (with a few southern conservative Democrats almost sure to go along, why didn’t he?
Nor during Mr. Bush’s years did we have an effective SEC keeping watch on investment bankers. Christopher Cox, a Mr. Bush appointee, put in place a voluntary supervision program for Wall Street’s largest investment banks that he stated had contributed to the global financial crisis. It was another case of a Bush appointee doing “a heckuva job”.
From 2003 as energy prices began to escalate and as the teaser rates began to expire too many people who got bad loans could not keep up with the payments and it all reached a meltdown point last year with panic on Wall Street making things a dozen times worse.
The AJC has discussed these issues.
The meltdown of our economy is directly attributable to Mr. Bush’s policies. No credible case can be made to deny it. The only alternative the Hard Right has is to make as much noise attacking Mr. Obama and Mr. Frank as possible. Where’s all the personal responsibility that the Republicans liked to remind us moderates that we didn’t have?
March 8th, 20093:56 pm
I agree with most or at least the majority of posts, the AJC if waaaayy to far left. I wouldn’t read Cynthia Tucker if I was paid to. I cannot believe AJC would keep such a racist, race baiter on their payrolls. For the person who posted, “Please choose a conservative columnist who can make the case for his or her views without resorting to cheap straw-man counter-arguments, without ranting about fundamentally irrelevant far-fringe opponents, and without feeling compelled to oppose, regardless of its merits, any idea not already approved by the current dictators of far-fringe conservatism.” You need to read Bookman, that comment sounds like your describing his left leaning articles. I also agree that if there is anything to report about a Democrat that has done something illegal, immoral or both AJC doesn’t say “Democrat so and so” but if it’s a Republican that does something illegal, immoral or both AJC says “Republican so & so.” For the post that says the housing market is Bush’s fault (you must be Bookman or Tucker because almost everything they write about says that), you don’t know your facts. It was Barney Frank that pushed us into this mess and Frank should not only be kicked out of Congress he should be in jail.
I do appreciate the paper trying to be more fair and balanced but as it’s been said before it might be too little too late. AJC shouldn’t have waited until they fell on hard economic times….who knows if they’d have tried this sooner they may not have as bad of hard economic times.
March 8th, 20093:58 pm
I cannot understand why people are getting so upset. We ALL need to think about cutting back during this economy and the newspaper is no different. OK, so they need to combine parts of the paper…big deal. The paper is too liberal? Well, for the conservatives in the bunch, maybe it is a GOOD thing to read what “the opposition” is writing and thinking. (Remember, keep you friends close, keep your enemies closer!) After all, what else can you buy for 75 cents? Some people spend more each day on one cup of coffee or are willing to shell out $4.95 for the latest gossip rag. Give me a break! Stop complaining. The money I save in the Sunday paper’s coupons more than pay for my subscription PLUS I get to read whats going on and get to read opinions other than my own. (I simply say a quiet prayer for that person.) It’s a win-win situation.
Ditto to Diane @ 2:34.
March 8th, 20094:42 pm
The biggest thing lacking at the AJC is a little salesmanship. This is no longer 1995 when you could sit back and wait for advertising to pour in and readers had no good choices for getting a daily compendium of world/national/local news and sports. They have plenty of choices. You have to make them think yours is the best, and I don’t see any effort to do that. It’s bizarre to me.
I’m sure you think the AJC “brand” is still strong and you’re half-right. Lots of people still know the brand. Problem is, they just don’t GIVE A CRAP ABOUT IT, and fewer and fewer read it!
You need a good ad agency and some pedal-to-the-metal campaigns. I’m talking billboards, drive time radio, the whole deal. Forget the crappy house ads and stupid shopping destination campaigns. You need to yell at people that they NEED the AJC — print or web, their choice — to know what the heck is going on in metro Atlanta. Doesn’t matter if it’s not totally true. You gotta make em believe it. My 2c. Good luck.
March 8th, 20094:44 pm
Every newspaper has a right to an editorial position. I personally think that Tucker is a radical and Bookman is a lightweight hypocrite who gets his column emailed to him from the DNC. Who cares?
The damage, though, to the AJC’s perception of fairness comes from your news coverage. The damage comes from what you choose to cover and the stories you choose not to. If you would fix the perception of bias in your stories, make sure that your newsroom and your editors represent a wide range of views. Make sure your headline writers do too. Only when your newsroom reflects a wide range of views can you be able to cover stories without the natural bias that comes from having a point of view.
I applaud your decision to talk about the subject of news bias openly. Most papers are following the deny, deny, deny mantra to their graves. I will rejoice if the AJC will become an even handed voice of fact and accountability in this fair city. I will even buy a subscription.
March 8th, 20094:55 pm
To the troglodytes of the far left who want to use this space for your political rantings. Bag it!
The AJC has asked a question about bias. If you don’t think there is any, God bless you. There is short bus coming by for you in the AM.
The AJC, like many papers is in economic trouble. Unlike many papers, they are opening addressing the fact that a large part of the market perceives them as captive to the left. They have become more liberal than their market but more liberal than the market,a prescription for economic death. We are talking about how the AJC might address that issue. In many markets this issue has become a matter of life and death for the newspaper.
If you want to be sure that you keep your liberal echo chamber I am sure you will find many to agree with you. However, you will not be reading local newspapers with all your progressive friends, There won’t be any newspaper.
For it’s survival, the AJC must find a way to be relevant and valued as a source of news and opinion by a broad swath of the market. The progressives among us would have the AJC become the Great Specked Bird.
March 8th, 20095:05 pm
I think that the AJC shouldn’t listen to questions of “bias,” and should instead focus on improving the quality of its composition and facts–what should be the goal of all newspapers. Some people are going to complain about the political stance from which you report, or appear to report. Who cares? You’ll never satisfy these people, unless you’re American Conservative or the Nation. I regard current events from the political left, but I would rather read an AJC more biased towards the right if it were a better paper.
I’ve noticed the paper can have problems with technical terminology–it uses the phrase “heavy rail” to describe “city-to-city rail,” for instance–and I found Tim Eberly’s headline (and the response I received after pointing this out) describing a 17 year-old African American male as a “boy” (as opposed to “teenager”) to be of questionable taste. Otherwise, compositionally, if the paper were a little less “dumbed-down” feeling, it would be nice, but I can take it as it is.
My advice: Stick all your money in reporting, and kill the vent, and moderate comments so that overtly racist remarks don’t post. I’d look at the AJC.com more if reading it didn’t make me feel like I’m reading something that panders to rednecks. My perception is also that the website specifically opens racially-charged stories–MARTA, Clayton County Schools–for comment more often than other subjects, which is worrisome.
March 8th, 20095:13 pm
Dano, I’ve only lived in Atlanta for 9 years, but in that time I can tell you, only about 4% of Atlanta’s population could handle the AJC resembling the Journal. The lack of pictures and the above-5th grade reading level required would pretty much stump 96% of the idiots who live here.
Earle in Florida.
March 8th, 20095:26 pm
Let’s face it. In the last 4 decades Atlanta has gone from a white city to a black city and the AJC has evolved from a paper that reflected a white conservative perspective to one that reflects Black liberal views. Why are we surprised? Every major newspaper in black majority cities espouses the same liberal, Democrat, entitlement, big Federal Government, Obama values.
No effort, no matter how well meant, will succeed in changing the cultural values of the AJC. It reflects the community, and Cynthia Tucker personifies it. Good try, Ms.Wallace. You couldn’t change it if you wanted to.
On a more important survival issue, if you want to save the AJC, fix the horrific online version. Living in Florida, I read the AJC online, and it is AWFUL. Separate the AJC from Access Atlanta, and create a newspaper. The format is terrible, although recently marginally improved. The stories stay on the site for literally months. If you want to see what a great newspaper website looks like, look at the New York Times.com or the Wall Street Journal.com. Instead of hiring a useless conservative columnist, go get a first class web designer and catch up with the future of information.
March 8th, 20095:32 pm
I gave up my subscription years ago as did most of my neighbors and friends. The content and opinions were so out of touch with Georgia values that I could barely bring myself to read it. The irrational opinions of the editorial page (ie: editor Cynthia Tucker) was one of the biggest reasons for my leaving the paper. I miss reading the paper and hope you are truly making an effort to turn the paper around to reflect the interests of the majority of Atlantans & Georgians. If so, I’ll be one of the first to subscribe again.
March 8th, 20095:57 pm
Your article is fully BSPR. That’s what we have come to expect from the AJC. The main investigative reporting is about places to eat or drink. You are becoming the Southside Sun. Facts, not BSPR is the only way to pull this paper out of the hole it has put itself into.
March 8th, 20095:59 pm
Having read most of these posts, I’ve spotted a trend. Have you seen it MS. Wallace?? Cynthia Tucker is KILLING your newspaper.
Earle is right on the web site. The recent redesign is at least cleaner, but you look at the main page and you really don’t get any clue what you’re looking at! Again — it’s like you guys are still in the old days where everyone “had” to get the AJC. News flash: THEY DO NOT! Information has been commoditized and if you’re going to sell it successfully you gotta sell yourselves not just wait for people to come crawling back because they will not! Instead of a little AJC logo the web page should scream “Atlanta’s #1 24/7 news source!!” or some such. It would tell readers where they are and it might even remind your staff what they are supposed to be doing.
March 8th, 20096:23 pm
Used to subscribe to the AJC years ago but canceled my delivery after many years due to the liberal nonsense coming out of both news and editorial pages. Conservative readers have been jumping ship for years and telling the AJC the reason which has fallen on deaf ears (”we’re losing readers because of the internet” – wrong!). As long as Cynthia Tucker & Luckovich are on staff, then your sudden enlightenment and promise to be fair will not impress folks like me. You could dismiss both tommorrow and your readership would probably double in a month. I would subscribe just out of principle alone to vote my affirmation.
March 8th, 20096:40 pm
Add me to the list of people who stopped subscribing because the liberal slant just angered me every time I read the paper. Not just on the editorial page, but the liberal slant of the news. I can choose not to read Cynthia Tucker if I don’t want to, knowing that she is about as far left as is possible, but when I read news stories — not editorials — the writer should be objective, and if the writer can’t manage to keep his or her own personal opinions from flavoring the article to the right or left, then the editor should do his or her job and reword it so the piece is objective.
March 8th, 20097:08 pm
Ms. Wallace, Thank you for your willingness to listen, as you maintain journalistic standards needed by the metropolitan area, and those from the rest of the country, who visit you online daily. Many are former Atlanta residents, as well as subscribers, who have relatives and friends in Atlanta. We appreciate fast updates, pictures, and opinions from all sides. We are a thinking people, who recognize how difficult your job must be. Every last article does not need a label, to indicate political slant. That would hobble columnists and cartoonists. To the well read, it all balances in time. Those readers who insist that only their views are correct, and thus more important, are attempting to get you to drop certain employees’ work, because they do not share their view of the world. How boring would that be, if all did? For every threat to stop reading the AJC, someone is offering to limit their own horizons. There are some people who cannot be pleased. I depend on you, to do your best. Thank you for your efforts, and I wish you much success.
March 8th, 20097:50 pm
I’m all for decreasing the size of the publication as much as possible without losing too much of the content. Less for me to take to the recycle bin, plua I’m sort of a ‘Reader’s Digest’ scanner. But don’t want to give up my favorite comics, any of the editorial page and the vent. GREAT column today by Wm. Egart re getting back to basics and glad the AJC is getting more basic.
March 8th, 20097:54 pm
I’m all for the AJC down-sizing without losing too much of the content. First, I’ll have less to recycle; but also speed-read a good bit and like shorter columns, Reader’s Digest version? GREAT column today from Wm. Egart about getting back to the basics, and glad to see my AJC getting a bit more basic too.
March 8th, 20098:18 pm
Too little too late!
After years of printing anti-white, anti-conservative, anti-police, anti-american GARBAGE in not only your op-ed columns but your “news” sections, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU CLOSE DOWN!!
March 8th, 20098:46 pm
To the idiot who ”corrected” Ms. Wallace for using the verb “has” with “none.”
She is correct.
None is singular. So is ‘has’ – so take a break.
March 8th, 20099:02 pm
Diane (like the name: )……at 2:34…..You hit it on the head……..By the way, don’t kill the vent…..it’s one of the most thoughtful and entertaining parts of the AJC…….If that’s gone, I most definitely would never resubscribe…..
March 8th, 20099:15 pm
It’s just too bad about newspapers in general. I used to love to get my evening paper and read it during dinner. When the evening paper stopped, then I just didn’t have time in the morning to read the morning paper, so I discontinued it. But it’s really uncomfortable curling up with my laptop.
Now I just fall asleep watching Bill O’Reilly and hoping that Keith Olbermann and Rachael Maddow would get kicked off the air for their lunatic rantings.
Where’s Lewis Grizzard when you need him?
RB from Gwinnett
March 8th, 20099:19 pm
I really think you’re COMPLETELY missing the issue people have with bias, which might be the root of the problem. You can have equal numbers of columns published from the far right and from the far left and call youself balanced when you take the average, but what you’re missing is that people want to read column by columnists who are capable of being fair and balanced, not far right and far left. You’re liberal leaning columnists don’t have the mental capacity to fairly evaluate national issues. EVERYTHING they see and write on is far left. We’re sick of it. It’s wrong and it’s harmful to the public at large. Wooten has called out Republicans on many issues when he’s disagreed with their actions/policies/behavior. While he’s obviously conservative, he’s also fair in his treatment of foul behavior by all of them. THAT is the model we expect from all of them, not some mythical average of left and right leaning columns.
Also, go back and do a tally of the people and parties your paper has “endorsed” in elections. How many R’s and D’s do you have? I’m guessing the ratio is somewhere close to 95% D’s. You’re problem goes beyond column counts, Julia. Why can’t you just present the candidates and not only let, but encourage the people to make up their own minds. Stop being so arrogant you think your opinions deserve a place in the public forum that is this states major newspaper.
Another issue other posters have already touched on is your editorial cartoon. Luckovich is a big problem. He, like your liberal columnists, is incapable of being fair and balanced. You’ve either got find another cartoonist to balance him out or replace him with someone who’s capable of balancing their own thinking. I would bet he alone is responsible for a big chunk of your subscription losses. We’re sick of seeing the same one trick pony every day.
Good luck with your efforts, Julia. I really do wish you well. A challenge you will have to figure out at some point is whether you want to appeal to the metro Atlanta population at large, or your subscription base at large. There is a difference and finding the balance is the key to your survival. Good luck.
March 8th, 20099:23 pm
I think there is a clear bias in terms of the regions of the Atlanta metro area. I do not believe that all of Atlanta, South Fulton County and Clayton County are as bad as people believe. However, there are so many negative articles that are put out about these areas. These areas, while they have their problems like any other area in Atlanta region, in some cases, are being unfairly targeted and the only stories you read are bad. How about some good news from these areas?
I also think the newspaper needs to make more of a concerted effort in incorporating more of the news from the southern suburbs, notably Henry and Coweta, as these pages seem to hardly be updated as frequently as any of the other pages. Henry County is becoming a critical player in the metropolitan area and Coweta has a rapidly growing population- both on the Southside but neither gets the attention it should get. The AJC has sections like ‘Around Sandy Springs’ and ‘Northside.Talk’… how about ‘Southside.Talk’ and more blogs about things that are happening in the southern suburbs? The southern suburbs are very important to the metropolitan area too.
March 8th, 20099:30 pm
“None of these choices HAS been easy” is proper Engilsh. The subject is “None”, not “choices”. The AJC has grammatical errors daily. This is not one of them.
March 8th, 20099:53 pm
As I started to read your article in this mornings paper I was so afraid that you were going to cancel printing the comic section but I was relieved to see that was not the case. I do wish that “Peanuts” would not be so small in the daily paper. I do read most of the editorials and I agree with Cynthia Tucker aometimes and not other. Today I enjoyed Thomas Friedman and Willam Egart.
March 8th, 200910:10 pm
If you are always making the paper smaller, why does the subscription price keep increasing? I won’t be renewing after my subscription ends.
March 8th, 200910:13 pm
After reading these comments, I almost don’t know where to begin. I guess I will rely on my own instincts and not read all the hatred espoused by members of a South that will not return, no matter how much they wish for it.
As a journalist who has moved to on to web content, I hurt plenty for the plight of newspapers. I worked at the major daily in Montgomery and I used to look up to the AJC so much when you had more experienced journalists and you did more crusading and investigative pieces. You easily had the best sports staff in the South, evidenced by how Len Paquarelli, Chris Mortensen, et al have moved on to national significance. You can’t replace that kind of talent easily. (I must say, however, that your best columnists — save Cynthia Tucker — are still in sports. Steve Hummer, Schultz and Mark Bradley should be used like Mike Lupica (New York Daily News) and Mitch Albom (Detroit Free Press) are at times and be allowed to write general interest columns.)
I think you do a decent job of being fair and balanced. (Ignore the cultural backwater that is most of the posters to this particular story. THEY ARE SCARY! They probably think Sarah Palin is qualified to be president and think Fox News is actually fair and balanced.)
Cynthia Tucker is a treasure and role model for the city. She won the Pulitzer for a reason. While, truthfully speaking, I don’t think she rises to the level of Leonard Pitts, Eugene Robinson, etc. she is definitely second-level among top tier black columnists in the country.
I will be quite happy when Jim Wooten leaves, so I want even waste much copy on him. This paper allowed him to make the single black mother the bogeyman for the past eight years while he could see no wrong in a Bush administration (cronies, contractors, crooks and ne’er do-wells) that ate happily at the public trough for the last eight year and brought this country to its knees. As you can probably tell, I have somewhat liberal views but I can stand an honest conservative (a la David Brooks of the NYT) that tells the truth and shows solid, consistent insight. That was not Wooten. He did as much race-baiting as Tucker was accused of and rarely got called on it until the people started to see him a straw man toward the end of W. administration.
I wish you much luck, AJC. Time waits for no one, and technology and change has wrought much to our beloved industry. But there is always a place for hard-hitting journalism — as evidenced by the WaPo series that did more to find Chandra Levy’s alleged killer than any police force. Keep up your watch as the fourth estate. Don’t let these knuckle-draggers in here obsessed with race and stupid, disproved policies (Reaganomics in the dusty salesbin of history! Trickle-down theories, 10 for a buck!) change your beliefs and foundation of as a servant of a beautiful, progressive city. Keep innovating to stay alive and keep us informed.
March 8th, 200910:23 pm
I came in to comment on the None Has/Have but catlady beat me to it!
I am tremendously impressed with the focus and well thought through statements here. Usually things get absurd in these reader comments. I think that reflects on the seriousness of the prospect of a major city in danger of losing its newspaper. As Atlantans we can’t have that happen.
To me, fairness is an easy thing to monitor and I can only assume that the management hasn’t prevously selected to do so. It is why journalists had a much reapected profession and what the founding fathers had in mind when they established a constitution that encouraged freedom of expression and press. Both sides make good points here but as the so-called conservatives have been MORE slighted, truth seems to me to be on their side. I also, however expect opinion journalist to stir up controversary and give them credit for being outlandish at times in order to do so.
There is a particularly good point made of the use of selected terms in writing a supposedly straight news article. Such terms as elitist, lower anything… class or educated etc. are slipped in well into the article but have no place at all unless quoting someone else’s words. They are an opinion and a judgement.I realize that’s harsh but so is the prospect of losing a major newspaper. Atlanta needs an objective daily print source for its news.
March 8th, 200910:36 pm
I, and am sure journalists, would appreciate the moderator correcting my error of reapected to respected. Obviously I’m a poor typist.
March 8th, 200911:04 pm
First of all, let me say that I am (as Lewis Grizzard said) a southern white male. Also politically independent.
Please do not cave to idiots because of the economy. They can always dial up Limbaugh if they crave to have their egos stroked. No matter what or who you print, these fools will always complain unless it falls in line with the prominent GOP propaganda of the day. Please do not allow those who refuse to evolve dictate policy for the AJC. There are those who will find racism and liberalism in anything that does not conform to Jim Crow era thinking.
Atlanta is the Metropolis of the south, filled with diversity and culture, not to mention being home to many fine academic institutions. I think our newspaper should reflect all of this.
For those who don’t like it, tune in to Boortz or Oriely or Limbaugh if you really have the desire to be lied to for entertainment.
March 8th, 200911:15 pm
Sorry to hear about the cuts. We are entering the inevitable part of the internet. I come from a household that always had a subscription to the AJC. My parents still do subscribe to the AJC. My folks are old school that way. I’ve never ever subscribed to the AJC. . . but when I moved from my parents house, I didn’t stop reading the AJC. I simply look at it online. I don’t care if you become the mouthpiece of the GOP to satisfy all the sayers of “the AJC is too liberal”, you will never deliver as many paper copies as you did 5 years ago ever again. The news is online now and the old school paper folks are, sad as the truth of mortality is, aging. Most new readers will be online readers. How the AJC, or any other major newspaper, deals with this forthcoming reality is anyone’s guess. Online ads don’t cut it like the paper ads.
As to the liberal/conservative schism, whatever. Tucker’s black liberalism is highly offensive to me whereas I find Bookman’s liberalism to be smart and insightful. Wooten. . . Wooten is the kind of conservative columnist a liberal would hire to make conservatives look stupid. Bob Barr is excellent. The only one of the above I’d like to see go is Wooten so he could be replace (I guess you guys are already kind of doing that) with a conservative with some cognitive ability.
The paper in general has, and I know this to be a fact, left important facts out of stories because the facts were politically impolite. Facts such as the race of a perpetrator if the perp was black. The copy-editing is horrendous. There have been headlines badly botched on a fairly regular basis (online edition). Coverage of world events is poor which is fine because I get that news from a combo of sources ranging from the NYT, The Economist, Al Jazeera, Wash Post, and WSJ.
Local social coverage is great. I know about registering for the Peachtree Road Race because you guys have it as a headline. The restaurant reviews are excellent, travel, and weekend things to do, it’s in there and I think that’s great. It’s good coverage. This does not speak to the “Access” pamphlet you people put out. I want to punch Access in the face. Access is a story by itself. State and local politics, however, get pushed to the side and that makes your local coverage in general average.
My solution: First: Figure out a way to make money online. That may be impossible. Second: Keep national and world coverage where it’s at. People like me go for that kind of stuff from other sources anyways. Third: Keep your lawn and garden, and restaurant reviews, etc., where they are at (get reid of Access because it is horrible) because they are good. Fourth: MORE state and local politics. Fifth: this goes to the above two; GO LOCAL IN A BIG WAY. The AJC should be about Atlanta. I want to see the politics of the Dekalb sheriff/CEO mess in depth. I want to know the big arguments in the Capital. I want to know about Chief Pennington going to a neighborhood meeting. I want to know any big news coming out about HD or KO. When I read the AJC, I want to know about all things Atlanta. That’s the social stuff, yeah. But it’s also the politics and business.
Otherwise, I think you guys have a wonderful local paper. It’s not a Wash Post or NYT. But I think the AJC is a lot better than the naysayers love to proclaim.
March 8th, 200911:34 pm
The AJC is in love with politics and spends a significant amount of resources on both reporting and offering editorial opinion about politics. Well, here is something political for you to ponder… Everyday there is an election in the market place. There, people vote (with their money) for the goods and services that they need. People vote for goods and services that have value, quality, and integrity. And, they vote for goods and services in which they trust and believe in. In the vote for news media you are loosing the election.
March 8th, 200911:50 pm
Diane at 2:34 may just have a new campaign strategy for your “market place vote”. You should take a very serious look at her comments. You have beat us up enough already. And, we’re not going to buy your products any longer.
JUST THE NEWS
March 9th, 200912:37 am
Why does everything have to be labeled conservative, liberal, white, or black? The real purpose of a newspaper should be to report the news using undiluted facts instead of injecting the political opinions of the writers or editors. The failure to do this is causing many once good newspapers to fold. The world of today is not the world of 30 years ago and the printed newspaper is not the primary news source anymore. I hope the change you say the AJC is making will restore faith in it but it very well could be too little too late. I hope not. As long as Cynthia Tucker is associated with the AJC it will not be seen as a fact centered news source. She is the one bad apple that spoils a whole basket of good apples.
HCS comment very well reflects the general distrust of the AJC.
March 9th, 200912:53 am
So the AJC is having to downsize their paper due to lack of readership. Do not blame technology nor the internet. There are numerous publications out there that may not be growing leaps and bounds, but are financially strong and have a balanced editorial staff.
I have been here almost 20 years and am sick to death over the garbage that the AJC spews from its own employees. Tucker, Bookman, and Luckovich cannot be more left-leaning than the Tower of Pisa. When are you folks in the mgmt dept going to wake up and see the bias??? Do any of them actually have to go out of the AJC building to see what is happening in the real world? Do any of them actually have to interview folks for honest opinions. If you want an even balance, then have a counter opinion for Tucker, Bookman, and Luckovich next to their rhetoric diatribes. This would make equal, but fair reporting.
I seemed to recall that most of the Democratic Candidates being selected for President Obama’s staff have failed to pay most of their taxes for the past few years. Yet, the AJC staff and editorial board seemed more interested in bashing Rush and other Republicans for questioning Mr. Obama’s actions. How dare you chastise them when all you did for the past 8 years was spew political and pure hated towards the Bush Administation. Your articles appeared to cheer that the Iraq War was being lost. Now you whine about the Republicans picking on Obama. Boo Hoo! Give me a break. Is there anyone in your office with any common sense to report on all sides? Quit trying to make the news and just report the news. This is all that I want and if you want my continued subscription, then lay off the personal attacks and fire most of the editoral staff. A letter from the editor really does not impact my life, so if you are making more cuts, start with the Editorial Staff.
Next, keep the Business Section and expand on it with employment stats and stories from the other 8 metro counties. I do not see anything on Forsyth or Dawson Counties yet these places are still growing leaps and bounds. Why don’t you commit a half page to each of the 18 local counties to report building activity, permits, sales, foreclosures, and new business ventures. I am sick of hearing mostly about metro Atlanta and Clayton County. Also runs stories as they are told. Many times, I have read a story off an internet site only to see the same thing printed several days later in the AJC. This is not news, just recycled print.
Also get rid of the lame, Living Section and the Movie-tar sightings. Who care which star had an overpriced dinner at some Buckhead Diner? This garbage does not positively affect a person’s life. Leave the celebrity garbage for the Enquirer or Star. Just this morning, you all printed a front page story on Jane Fonda and her acting abilities. This is pure crap and should not be in Section A. No one cares about Fonda or her thoughts. This is the problem with your paper. It appears that most of the staff is just out of touch with reality. Also learn how to print color. All I get is a blurred copy and cannot read the story. Do you know how to fix your type settings? This does not take a college degree, just competence!
Expand the World News, Business, and the Local County News and I will keep my subscription. The comics are nice, but you all have just wasted too much time and print on your recent favorites contest. Maybe you should have the same contest for your Editorial Staff. This would be a good use of ink.
I am in marketing and sales and could actually do a better job than half of your staff. Would you hire me, probably not, because I am not from Atlanta, do not care for keeping the old ways, and would demand accountability from all staff members. I would actually require the Editorial Staff to provide proof for the stories that they are running. I would also reduce the price back down to 50 cents and concentrate on only the news that really affects the readers and residents. Your love for us really does not matter, just figure out how to run a quality paper. This is not asking too much. Or, maybe it is???? Time will tell!
March 9th, 20091:42 am
Hey AJC! Either include the words Democrat or Republican next to all names, including the AJC staff members so that we will know their slant, or leave out all labels and just report the story. Leave out the phrases; I think, I feel, We should, You Should, or anything that signifies the feelings of the columnist. This would provide a more equal, maybe not fair, but balanced article. As a matter of fact, why do we even need a picture or name of the columnist? Just write the story and do not give the credit to any staff member. Oh that’s right, you cannot do that! It would not give Tucker or Luckovich their much flawed Pulitzers. We all know that is the true meaning of being a journalist. It is all about awards, not readership, not subscriptions, and especially not about facts!!!!! Hey, at least the major sports teams dump their staff every few years in order to rebuild. Maybe you folks should do the same?
Rick in Atlanta
March 9th, 20092:53 am
This isn’t enough. You need to hire an ombudsman, a Public Editor.
If you’re truly committed to becoming a good newspaper again, which is a long, hard (if not impossible) journey from where you are right now, you must do more to get your readers to trust you than make promises in occasional columns. You must add real transparency and accountability, and the only way to do that is to have a reader’s representative in exactly the model the NYT uses (one year term only; can’t be fired/censored/edited, etc.).
Until you do that, I’m continuing my 15-year-long refusal to ever buy a printed copy of your newspaper, nor use your classifieds, nor patronize your sponsors.
March 9th, 20093:53 am
I once worked as a newspaper delivery driver and I still have friends in the newspaper business in another state and have heard from them how challenging things had been before the economy went bad, and now of course, they are facing layoffs and a very uncertain future even for those that remain. Like the workers at the AJC, they have a job to do. They have stories that need to be told and they hope to keep doing it as long as they can. That’s really all any journalist wants to do.
That said, I am not a regular AJC reader. I read online every day. Used to subscribe to the dead-tree version but the paper would consistently get stolen from my yard. Got tired of being somebody’s charity and got really tired of dealing with customer service. I could buy it from stores but I don’t because I don’t go to stores more than once or twice a week. Lucky for me, I don’t have any vices or habits that need to be supplied daily from the corner gas station. No booze, smokes, or lottery tickets. And so they don’t sell me any papers either.
Where I work, none of my coworkers ever has a paper in the office. 40-60 people and not one seems to read it. Maybe they do and just don’t bring it to work, but maybe they’re like me and have no reason to stop where the paper is sold. Maybe the paper just needs to be sold where the readers are. Vending machines at office parks?
And then there was the matter of content: I am a business news junkie. I want more of that, not less. The new AJC will leave me out cold. Sports, on the other hand, is absolutely useless to me. I like the Frys ads on the back but that was literally all Sports was good for. Many times I wished I could tell you to keep that section and give me more of something else. Maybe someday you will be able to make a paper that IS assembled according to what the end subscriber wants. I delivered papers once upon a time; I know how it can be done. Just like making a car, you build the paper by sections per an order sheet and bag it with a name and delivery address. Not every sub gets the same sections. Some get the sports, some don’t. Some opt for more business news. Some don’t get the classifieds. Everyone gets what they want. Someday someone will do this and make a killing with it, simply by giving customers what they want.
Yes, I am aware that the paper truly depends on advertisers, not subscribers. And it’s hard to sell ads when everyone is getting a different paper. But without subscribers, who may leave because your product doesn’t fit their needs, then you’ll also have no advertisers.
TV Week? No loss there. Most of us are on satellite or cable and we have -nay, we require- the EPGs to keep up. No printed TV listings magazine is going to work in the modern era, not even the ones that come from the cable or satellite companies.
Comics? Does anyone actually read them? Do they really, or do they just say they do? Do people still look for tonight’s lotto numbers hidden somewhere in Ziggy? Is that reason enough to keep running comics?
March 9th, 20094:07 am
Two more comments….
The editorial page seems to be a fire-brand topic if the comments above are any indication. I don’t have any to add because I don’t read the editorials. Long ago, I realized it didn’t have anything to do with me and didn’t affect my life in any way, so I ditched reading it. It has probably been four or five years since I the editorial page and it hasn’t hurt me one bit. That I know of.
I do the same with local or national TV news: I quit watching it more than a year ago and have found that my feelings about life improved. I still get my news, online. AJC.com, MSNBC, Newsvine, Reuters, NYT, Freshnews.org, multiple blogs and anywhere else. So I still feel in touch but at the same time I am not forced to see and hear stories about murders, deaths, robberies, endless blood and gore and stupid ratings stunt news. Dropping all that junk has definitely been a win for me.
Anyhow, my point is that it IS possible to read the paper and skip the parts that bother you and still get something out of the parts that don’t.
My last comment is on the recent web redesign. Hate it. The old flyover menus used to provide direct access easily to any part of the site. Now? Well, you try to find Ask AJC. Try it. It’s here. I’ve stumbled across it once or twice but I have no idea how to find it, or View from a Cop, or the Vent. The site map is needed way too much.
I am glad the annoying registration nag has apparently gone away. Either that or I am just permanently logged in now. Dunno. But it seems like there is no more nagging. Thanks.
March 9th, 20094:39 am
Dear Ms. Wallace,
The AJC’s problem, like most newspapers, isn’t conservative or liberal, it’s a lack of talent and perspective. One newspaper editor suggested to me the hardest job he had was finding reporters who understand numbers – “there’s a huge difference between a million and a billion – and most reporters don’t get it.” If they understood it, if they had ever had to meet a payroll or run anything besides a newspaper, they might understand that. As it is, every daily newspaper in the country is running a virtual monopoly into the ground because they are so biased and liberal. You people are so clueless in your coverage of simple numbers it’s no wonder newspapers got the banking debacle screwed up.
You have a decent technical school down the street from the AJC, why not hire a columnist from Georgia Tech instead of another UGA type like Wooten. Or an economist from Emory or Georgia STate, someone who has actually done something in business – as opposed to another clueless AJC-trained minion.
The problem with conservatives the past eight years is that they have had to defend George W Bush, whose White house full of Rovian liars was basically indefensible. Who could defend starting a $3 trillion preemptive war with Iraq, when anyone with a brain understands that Iran and Iraq hate each other – they behave like neighbors in ghetto-on-ghetto crime and were our best allies against each other. Bush was not conservative, he combined church and state – which never works anywhere. And while he held all three branches of government, he did nothing to stop or limit abortion. It was a joke – he was not conservative at all – just a silver spoon drunk who sobered up and found a simplistic dumbdown Jesus which made him project America’s shadow all over the world. Al Gore, despite his rantings about climate change, at least understood the most conservative premise and prinicple of all – that sending money to Arab states like Saudi Arabia was sending money to the people who hate us. Sixteen of the 19 September 11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia – and Bush’s eight-year addiction to oil continued the greatest transfer of wealth in history.
If conservatives in South Carolina had elected John McCain in 2000 instead of the incompetent Bush, the country and the AJC would not be so utterly confused about having a conservative dialogue.Not only did Bush leave America in such a state as inexperienced first term senator from the corrupt Chicago Democratic political machine win easily, he left the Republican Party to the boorish debate of Rush Limbaugh vs. the equally inept Michael Steele. After the GOP, which could have had Romney, ran McCain eight years too late, along with Ms. Bush-in-a-skirt, the equally well-read Sarah Palin, the party and movement is a joke. Country First, my ass. The problem with Newt Gingrich is by the way, he’s a bigger sleazeball than Clinton where it comes to how he treated his family and ex-wives. Which is the only thing that saved Clinton in the first place, his tormentors were bigger moral hypocrites than he was.
The first criteria for your new conservative columnist should be honesty about how far the Republican Party has strayed off course from its fiscally conservative roots into Bush’s big government hypocrisy. You need a columnist more like Grizzard, not a he-says, she-says foil to Cynthia Tucker. You need someone who understands why Rush Limbaugh is such a turn-off to anyone under 60, and how the GOP could totally implode against a rookie senator from Illinois. If you wonder why America is in trouble, it’s because once-great papers like the AJC keeps hiring biased commentators who scream liberal or conservative but do not understand basic economics or foreign policies. YOur new conservative columnist will be no better than Wooten, a status quo shill for Bush and God’s Own Party, and the country will shift further and further into the increasingly socialist grip of incompetent Democrats as banks and and our armies continue to fail.
Ms. Wallace, you are overseeing the continued slide of a once-great newspaper, and for perpetuating the mindless liberal-conservative debate that is destroying America. You have a great responsibility to try and connect with the people of Atlanta and Georgia, and you and this new publisher have assured that the AJC will continue to be a non-factor in Atlanta. Bill Kovach was the last great editor of the AJC, a Ralph McGill for his times. It’s not too late Ms Wallace, but the clock is ticking on your oversight of a once hallowed institution. Right now you are to the AJC what Rick Wagoner is to GM – not entirely to blame, but the watchman when it all came apart. Hire a decent metro columnist, a centrist who will criticize both sidees, and take the debate to a higher level – don’t sink to hiring another biased mouthpiece who is always in lockstep with the people who destroyed the Republican Party. Hiring the opposite of Cynthia Tucker gets you nowhere but pushing the Coxes toward the point where the Hearst family is with the Chronicle – ready to close it to keep from losing more money. Hence, this clueless publisher they’ve already hired as your boss.
Good luck, Ms Wallace. I’m afraid Atlanta magazine nailed it – you have managed to make the AJC, a monopoly newspaper, so meek and marginal that most Atlantans don’t need or want it. You don’t have once voice down there that readers from both sides of the debate trust or respect. To date, that is your legacy. While I’m sure you’re not alone, it’s your name on the masthead.
March 9th, 20096:16 am
This is the 3rd or 4th time in several years that you have announced a new fairness, a new balance, a new regional AJC.
I hope that you mean it this time. I also hope it is not to late.
Dennis C. Brown
March 9th, 20096:44 am
My conclusion of the liberal vs. conservative position of the AJC that has been raised here is not shaped by the pre-identified positions of the editorial writers or cartoonist. Rather it is an issue of the positions taken by the newspaper on topics such as endorsements of political candidates, social issues, and the like. In my opinion there is a definite AJC liberal leaning in all. But then the last statistic that I heard (during the election) was that 87% of the news media is bias in that direction. So I guess it is no surprise that the AJC is supportive of the positions of the Democratic Party and liberal thinking in the greater majority of social issues. I do think its interesting that for a number of the editorialists there is no blog – nor, for that matter, an easy way to reply to their slanted editorials.
March 9th, 20096:56 am
Julia, this morning, the AJC contains the following:
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is ending former President George W. Bush’s limits on using federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research, with advisers calling the move a clear signal that science — not political ideology — will guide the administration.
This is exactly the same line of argument that Ms. Tucker used in her editorial on this subject. The moral concerns about stem cell research are dismissed as “political ideology”. Ms. Wallace, this is exactly what we see as bias. You don’t respect or even understand the other side of the story. Ms Tucker will ultimately gag on her editorial which fairly glowed with Obama’s commitment to science and facts. Of course we are embarked on a ruinous spending spree that is utterly rooted in liberal dogma. The hypocrisy from Ms. Tucker and the sycophants from the AP( now with the imprimatur of approval from the AJC) is breathtaking. As I said, Ms. Tucker will have years to eat her arrogant words.
The truth is that the division about stem cells reflects the division about abortion in the US. Obama is desperately trying to position this matter as a science versus ignorance and you are his willing toady.
March 9th, 20098:00 am
You state a “few” think the paper is conservative but “many” think it’s too liberal and you’re going to do something about it. In other words you’re going to continue to publish and add more racist literature to your bigoted newspaper. Your blogs constantly attack our President and your vents are consistently one-sided; if you attack minorities or our President you are “voted” up and anything that attacks Limbaugh, GWB, etc. is voted down. What was painfully obvious was the “vent” about Black History which the “vent guy” loves to publish every February which attacks Black people’s celebration and was voted to the top. The “vent guy” is very biased but then he’s obviously following the lead of your newspaper. Your journalist constantly refer to our President as “Barack” and then offer excuses as to why he’s not called President. The AJC is very disappointing and biased and I wish I had an alternative to finding out what happens in Atlanta; I certainly would access that website rather than yours.
Shame on Cynthia Tucker for being a Black woman contributing to this trash.
March 9th, 20098:01 am
A previous blogger has already addressed my biggest problem with the AJC : that being Mike Luckovich’s unrelenting ultra-liberal cartoons with no cartoons depicting other political views being given the same prominence.
Another example of possible bias by the AJC is on today’s front page…the lead headline. The headline reads “Tax breaks pushed to spur hiring” and the 6th paragraph in this article, written by James Aalzer, reads : “Opponents of the package say it may not create good-paying jobs. And it will slash revenue at a time when more and more Georgians rely on the state for health care, education and other services.” The first sentence is (hopefully) accurate in reporting what opponents in the state legislataure feel about this bill. The second sentence quotes no one, and as written amounts to an editorial comment by the AJC This may simply be an error in punctuation
( making two sentences when it should’ve been one…with a comma following “..about this bill” and replacing the capital “A” with a lower case “a” ) but it may also be a subtle bit of bias, too, as the sponsors of this bill are House Republicans.
March 9th, 20098:15 am
I just noticed something else : Julia, in your 3rd from the end paragraph ( above…in your “AJC Changes” conversation, written yesterday ) you wrote : ‘On the opinion pages, we are in a concerted march toward providing a rich marketplace of views, including liberal, conservative and others…”, why do you list “liberal” before “conservative?” L before C ?
March 9th, 20098:21 am
While it shoud be obvious to all that you Opinion section is not balanced: four liberal columns per week, one conservative, and one libertarian; the bias also extends into the news sections. For instance, when writing colums about the recent recession and mortgage crisis, little is ever mentioned of the subject’s actions that led to their problem. The sole focus appears to be to elicit sympathy for this “victim” as opposed to evenly dscussing how their decisions created or at least added to the problem. For example, you wrote a about a man with a $45,000 income, $1,700+ mortgage and $800 in child support being behind in mortgage payments and never did the article ever mention that this scenario was a recipe for financial disaster that should have been fixed when he divorced two years earlier. The article in the other areas should be balanced also.
March 9th, 20098:50 am
Unbelievable! The newspaper in a major American city will have no dedicated Business section? I understand your budget considerations, but Atlanta is the headquarters for a number of world-class corporations and considers itself a major force in the business world. And, yet, business news will be cut to a few columns in a section of mixed news? With the economic crisis this country is facing, it’s unimaginable that you are cutting out this most important section!
March 9th, 20098:51 am
Your editorial page is, for the most part, a Liberal rag! Shame on you for showing such a lack of balance!
Matt Kempner, AJC Public Editor
March 9th, 200910:55 am
A clarification to Jeff’s comment about the number of @issue columns by AJC columnists. Jim Wooten writes three columns a week in print, plus a daily blog. As he moves toward retirement he’s planning to ease back to one column a week plus his blog. Before then, we will have hired a new full-time conservative columnist, who will build to three columns a week plus a daily blog.
March 9th, 20092:16 pm
I’m no MBA… in fact I’m no BBA, but it seems to me their are some basics being overlooked here. As the head of Biochem at Duke (his name escapes me) taught me regarding doing research, you can never hope to get the answer unless you ask the right question(s):
Is the print AJC financially “carrying” the online AJC?
Is Acess Atlanta a revenue producer for the online AJC? Are you getting PR money from these “Stars”, “bars (restaurants, etc.)” etc. that you’re giving valuable exposure to?
Have you considered charging for the online version by providing acess via a , say, $.05 sale of ID and passwords by just providing a mail-in envelope at supermarkets, drugstores etc.? (Seems I’ve heard it’s easier to get a penny from a million people than a million pennies from one.) You could still provide a tantalizing website displaying the days coverage but accessing the details isn’t possible without being a pd. subscriber.
I ask these questions because I can’t think of others that might solve the plight of the decline of print and rise of online. But surely there are those in the business who can.
I know the above online subscription scenario is possibly expensive to administer but there must be a workable way. And it could be automated. Surely it would be no more absurd than the current “Customer Service” fiasco of not only AJC but all companies: punch 2, enter your tax bill times the number of children in your family divided by the GNP, stay on the line your call is important to us… whom Bell South, your cell carrier’s revenue, the “workers” that seldom if ever solve a problem, etc.?
March 9th, 20092:21 pm
I think it’s pretty clear from most of the comments here that simply having equal numbers of “biased conservative” and “biased liberal” journalists will not make for an unbiased newspaper. As I said in my previous post, presenting biased extremes only enrages emotion and promotes polarization, not balance. Report the FACTS from both points of view, tone down the rhetoric, and let the people form their own opinions. Opinions formed out of emotion or repetitive talking points from the extremes are opinions that are ill conceived and do not serve us well.
March 9th, 20092:54 pm
Dear Ms. Wallace
It would seem as a 15 yr subscriber (yes I remember when the Journal and the Constitution were TWO separate papers) that naturally news will undergo changes. It would seem that your “readership” seems concerned with balanced reporting. I would settle for reporting. Lets review. I have PREPAID for a one year subscription for a 7 day delivered newspaper. In that time, it seems that few if any have noticed you have terminated nearly 70% of your reporters eliminating any actual REPORTING. What most have failed to realize is that you are pulling your “news” off the AP wire, which anyone can do for free. Since its just a simple matter of downloading a national story or two, you fill up the rest of Section A with ads, a few syndicated op eds, and call it a day.
Then to further eliminate the rest of the paper in the last 18 months
a. delete the Home and Garden section, replace with three columns on a weekday
b. eliminate the entire Friday weekend entertainment Atlanta section, try to slide that in as the GoGuide which contains nothing, eliminate the Living section
c. multiple iterations of the cartoon section hoping that most of us will give up and download those for free
d. Get rid of the metro sections for each region until its just a repeat of Section A, and a column for each county, oops wait, that was a problem, lets get a freebie volunteer to write in local news
e. fire all the local sports reporters, keep one on to cover all the pro sports, let the local papers–who by the way are fully funded on ads cover hs, college, and minor league, and rec sports carry on
f. Well by now the paper is so thin, the cat can carry it in, so lets start cutting stuff out of Sunday–combine several sections, lets cut Business, TV, Parade, the comics (again)
g. if you have not noticed, the ads in the paper are so thin, the Sun paper looks like the old Thurs paper. ARE you losing ad revenue yet. You could just throw the coupons in an envelope and compete with VAL-PAK and give up on “reporting” all together
Since you have cut the paper in half, am I getting a refund????
March 15th, 200911:31 am
My friends and I always enjoyed the bridge columns as they provided conversation and debate over new conventions, techniques, etc. Couldn’t you return bridge and eliminate one of the crossword puzzles in Living and Arts Sunday edition? The number of people playing bridge far outnumbers the number doing crossword puzzles.
April 3rd, 20091:38 pm
don’t care much for it
April 5th, 200911:18 am
Even after the republicans in DC failed to support their own ‘tax breaks for the wealthy will heal the economy’ plan, the Republicans in GA demonstrated their culture of greed by tacking on a last minute capital gains tax cut for their wealthiest supporters. Even more offensive is that this was tacked onto a piece of legislation that started as a responsible approach to giving tax cuts to businesses in exchange for hiring people. So, I’d like to hear our new conservative columnist address this issue. How will cutting huge amounts of income from the state budget help the bulk of Georgians make it through these tough times? How will we deal with the transporation issues that were not resolved by the legislature with less state income? There was no requirement for those who received tax cuts to keep that money in the state, and we have seen how the greed of America’s wealthiest citizens has led this country into financial disaster. More of the same for GA….?
April 5th, 200911:30 am
For Wingfield “a conservative columnist”:
1- I’d like to know what other country you visited that attracts so many immigrants it is a problem for the work situation? How much does this other country offer in aid once pregnant mothers cross the border, what kind of employment with no income tax, subsidized everything, almost mandatory translators,access to FREE health care, abundant food kitchens, etc.
2- What is wrong with saying that the US of America is the best country in the world?
3-Is the AJC a step down from the Wall Street Journal for you?
4-Your vanilla flavored or chicken soup response as to why you want the conservative columnist job at the AJC will not likely increase any conservative/libertarian readers for the print or internet version. It had nothing to evoke any support for any beliefs I hold true about democracy and our US Constitution.
5-I am not from the south like you. It is good your old southern friends where able to make your connections for you to get the AJC job….after all, you are equal in that premise…it is who you know (not what you can do).
Quite frankly you opening representation bored me.
April 5th, 20097:26 pm
sorry I typed so fast I realize the typos.
Now that I’ve seen your picture you fit the puzzle. The 30-somethings that use the internet for info. They are the still part of the me generation, not willing to “surrender freedoms for security” and certainly not into self reliance. Have you polled your target audience? They LOVE Obama, think $ for them grows on trees and OWED to them,they don’t know current events, personal money management,,,good luck. They are not the sophisticated readers for the WSJ.
April 6th, 20093:45 pm
Why has the AJC failed to reach its community??
April 6th, 20095:56 pm
Welcome to the AJC Kyle! I hope you’ll not toe the phoney (neo)conservative mantra/agenda, and embrace true (paleo)conservatism & the Old Right as extolled by patriots like Dr.Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan & Lew Rockwell. We need a Constitutionally adherent real (paleo)conservative voice at the AJC!
April 6th, 20097:33 pm
You can get rid of the MOM blog, the Get Schooled that usually has nothing to do what is going on and the Chatter. All are useless.
Porter R. Downey III
April 7th, 20098:37 am
I hope you know, that there can be a difference between a fiscal conservative and a social conservative. A true fiscal conservative is all about the money, and doesn’t really give a crap about the little guy. He may look to Ebenezer Scrooge (before his conversion) or Gordon Gecko as his role models. A social conservative such as many Bible believing Christians are, would not necessarily be a fiscal conservative, as we are called to “bear ye one another’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2). Would a Christian be against the government helping out the little guy, such as someone about to lose their home? No, especially if they had been duped by some unscrupulous lender or loan officer. In my humble opinion, if the powers that be had stepped in to stem the tide of foreclosures before it became a tsunami that battered the whole economy, we all wouldn’t be in this mess. To bail out Wall St after the catastrophe, and help the little guy after the fact, is like putting a new roof on a building with a rotten foundation. Or giving liquor to a drunk driver at the wheel, to steady his hands. Greed is not good, Gordon Gecko was no hero, and if this society does come to a real conversion, it is well on the road to hell in a hand basket.
April 7th, 20091:03 pm
In response to your economic stimulus editorial: Why should businesses be exempt from paying taxes? They consume our nation’s physical and economic infrastructure to an even greater extent than individuals do. Isn’t it fair for them to pay their share of what it takes to make our American economy go, just like the rest of us do. Moreover, since the majority of GDP results from individual consumers, wouldn’t it make more sense to incent THEM instead of businesses. Furthermore, businesses tax revenues are already disproportionately low. Although America’s coporate tax RATE may be high, what is actually COLLECTED, according to the US Dept of the Treasury, amounted to only 15% of government revenues in 2006 (and 2006 was the highest proportion in decades). We have already seen over the last ten years that when taxes are reduced and rules are relaxed on corporate America, they simply pocket the additional profits. This is one reason middle class real income has declined over the last decade. Reducing taxes on business is patently unfair and would likely be ineffective.
April 9th, 200910:26 am
Its not the look, its the price..
April 10th, 20092:45 pm
Mr. Wingfield, what are you thinking? Why come to a newspaper that rants against freedom & capitalism and subscribership in the tank? The only thing this paper is good for is wraping fish! People that read this paper are totally uninformed & naive. It never occurs to these readers that jobs are created by the rich not by poor people. Take my advice & go to Jacksonville FL to a good newspaper.
April 16th, 20091:21 am
You should feature photos from the Tea Party. You can find great ones at http://atlphotographers.com/
April 18th, 20091:42 pm
You said that “You don’t want blogs on papers”, is what readers have told the AJC.
Blogs and electronic media are not problems they are the new medium for how information is gathered and conveyed. The “paper” newspaper may be revamped ‘for now’, but the treeless only edition of the AJC and other newspapers is coming. You can slow it down, but you can not stop it from happening. If you abandon incorporating blogs and new media into the AJC you may have a few Luddite happy readers for now; but the paper will succumb with that outdated thinking.
It is a painful time for many journalists who for multiple reasons are being lost in the transition of the newspaper business model; but in the long-range view the landscape is abundant with opportunities for smaller and more agile news groups to gather and communicate more and better information quickly both locally and globally.
April 18th, 20092:12 pm
All I ask is reduce the reliance on AP feeds that we have all previously read online. We need topical, in-person coverage of city and state (remember middle Georgia is essentially paper-less, thanks to the birdcage liner they call the Telegraph). Be vital.
April 18th, 20093:04 pm
We live in an area in which you suspended home delivery. We tried mail subscribing but it’s woefully inconsistent. You could sell plenty of papers at a couple of designated rack sites near Interstates. Please consider it.
April 18th, 20093:54 pm
You write, “We believe unique local content makes us special. Therefore, even though we reduced the staff by about 90 people, we go forward with only five fewer news reporters. We have reduced our arts reporters, but we will be building a strong stable of free-lancers who are experts in the arts, including long-time AJC writers.”
It seems as though your actions don’t fully reflect these beliefs. The arts — especially the fine arts, and not just popular culture, which is more than amply reported on the Internet and in other media outlets — truly make Atlanta unique. Why, then, has the newspaper sidelined experienced critics who contribute importantly to the cultural dialogue in metro Atlanta to the sidelines, only (we fear) to be brushed off and dropped altogther after the dust settles following the April 28th launch of the redesigned paper? Moreover, what is the commitment of the editors who might hire the freelancers to keeping the arts central to serious journalism in Atlanta? This commitment has already been seen to be lacking. Critics write review and cover stories that the editors routinely decide not to print. Why is the AJC diminishing itself in this way, and making the newspaper even less interesting to read?
April 18th, 20094:27 pm
Change the way you attract subscribers. Harassing phone calls get VERY old!
April 18th, 20094:37 pm
Since you’re pulling out of my part of the state as of the 26th, it’s all completely irrelevant to me. A 50-year daily habit comes to an end from a newspaper that once proclaimed (at least the Journal did) “Covers Dixie like the dew.” And, Ms. Wallace, you can spin this any way you want to, but the reality is there for all to see. You may be kidding yourself, but you’re sure not kidding us … your former readers.
April 18th, 20095:10 pm
You do mention in your blog that you are also abandoning many long-time readers/subscribers by pulling out of counties, including ours(Barrow). In northwest Barrow, we are definitely in the Atlanta metro area, and after 5+ yrs. as a 7 day a week subscriber, we feel very upset by the cancellation of “our” paper. There really is no substitute for us.
April 18th, 20095:17 pm
The Sunday paper has been steadily shrinking content wise for some time prior to this latest round of cuts. Frankly, I don’t see how you can expect people to want to subscribe to the AJC when we are actually getting less now, then before. Movie reviews are from non-local sources, no box scores in sports section and in general the sports section is largely made up of AP stories, just to cite a fex examples.
How do you respond?
April 18th, 20095:18 pm
I repeatedly compare the headlines from NYTimes.com, WashingtonPost.com and ajc.com and I am repeatedly embarassed at how “back woods” Atlanta is. While the others were reporting N Korea launching a missile our headline had an Easter bunny and talking about Clayton county schools trying to get accreditation. You have room for only one headline and anything passed that is relegated to small print.
The only thing that I can say about all this is that Georgia’s educational system is 48th in the nation and the AJC reflects that. That’s not something I’m proud of.
April 18th, 20095:48 pm
Write with vigor and don’t apologize. You can’t be the conservative voice unless you have one. Use it.
John G. Kelley, Jr.
April 18th, 20096:11 pm
You can groom the newspaper all you want but if your sole journey is to support the liberal agenda and damn the conservative then get ready to let another 100 staff look for work elsewhere. The Atlanta newspaper has too long wallowed in reproter hatefulness toward President George Bush and everything else that looks like an elephant. Practice equality of news, well balanced, or practice reading your own want ads for another job.
April 18th, 20096:12 pm
Down to 200 – from around 500 a couple of years ago. Where are the resources to put out what was once a great paper but is now, and has been for several years, a shell of its former self? How many chiefs and how many Indians are among the 200 or so remaining?
April 18th, 20096:26 pm
If by “fair and balanced” you mean to remain the voice of everything “Liberal”, I am afraid you will continue to decline.
April 18th, 20096:35 pm
I have to say I really love the AJC. From my years living there in the early 2000’s it left such tremendous impression as a user friendly paper that was packed with content. I am in Philadelphia these days an read the AJC online every day. Will I ever be able to get an actual copy of the AJC here in Philly??? Do any news agencies carry it up here or can/will it ever be printed here?
Yearning for Ink on my hands.
April 18th, 20097:06 pm
Julia, with the changes created by the economic situation, what can we as readers expect from the AJC’s business coverage? The business section has been consolidated into main news but will the AJC still be committed to the high standards of business journalism? Can we expect to rely on the hard business news during the week and the softer features on the weekend? Thanks for your work.
April 18th, 20097:52 pm
I’ve been a subscriber for over 25 years. My favorite part of the paper was the arts coverage, which has been gradually reduced over the years. Now, with the art critic, classical music critic, and theatre critic gone, I see no reason to continue subscribing (the arts stories from the print edition frequently didn’t show up on the website).
By the way, why has the AJC long had the worst online arts page in the nation? If you don’t believe me, look at the online arts pages of the Denver Post, for example. A city of similar size, and they manage to do it right.
April 18th, 20098:14 pm
If it is true that Cynthia Tucker is no longer the editorial page editor, then I might consider subscribing to the AJC once again. After too many years of reading Tucker’s vitriolic columns, I stopped taking the paper although I buy it on the newsstand occasionally. If I see an editorial page with a better balance of opinions, rather than a page dominated by Tucker’s ultra liberal diatribes, then possibly I will consider renewing my subscription.
April 18th, 20099:21 pm
As a transplanted Georgian in Texas who closely follows events in Georgia via your Web edition, and as an old timer who remembers when English teachers would recommend the newspaper for examples of correct English usage, I wish that some experienced editor would spend some time editing the online articles before they are published. I have been appalled at the convoluted paragraph structure, confusing sentences, and just plain “typos” found on web sites that carry the banner of major metropolitan newspapers. No, it’s not just AJC, but I’m left to wonder whether anyone bothers to edit these online articles. I would like to see AJC lead us out of what seems to be a well established case of carelessness and inattention to details.
Thanks for your consideration of my plaint.
April 18th, 200910:17 pm
“Not to be overly proud, but it’s great work by so many people in the newsroom and throughout the company.”
Did you really write a sentence using the word “proud” right after sending that many good people packing? Wow, that took cojones for sure!
Unfortunately, your readers are much, much more intelligent than you seem to realize, and they were probably reading this phrase as, “On April 28, we’ll be showing you what our downsized staff can do. We realize there will be less intellectual and artistic coverage, but we’re hoping you won’t notice that amid all of the turmoil. We know that much of our news content will be done by freelancers, which is our way of saying “cheap labor” but again, we don’t think you’ll notice.
Addme To TheList
April 18th, 200910:21 pm
I have neither the time nor patience to collect all my thoughts about the AJC. Suffice to say, I have, overall, enjoyed the Journal (was my favorite) for many years but became overly antagonized when it joined the Constitution.
Having traveled heavily for neigh on to 43 years and having had the opportunity to read many, many great (and some not so great) newspapers in my career, I feel as though I can comment with some authority on this subject. I read papers from small towns to large cities.
As a “die-hard” conservative, I am obviously more pleased to read those tabloids and newspapers that veer toward that slant. I have, however, read opposing views and respect those as such – not agreeing but listening and trying to understand the writer’s views nonetheless.
In my over 2 million air miles flown I’ve also had ample time to pick up various newspapers and read them in-flight. Here, too, I tried to be fair to those I disagreed with. There were, for the most part, many, many more left-leaning than right-leaning but here I might add that even those lefties were somewhat balanced (well, as much as they tried to be)in their viewpoints and Op-Eds.
Having said all this I can tell you now, very truthfully, that there have been only a hand full of papers in the USA that have irritated, disgusted and thoroughly gotten under my skin (enough to raise my blood pressure to ELEVATED heights!), as much as your own Journal -Constitution.
This is not to say that I don’t read it, only that I love reading newspapers and there are some redeeming attributes with the AJC, e.g., sports, business, local news, etc.
You (the AJC personnel) have said over and over again that circulation has dropped and you can be sure that the AJC is leading the pack there. But, even with discontinuance of circulation areas, stopping various routes, and other shrinkage management, why do you suppose the AJC continues to lose readership particularly in an area that has added over 2,000,000 people in about 15 years? As the area has grown, your paper circulation shrinks! What could it be? Is there are reasons other than blaming the internet and changing reading habits?
I’ll pass this along as 2 possible reasons: Cynthia Tucker and Mike Lukovitch. In all my conversations over the past several years (in meetings of organizations I belong to) those two names, when brought up, solicit the greatest among of ire and angst than any I’ve ever been able to capture from a like/dislike standpoint.
It was rewarding to see that CT is finally leaving for DC but Mike is still here.
Finally: my subscription is up for renewal late this summer or early fall and I will join the thousands of others that honestly can’t take it any more. I guess Lukovitch finally did it for me; a person who alone made up my mind..
If only a great and wonderful city had a fair political cartoonist!
A Duluth Resident
April 18th, 200910:48 pm
I’m a longtime reader in Thomasville, although now my only real option for your current news is ajc.com. I miss the good old days of morning and afternoon editions, back to the exciting days of Ralph McGill and all the great AJC journalists who exposed the bad and extolled the good in our society. It made us better informed citizens and our state a better place in which to live. I’m 64 and will follow the AJC online, even on to the next medium, whatever that may be.
April 18th, 200911:09 pm
How can their be quality critical coverage of Arts events without Pierre Ruhe, Wendell Brock, Drew Jabarra, Catherine Fox, just to name a few? How will the public come to know what is happening in this communities artistic venues?
April 18th, 200911:36 pm
You must be a glutton for punishment. LOL!
W. Felix Smith Jr.
April 18th, 200911:55 pm
Some time ago, a wiseguy said that the function of newspapers is to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.”
Also, sometime ago, another wiseguy said that the function of newspapers is to print “all that’s fit to print.”
These nostrums aside, in reality the newspaper business has become a vehicle for the expression of the owner’s interests. It is true all throughout the media, whether it is newspapers, books, magazines, music, movies, television, or radio and television news or radio and television programming. What appears in front of your face or in your ears is a product that is designed to 1) compel you, and 2) further the owner’s interest.
Back in the arely 1980’s, Ben Bagdikian, a former associate editor for the Washington Post, wrote a book called the “Media Monopoly.” Some of the critics of the time jeered at the very prospect, because his thesis included 50 news organizations. 50! But as Bagdikian aptly noted, they were tied together in very peculiar ways, not the least of which was looking out for Number One.
Now that number has shrunk down to 6. And as far as I can tell the public isn’t any wiser today than they were when Bagdikian published the first edition of his book. Most of the public is eager to embrace whatever is put before them. There are a number of psychological studies that make this very point–repetition in the public’s eye equals verification.
I must now say that it should be in the owner’s interest to see that the very country in which these activities take place continues to be a “going concern.” The very economic forces which have caused this newspaper to shrink like a raisin in the sun will also cause this country to wither, and die.
This is a real “do or die” moment.
April 19th, 20091:37 am
The removal of Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman from the AJC would inspire me to re-subscribe after an approximately ten year hiatus to the newspaper that once covered “Dixie Like Dew” . . . You folks have never accepted the message of your readers! Really . . . I remember when you could travel in any direction from Atlanta for a day and find an Atlanta paper prominently displayed at a local newsstand. Unfortunately, those days are gone with the wind. A reality check for the Cox sisters thirty years ago would have made a lot of difference in today’s newspaper subscriptions.
Loudly announced to potential Atlanta readers, letting Ms. Tucker know that she best find her way in DC for a regular CNN TV gig or something with the Short Greek for Sunday Morning and telling Mr Bookman to brush up on his landscaping skills just might start a subscription resurgence. Has this crossed your mind?
By the way, when you made your news room culls, hopefully, you made note of the news writers that dug deeper for the most accurate, concise, and timely story letting the marginal writers go. Marginal writers . . . You know, the ones that put a lot of words in a story but have nothing factual to say and leave the reader wondering what he read?
By the way, have you figured out that a timely and accurate AJC website is a winning website?
One last note . . . For the latest in Atlanta business news, I go to The Atlanta Business Chronicle. What does that say about the AJC?
James Williams aka griftdrift
April 19th, 20091:38 am
Given the reaction of the online community as well as the rise of such local websites as inDecatur and DecaturMetro while the AJC continued to close local bureaus, do you regret stating the following in 2007?
“Online, we will show that we know Atlanta best, providing superlative news and information and becoming the preferred medium for connecting local communities”
April 19th, 20092:19 am
Fair and balanced? Yes. That is a goal for which *every* entity that claims to be a “news source” should strive. But I encourage the AJC to look with great skepticism at those whose perspective is skewed toward a particular end of the political spectrum while complaining that the AJC is overly influenced by the opposite end of the political spectrum. Simply put, it is impossible to prove a negative and the more the AJC tries to prove that it is not partisan in its reporting, the less it succeeds in that proof. Worse yet, such attempts to prove impartiality only serve to assure the complainants of the legitimacy of their claim. They are never going to buy the AJC and trying for that business is a fools errand.
April 19th, 20092:53 am
I have been a long time 7-day a week subscriber to the Atlanta Journal and then the AJC. I have lived in Atlanta all of my life and come from a family that has always subscribed to the Atlanta papers. We have all become increasingly disappointed in the quality received against rising cost of the AJC. The widely recognized left-wing liberal bent espoused by the paper in general does not and will not play well to your audience. That fact that you are just now figuring that out says something about the state in which you find your business. The AJC would like for us to believe that all of its misery is due to the economic climate and rise of the internet as an alternative news source. You take unrepresentative surveys & then self-congratulate. Stop fooling yourselves; the decline in your business says it all. If the the AJC was indeed fair in its reporting and a good value for dollar spent, your subscription base would not have fallen so precipitously regardless of the internet or recession. I have had as much of the glory of diversity, the advantage of illegal immigrants, and the deification of Mr. Obama as I can stand. I would also remind you that when I purchased my subscription to this paper, I was buying the TV Week booklet (yes, more people use it that your faulty survey allows), the separate business section, more than 3 pages of sports, and comics that were large enough to read without a magnifying glass. I did not purchase this sorry rag that it has become. Try as you might every time you cut or distort some additional feature to the point of unrecognition, there isn’t enough lipstick to put on this pig. The more you self-annihilate, the more circulation you will lose and the demise of the AJC will become a self-fulfilling prophesy. The only way to save it is for you to wake up and take responsibility for ruining this paper and reverse course. While you’re at it – honesty with your readers rather than deception and excuses for giving them less and less would be a good way to start.
April 19th, 20095:41 am
Fair and Balanced!!! Thank you Ms. Wallace. May the AJC, have much success.
April 19th, 20096:36 am
As an online reader I would like to see columns such as “TAKE TO TASK” and “TECHNOBUDDY” have their title first. Many times the subject line does not reveal who wrote it or the subject matter.
April 19th, 20096:55 am
I agree with the writer who asked that you place paper racks along interstate routes; so many people in unserved areas were left out when the AJC stopped delivery. It still is a great newspaper, compared to having no newspaper at all.
April 19th, 20097:25 am
In all of President Bush’s eight years as our President, I don’t remember Jay Bookman applauding even a single thing that, in his opinion, he did right … like keeping us safe from more terrorist attacks. And as for Mike Lukovitch …. his behavior was shameful; through his medium, he was 100% consistent with his insulting, hateful cartoons of our President, and in doing so also insulted the millions of Americans who elected and re-elected him. There’s been NOTHING fair and balanced coming from these two in the AJC.
April 19th, 20097:35 am
I read everything Cynthia Tucker writes and have been a fan of hers for many years. I will miss her a lot.
April 19th, 20097:45 am
If all this great reporting and great content is so desirable and sellable, why haven’t you been doing it? If a reduced work force can accomplish it, why haven’t you achieved it? If the reduced work force is so dedicated, why weren’t you dedicated before? If you had to “listen” to readers to find your way forward with the same strategy and tactics newspapers have used for decades, why weren’t you doing it before? And the largest newsroom “in Atlanta”? Whoa, hold those ambitions. This has the whiff of a deathbed conversion.
April 19th, 20097:53 am
I have two hopes for these changes.
I hope your stated intentions are sincere and not just lip service. (Sincerity and commitment have been grossly lacking in the 3 to 5 previous declaration of meaningful changes.)
I hope that you or someone with influence can actually recognize balance when you read it. Balance in political news and commentary. Also balance in regional news and commentary. (i.e. Atlanta is the center of our little universe, and as such is critical to our success.) But it is not the only important location in that universe. (The surrounding areas have long been equally important it our success.)
April 19th, 20098:01 am
One of the things that encourages loyalty is familiarity. If the list published in Creative Loafing is correct, some of the AJC’s best and brightest are leaving. I believe that will hurt reader loyalty. Please do not cut Ken Thomas’ column. The AJC’s many readers who are interested in genealogy rely on his column. It is difficult to find on the Web site.
April 19th, 20098:06 am
SO,the AJC is going to become nothing but a print version of FOX News,I will NEVER read the OP-ED page again and hope this rag dies the slow and painful death it so richly deserves! Ms. Tucker was the only columnist I read.Fair and balanced!? Right-wing boot lickers is more like it? Dear God! Ralph McGill must be turning in his grave right now!!
April 19th, 20098:07 am
As one who treasures the historic role newspapers have played in this country and as one who appreciates the concept of “newspaper” in general, I am not at all happy to see the changes that will be forthcoming. At the same time, the social, cultural, and economic realities of the 21st Century, post-modern world mandate that these changes take place. I applaud AJC for approaching the task with a concerted plan and for making a genuine effort to integrate the wishes of the largest possible number of readers. That being said, I suspect that by the time my children are my age, the traditional paper and print newspapers will be a memory and electronic media…Internet or otherwise…will rule the day.
April 19th, 20098:14 am
The AJC Online could be much improved as as NEWS site if you would feature more news and less celebrity fluff and garbage “Above the Fold.” Your paper would do well to return to the practice of reporting the news, not spinning it and adding a political bent, as many others here have pointed out. I would also hope you retain at least one copy editor who has received good training in English grammar, as your subject/verb usage is often flawed. Fewer columns, and so called “points of view” should be replaced with factual reporting. Also, do no leave potentially sensational news topic to coverage by photo caption alone. That doesn’t tell the story behind the photos (e.g. protestors at the court house picketing foreclosure sales. Well, why did they picket? Why didn’t they pay their mortgage instead??)
As ANYBODY can blog and broadcast via YouTube these days – legitimate news vehicles MUST DEMAND accuracy, clarity, and balanced reporting of the whole truth. Or what’s the point???
April 19th, 20098:25 am
The AJC has a long, long history of being “unfair and unbalanced”. I never understood that strategy because with such a liberal leaning newspaper you were purposely offending those with opposite views (independents included) and in Atlanta and surrounding areas, that’s 50% of the people at least you have driven from your readership in order to push your established liberal leaning views.
Now we are supposed to believe that you have left that agenda behind? I don’t think you can truly change your deep held commitment to liberal journalism, though removing Cynthia Tucker is a good first start.
Time will tell.
April 19th, 20098:33 am
Maybe you are finally getting the big picture! People are sick and tired of you left wing liberal fish wrapper. Thank goodness Tucker and Bookman are departing. Their arrogance of late has been a bit much and played a major role in canceling our subcription of 30 years. There are so many more places to get the news these days!
April 19th, 20098:42 am
“We heard that you want a newsy and fast-paced newspaper during the week and you’ll get that. We heard you want a more relaxing and rewarding experience on Sunday and you’ll get that. It’s a new look, a new nameplate (one for Sunday and one for daily). You want more watchdog coverage, and we’re providing it. You want a newspaper that’s easy to scan to find the things on which you want to spend time. We’re doing that.”
This sounds eerily familiar – am I about to find an ATL version of the MacPaper (USA Today) laying on my driveway (or, usually, in the flower boxes at my mailbox) every morning? If so, count me among the 40+ year readers of the AJC that will discontinue my subscription. While I do find a few of Luckovich’s efforts to be in poor taste, I feel we are fourtunate to have him in town. While a student at UGA in the ’70s, I looked forward to reading the paper every morning while hanging out at Memorial Hall, sitting on a bus, etc. It is a shame that will no longer be possible for my kids.
April 19th, 20098:45 am
You have a difficult challenge. Publishing is dead. Content is king. Classifieds have gone to Craigslist. Your market is more conservative than the AJC has been for decades. There is a vocal minority in Atlanta who will scream loudly if your coverage does not tilt far left. You are no longer the arbiter of what actually happed, the communal gathering place. The AJC no longer has the credibility with the public that advertisers used to crave. Your army is about 40% of what it was.
In all candor, we are actually on your side. We want a good newspaper in Atlanta and don’t wish ill to the employees of the AJC. But we want a change.
April 19th, 20098:53 am
Ms Wallace, I appreciate your communication and believe the AJC will be successful. With all the sources of online information, I do read “hard copy” papers less,but that doesn’t reflect on the AJC. It also impacts my readership of NYT, WSJ, Time,et.al Please do not listen to neanderthals who used your communication to post one more ignorant conservative rant about Cynthia and Mike. By the way, I believe CT and ML are both rising stars on our national scene. They’ve been consistently recognized. What I do hate read– the angry, irrational (and often racist) posts from people like Darryl and Nancy Dempsey who have chosen to make personal insults about some of your best people. That kind of meanness makes me uneasy. Still, I have high hopes for Georgia given the results of the last close election.
I have subscribed to the AJC for the last 30 years and plan to continue to do so as long as it exists and I can afford the subscription. A free press is critical to our freedom– and that includes opinions that I may not agree with like those of Jim Wooten. Long live the AJC! Long live Cynthia! Long live Mike and Jay! Down with intolerance and closed minds! My only request: please edit the blog comments faster to remove reader posts that are blatantly racist or obscene. Those kind of comments have no place in civil,intelligent discourse.
Voice of Reason #1
April 19th, 20098:54 am
I LOVE Mike Luckovitch; his cartoons are spot-on. I like that the AJC is not so hard right-wing; it’s time this country move forward and be more progressive in thought and deed. But I miss the old style of the AJC–mainly when it was thicker–and contained more info than now. As with books, I fear all this techno stuff is bringing an end to print–books and newspapers as we’ve known them. Try to hang in there, Julia.
April 19th, 20099:00 am
National news is on the web when it happens, as are sports. The paper needs to report local and regional events in depth in an unbiased way, unlike CT’s practice. Eliminating Pierre and arts reporting is NOT GOOD and detracts from local news reporting. Concentrate on those things that are not fully covered elsewhere instantly.
I don’t envy your task but I think one key to future success is for the AJC, still a big company, to think like a small one. With the corporate reigns tied to you, this in itself may be a difficult road to stay on. All too often, what the AJC does not report speaks louder to me than what it does include. I was disappointed that when the recent debate on cross-ownership in media was big news on the Internet, I could find no mention of it in the AJC’s pages. I would view such topics not as something to be avoided but as an opportunity to break from the pack of large media outlets and shine an open, honest and informed light on your own profession. This would be a central part in reinventing your business.
April 19th, 20099:07 am
I hope that the improvements to the AJC will not stop with the print edition. The online edition is very important to those of us in the outlying communities that no longer have home delivery. The online edition needs to be kept up-to-date. The Vent is a good example. It has not been updated since Friday.
Also, coverage of the counties north of the metro area is sorely lacking unless something totally stupid or ghastly occurs.
April 19th, 20099:08 am
I have been a reader of this newspaper since I was a kid and now I’m 56. Most of my life I have lived in Coffee Co and was disapointed when we could no longer get the print edition. This paper has made Ga a better state so I view fair and balanced as a Fox code word.If this paper is turning right let me go vomit.
April 19th, 20099:13 am
Glad to see the AJC is moving forward to survive in these changing times. Maybe it’s also time for the AJC to become the GJC (Georgia Journal Constitution) & become a state paper instead of just an Atlanta local paper. For the same reasons the AJC is struggling, I’m sure most, if not all of the newspapers in the state are also struggling. The small newspaper in the south Georgia town where I live just isn’t what it used to be. Why not consolodate all the newspapers in the state into the GJC, take on some of their staffs & facilities & become a state-wide publication? Maybe do regional editions instead of purely local ones. Just a thought because I think the days are numbered for small, home-town papers.
I can remember taking a tour of the AJC newsroom a couple of years ago and when we stopped by the “national desk,” I noticed a photo of President Bush with his eyes poked out and he was made to look like a cartoon character from Mad. That was all the proof I needed to realize what I had known for years. The AJC was and has been arrogant and unapologetic for their liberal leanings throughout the years – only to use the excuse that it was never in the reporting, just on the opinion pages. I wonder if that picture of President Bush is still sitting on someone’s desk, OUTSIDE of the editorial department. Want to be relevant? Too late. I have more choices now. But I do wish the writers and others well. I hate to see so many people lose their jobs.
Julia Wallace, Editor
April 19th, 20099:14 am
Good morning. Answers to some of the questions:
Tad asks about our business coverage. We understand that Atlanta is a business town and business coverage is an important part of what we provide. We still have a strong line-up of business writers. Thomas Oliver is retiring, but he will continue to write his Sunday column. Long-time business writer and editor Henry Unger will be our new columnist. He has a deep understanding of how Atlanta works. On the arts front, we will have fewer full-time writers. Veteran editor and reporter Howard Pousner will be covering cultural institutions. And former arts writer and editor Tom Sabulis is building a network of free-lancers, including long-time AJC staffers. He’ll be looking for people with deep expertise in a variety of arts topics. If you have suggestions, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 19th, 20099:29 am
“And former arts writer and editor Tom Sabulis is building a network of free-lancers, including long-time AJC staffers. He’ll be looking for people with deep expertise in a variety of arts topics. If you have suggestions, email him at email@example.com.”
What is the AJC’s commitment to covering Arts Openings around town. Will there be a critic at the opening of Jacques Brel on April 22nd at the Alliance Theatre, freelance or staff?
April 19th, 20099:54 am
I like having a newspaper but where I am (Suwanee), I struggle to get significant relevance out of the AJC for where I live. Any chance of AJC assisting with a small weekly paper for my area? That local focus coupled with some of the more in-depth articles from the core AJC product on regional and national issues would be nice.
April 19th, 20099:56 am
Would be great if you could find a way to balance liberal/conservative coverage so that each side could be well-represented (the “She Said/She Said” piece was grossly insufficient and seemed like mere lip-service in addressing a significant, pressing need for balance).
It’s been about 15 years since I was a subscriber. I’m interested to see what April 28th will bring!
April 19th, 200910:17 am
Even a moderate would agree that Luckovich’s cartoons are rancid, hateful, spiteful, and nasty. And those describe when he’s not talking about republicans. Then he’s even worse. But I stopped my Sunday-only subscription when it became utterly apparent that the paper was catering to high school sports fans, GTech and Bulldog fans, or African Americans. Beyond that core constituency, the rest don’t matter. I read the Boston Globe online every day. I’m a republican and that paper is ultra liberal. But it’s not purposely exclusionary and shamefully parochial. The AJC’s sports page is a joke, it’s token conservative, Jim Wooten, was an embarrassment, and its addiction to anything local at the expense of important world events made it a paper from which I removed the adds then tossed in the recycling bin. Note: a good friend of mine who works at the AJC has told me it’s a conscious choice who the paper caters to. Well, when the 20-35-year-old demographic is your market, a demographic addicted to Hollywood style news and cyber relationships, you reap what you sow. Good riddance, AJC.
April 19th, 200910:30 am
A midwest transplant, I have been a AJC subscriber for 28 years. I have traveled extensively for business and pleasure, and have read 100’s of local papers (big and small). The AJC has had it’s ups and downs concerning coverage of stories that interest me over the years. I have been PO’d at Mike Far Left-kovitch (a truly dishonest political cartoonist) for years, but at least in recent years you have published intelligent conservative writers such as Thomas Sowell (and others) to offset your overall liberal bias. Comparing your paper to the others that I have read and for the size of the metro area you cover, where it has been overwhelmingly lacking is in the Sports section. It had been just bad before but now it is rock bottom. Same with your Business section, but fortunately I also read the WSJ, but have no alternative for local sports that you have abandoned (there is more to local sports than the pro teams and 2 local colleges).
Why in the world would you use the words “fair and balanced” when they have become code words for Fox News’ pandering to the right? Just wanted to let you know that I will be canceling my subscription. I simply am not interested in contributing over $160 a year to people who have decided to tell their readers what they want to hear whether or not it reflects the reality of the world.
April 19th, 200910:31 am
What is the status of sports columnists? I know that Tony Barnhart took a buyout last year but is now back with the AJC with his blog. What is the story there? It was a HUGE mistake by you guys to offer this to the best college football writer in the nation in a city that breathes the sport every day of the year….I also read that Terrance Moore was offered a buyout (which was long overdue as I can’t believe the AJC approves his columns and the content of them…)
April 19th, 200910:38 am
Beginning in May, we will have two general sports columnists, Mark Bradley and Jeff Schultz. Terence Moore is one of the staffers who took the buyout. Terence began writing his column in 1985. Here’s what he says about how he approached it: ,”My objective was to get people to think, not to agree or disagree, just to get people to think.”
April 19th, 200910:39 am
In answer to T….companies don’t pay taxes, individuals do. When corporate taxes are raised the increase is passed onto the consumer of their products through price increases.
April 19th, 200910:42 am
Dear Ms. Wallace -
I think it’s all so much hooey. I actually think it’s so much more than that, but this is a family paper.
1. Copy editing has fallen by the wayside.
2. You rely too heavily on news feeds.
3. Everybody knows that a newspaper should be neutral. The JC hasn’t been neutral in years.
4. It seems counter-intuitive to fire (and isn’t that what a lay-off really is?) the very people who cover the local news of a newspaper that suddenly wants to be more, er, local.
5. A lot of these people who are commenting want to be able to buy the paper state-wide.
6. Mark Slockett? Really? He was laid off just before being eligible for full retirement benefits?
Give the people what they want, Ms. Wallace.
April 19th, 200910:50 am
Do you really think your core readers care about what T.I. and Lil’ Wayne are doing? Neal Boortz was 100% correct when he labeled the AJC the “largest hip-hop newspaper in the country.”
April 19th, 200910:51 am
The reason the AJC sucks, honestly, is because it is written to be read by the hardly-literate. Far too often I’ve notice grammatical and spelling errors in news stories. That’s embarrassing for the newspaper in the nation’s 8th largest media market. I won’t even comment on the left-wing bias of the newspaper.
Also, do we really need a Faith and Values section of a newspaper? Could you see a real paper doing this?
April 19th, 200911:08 am
Sixty response to you Ms. Wallace and TWO responses?
That’s NOT engaging your audience and is symptomatic of the problems the AJC print edition has and is suffering from.
April 19th, 200911:10 am
You’re nothing but a bunch of liberals, sweating because the free market has decided it’s time for you to go. I personally cannot wait for you freeloading Democrats to all be given the boot and padlock the doors to the AJC shut forver, where you can finally do what you were meant to do: clean toilets and wash dishes.
April 19th, 200911:29 am
We probably all have notions of how to make the AJC more viable. Here are mine and they’re probably worth what I’m charging.
1. Begin to charge to get online content (print subscribers would get a free online subscription). I know the reasons for free access (build numbers, get more online advertising). But it doesn’t work. Instead, you’re giving us a choice … get the content free, or pay to get it. When you also consider that online has additional advantages – including more up-to-date news … for instance scores of games played too late on the West Coast to make the print edition … you’re creating a real disincentive to subscribe to the print edition (you’re sure not alone, I realize that’s how it’s been done, but I’ve also noticed that it isn’t working for any newspaper).
2. Paired with No. 1, emphasize local news, even at the expense of national and world news. There are so many outlets for national and world news but not so for local. Use the remaining horsepower you have to own the local news franchise. You can easily – and already do – overpower what’s available from wires, TV, etc. And – if the online service is paid subscription only – you aren’t eatting your young.
3. Create and take advantage of more personalities … just as is true for TV and radio, names and a unique viewpoint create a draw. For instance, a Grizzard clone would be a big help. (OK, I realize that they broke the mold with him, but there are people who could do a credible job of creating that sort of an audience).
I’m very much rooting for the AJC, especially the print version. It’s one of those things that we would all miss (even those who complain) if it was gone. And if the news business goes online only, I’m pretty sure that the revenues from that wouldn’t support a large news gathering operation.
Take care of your customers – for instance, my Sunday paper is routinely delivered late these days. I remember – when I was in the corporate world – hearing something that seemed overly simple and not very smart:
“Your best customers are your customers.”
It took me a long time to realize how right that is and how important. Any business’ strength is from those who have already raised their hands and said they want the product. You have to take care of them first. My sense is that – instead – newspapers in general have bent over backwards to go after people who wouldn’t read the newspaper even if it was delivered to their bed along with breakfast.
I do not think the ‘too liberal’ ‘too conservative’ thing is a huge deal. I know there’s a lot of noise from both sides, but these are the people who probably will still read the paper. It’s the folks who don’t write in, who aren’t involved at all, that are at risk.
April 19th, 200911:31 am
I have had to start engaging in local news outlets outside of the AJC to get quality news outside of the metro area. I’ve also had to take up the slack writing technology articles for local papers due to the inadequacy of Technoboob or is that “Technobuddy”? Did he get bought out? Fact is the paper has become a phenom in weak brained material focusing on junk rather than the stories of the day. Considering how much of a failure the legislative session is, I am surprised you haven’t put the bully pulpit against the leadership.
The paper has been increasingly sliding toward a demonic demise that shows how out of touch the paper has become. It seems the Macon Telegraph among others has been taking up the slack.That definately shows the slide of the paper. I personally believe the demise of the paper started in 1993 with the death of Lewis Grizzard and the inadequacy of the paper to get a proper replacement. We do not need “Atlanta Today” paper, we need the paper to develop a network not a bureau reporters and resources that give insight on politics, education and important issues not “Momania” I keep seeing you lamenting the Georgia Trauma network, but I never seen or heard a story about how a incident happens, life flight is called for and all the other details that make up this thin thread of a network. Maybe more information than just lamenting Grady as a Level One Trauma Center. (Erlanger is as well though it’s in Chattanooga) that might get more people interested as well as the cost ($12,000) and looking at solutions to reduce cost or get that cost shared. It’s half filled stories that make one wonders what’s going on down at the AJC.
April 19th, 200911:33 am
as an atlanta resident (note:atlanta, not the suburbs), I greatly enjoy the ajc print and online edition… dont let the brainwashed right wingers of the suburbs determine the content of the paper… business section may be lacking sometimes but sports and metro are on point…
April 19th, 200911:35 am
A few clarifications:
* Yes, we are covering Jacques Brel at the Alliance. Pierre Ruhe will be there.
* We have continued to grow our audience. About two-thirds of people in metro Atlanta read the newspaper or ajc.com at least once a week.
* Unfortunately, we needed to reduce the size of the newsroom by one-third because of financial challenges. Most of that reduction was accomplished by voluntary separations, but we had to do some involuntary separations. None of them were easy. All the folks had served the company well — some for a very long time. However, no one who was laid off within “months” of reaching retirement. All were more than a year away.
* The pull-back of circulation in the state has been difficult. I’ve heard from so many readers about how much they miss the newspaper every day. Unfortunately, the costs were too high to continue. I wish we could have figured out a way to make that circulation profitable. Unfortunately, we couldn’t. We are, however, offering an electronic version of the newspaper in those areas
JH in Roswell
April 19th, 200911:41 am
I haven’t been a fan of the AJC in a long time. Its liberal bias has forced many to turn to other more respectable news sources. I am glad C. Tucker (goodbye wicked witch of the west) is leaving and that the hip/hop arts editor (for example) will be out as well as other overtly liberal contributors, editors, and sections of the AJC.
I hope the AJC puts on a new face and focuses on real news and delivery of its coverage in an unbiased manner. I hope attention to correct grammar is also given to printed material as the literacy level of the AJC seems to have dropped to that of the 7th grade. I’ve seen other comments about the sports section only catering to high school, UGA and GT. I’m perfectly fine with this and if the transplants to GA don’t like that please consider subscribing to your own hometown paper. Why should the AJC provide coverage of every school followed by those not native to the area?
I hope the AJC succeeds in its attempt to restructure itself. I know for certain that Atlanta struggles without a credible newspaper and what we’ve had here for a long time has been a disservice to our city and our state. Good luck AJC.
April 19th, 200911:42 am
Thank you for the opportunity to engage in a conversation with the Editorial Staff from your loyal readers & subscibers. I hope as the day goes on you will make more of a concerted effort to converse with us, however.
I’m here, as a long-time reader & Sunday subscriber, to express my displeasure for what has happened specifically to the Sports section as of late. I’ve long since stopped reading your local, national, & international “news” coverage because of your leftist slant & obvious agenda. However, I’ve reamined a reader & supporter ONLY because of the Sports coverage. I was raised on the incredible writing of the late, great Lewis Grizzard and will always be grateful to the AJC for its continued support and coverage of all Georgia Collegiate & Professional sports. I am a UGA graduate and season ticket holder – let me put that out there & make it abundantly clear to which Team my loyalty lies.
I recently learned of the demotion, if you will, of your BEST Writer Michael Carvell. I’m truly shocked and so very disappointed. Since Michael’s presence in Collegiate Recruiting, your coverage has been bar none BETTER than those of the paid services, Rivals & Scout! His page is my first click every morning and his stories kept many of us interested & excited about incoming student-athletes during the very long, and often boring, offseason of college football. His human-interest pieces on these student athletes are outstanding and something I’d NEVER read before in the AJC. Most importantly, his coverage doesn’t have the familiar snarky & biased tone of Schultz, Bradley, Bisher, & Moore. He reports the facts, covers athletes being recruited by all Colleges & Universities in our surrounding area (not just the state of Georgia) and are never biased. In addition, its been so refreshing to read up-to-the-minute content like that of a beat writer! He’s scooped the Athens Banner Herald & even David Hale on numerous occasions, not to mention the writers from Rivals & Scout. That is most certainly not what we are accustomed to here unfortunately. But what has impressed me the most was his outreach to fans of college football all across the south. He’s always been engaging in his web content, is very active with AJC Sports readers on twitter, on the blogs, etc. He sought our opinions, went above & beyond to meet our expectations for content, and reached out to his readers. I’ve NEVER seen that here and its been a great & much needed change!
So for those reasons (and many more quite frankly) I’m at a loss for why you’d make the tragic mistake of removing him for reporting on college sports recruiting! He’s the best you’ve ever had (leaps & bounds above Towers & Tucker) and it would be a tremendous mistake on your part to remove his content. I can promise you I most certainly will not be back nor will I continue to support a paper who so obviously has very little repect for their readers’ wishes. I implore you to dig a little deeper & listen to your readers about Michael Carvell’s content. We don’t want to lose his talent and you, quite frankly, can’t afford to further alienate your readers & advertisers.
Rick in Duluth
April 19th, 200911:50 am
If Cynthia Tucker is gone, I may come back and subscribe. She and Terrence Moore were the 2 main reasons I stopped my paper. The AJC became too liberal and became a voice for the liberal politics of the City of Atlanta instead on the other 4 million people that live in the metropolitan area. When you ignore the suburbs, where the vast majority of us live, you lose the majority of your subscribers.
If Cynthia is truly gone, I will give the new paper a try by picking it up a couple of times at a newstand. If the liberal tendencies of the past are gone, I may consider subscibing agaion.
April 19th, 200911:56 am
I think your missing the point, clamming up is going to create more of a demise than it is if not spreading. What I advocate is a network of free lance, or finding ways to work with Otis Brumby/Appen and other papers to form an alliance, a state version of the Associated Press, but deals more with the insights. What is Eric Johnson saying in Savannah or Austin Scott in Tifton. The fact is the paper can either be the newspaper of the capital city (the state) or it can go to hell and join the hip hop tabloid of half crazed marginal j-school students. I think going isolated and cold is the death knell of the paper, You killed yourself with moralistic liberals that tornent us with diatribe that would only make Joe Lowery proud. Instead of striking the balance and picking up the pieces, the AJC has become a old spinster locked up in a cave that refuses to innovate and therefore die a cold cruel death of fate, for unwillingness to push the envelope.
Oh yeah, and there are stores banding together to buy or obtain the ajc in bulk and sending them into the “blacked out” areas because of the anger and disenfranchisement of your readers outside of the fashionable metro areas. Also, I noticed Chattanooga press has also taken over your spaces that you have abandoned. So for your shortsightedness there are people taking advantage and exploiting even if it’s your brethren in the paper business.
April 19th, 200912:07 pm
I’ve read the blogs coming to you this morning – they are right on it Ms. Wallace – now it’s up to you! The only other thing I would like to add is: the comic section stinks – personally, whoever thought up the latest configuration, I hope they took an “early out” too! BTW Mr. Ruhe, why don’t you ever tell us about Theatrical Outfit productions – they are very good – check ‘em out sometime!
April 19th, 200912:08 pm
I am still in shock that the AJC will stop having newspapers in Athens-Clarke County. I subscribed to the AJC for more than 20 years, until it stopped delivery to my neighbor just outside of Athens. I then tried to subscribe at work Monday-Friday, but that is not an option, at least as I was told by the subscription department. Shortley therefter it was announced that no AJC’s would be distributed to Athens, which is just 70 miles from ATL and the home to UGA, Georgia’s flagship university. It is ironic that I will be able to buy a New York Times in Athens, but not the AJC. It makes no sense to me.
April 19th, 200912:09 pm
Your article in today’s paper regarding changes being made was most interesting. While I realize the industry is changing to meet various demands, I would have preferred that the customer service center remain in this area rather than moving it to the Philippines. With Georgia’s unemployment rate among the nation’s highest, was moving customer service to a country on the other side of the world that much more cost effective? And would readers who live in Atlanta and the surrounding area want to call another country regarding delivery in their own neighborhoods? I think not. After having several delivery problems myself and making several calls to the new service center, I am not impressed. I realize the employees are learning and may in fact do a satisfactory job at some point; but hiring Georgia residents who already know this area and who need employment would have been a preferable choice. The AJC should take a cue from one of Delta’s latest decisions and move its customer services back to America. If the AJC truly wants to remain a viable newspaper, it must keep customers happy. In this economy, sending jobs overseas and having less customer service does not make for happy customers.
April 19th, 200912:17 pm
As a former AJC employee I can tell the readers their main goal is to make money. Advertising is where their heart is, not on providing the best news coverage. The AJC believes since it is the main source of print news in the area they can publish whatever they would like and readers have no other option so they have to buy the AJC. We see how that’s working. Newspapers are more concerned with winning Pulitzer’s than providing what the readers actually want. They are losing over $1,000,000 per week so please do not believe for one minute they are concerned about readership. They are making the changes to try to draw in more advertisers. These “lay-offs, buy-outs” are eliminations of staff, nothing more, nothing less. They want less people to do the same amount of work with the same amount of pay. So do not be confused as to why the content is crap, rushed and full of grammatical errors. They would rather get less talented folks who will work for hardly nothing to make as much money as they can. After all Cox is a for profit business, interested first in bottom line, customers second.
April 19th, 200912:20 pm
I want to make one final point. I understand the AJC is a business, and has to make business decisions based on economic trends. However, I also feel that being “The Newspaper of the Capital City” that the paper has a responsibility not just for local coverage but regional and state coverage. The paper has kind of been shirking that responsibility for a long time because of the “fashionableness” and that it didn’t fit the “Liberal Mantra” of I gotta a axe to grind and here’s my avenue.
Because the paper has been “winging it” for so long, it’s credibility factor has been marginalized, therefore that’s a preeminent cause of subscriber shrinkage. For me about the only thing worth reading in the paper is the Fry’s Electronics ads. So now instead of correcting the misguided tilt of the hand, the paper is shrinking into a a creature of it’s former self and now something not much more than the Marietta Daily Journal. a precipice fall I might add. I’m not encouraging the continued $1 million dollars a week losses. I am however suggesting a reinvent of the paper so that it may be something of an honor to read. Not having obscenities hurled due to it’s consistent trashy demeanor. I want newspapers to survive, but I also believe that newspapers have civic and social obligations that has somehow fallen down the cracks of expediency, or to fill some social mantle of GOD help us all what did that crackpot Cynthia Tucker have to say again.
April 19th, 200912:31 pm
Thank you, Julia, for your honesty and willingness to speak to your readers today about a subject that many have unfortunately experienced first-hand. It’s hard to see good friends let go. I personally think that the reported stories and writing styles of the AJC are not overly slanted one way or the other, and that they are intact and complete. There are other city newspapers that barely cover their stories, where all of the information is summed up in a catchy title. This is not the case with the AJC. Thank you!
April 19th, 200912:43 pm
Well Julia, I’ll give you an ‘E’ for effort on this but in the vast scheme of things nothing is really going to change at AJC…you all have been for years the liberal ‘mouth of the South and an absolute disgrace to the values of true Southerners.
I stopped my AJC Subscription years ago due to mounting liberal stance of the paper. Though I still go on-line for the Obituaries in the AJC, I try my best NOT to read any of the editorial articles..the utter wackiness of Bookman and Tucker defies the term ‘human logic’. And the really scary part Julia is that you all really do believe all the drivel that you publish.
I’m old enough to remember people waiting by the news-stands in the old Rexall Drug Stores for the paperman to show up with the evening editions…days that are and have been long gone for decades due primarily to the AJC’s liberal left-winged policies.
You call it economic hard times, economic downturn…those of us who remember when the AJC went l left-wing liberal call it what it is stupidity…
As Momma Gump said “Stupid is…as stupid does!”
Good luck on the makeover Julia, you certainly need it.
April 19th, 200912:49 pm
I’m not sure why I bothered to read these comments because I stopped my subscription 2 years ago. After 30 years, the AJC no longer met my needs and I realized they did not care. I seldom bother to read it on line.
When a product is not useful, it goes away. I see that coming for AJC and there will be few to care. They shut us out years ago.
April 19th, 20091:03 pm
I stopped my subscription because of your liberal views and Cynthia Tucker. I want the news. I do not want the reporters opinion or belief. When you go back to reporting the facts and nothing else I will return.
Algonquin J. Calhoun
The right-wing lovers of fascism always point to Cynthia Tucker and Terence Moore as the problem with the paper. The real problem they have with these two is they are African-American and they are ‘uppity’ enough to have opinions that diverge from those held by the fanatic right. Both Cynthia and Terence are great in their jobs and they tell the truth. The people complaining about them are the very same dupes who declare FIX news to be fair and balanced. Willingly accepting lies for truth is something they are willingly complicit in!
April 19th, 20091:05 pm
“While I realize the industry is changing to meet various demands, I would have preferred that the customer service center remain in this area rather than moving it to the Philippines.”
Is this statement true?
April 19th, 20091:09 pm
April 19th, 2009
Thanks for the good wishes you fascist moron!
April 19th, 20091:10 pm
As a former employee with AJC, it was sad that a lot of southern counties lost circulation such as Upson,Pike,and Lamar. I heard from so many subscribers,especially the elderly that were so upset by this news.
However, AJC was fair with us upon termination. Anyway, I just finished school and look forward to finding a new career in the medical field.
April 19th, 20091:14 pm
As someone who pays attention to the high school recruiting scene nationwide, I am saddened that Michael Carvell will no longer be providing recruiting coverage for the AJC. Literally, there is no one at any paper in the country that does a better job than Michael. His outstanding insight, breaking news, and comprehensive coverage of recruiting will be sorely missed. I totally understand the challenges that newspapers face, but I sincerely hope you reconsider removing Michael’s recruiting content.
April 19th, 20091:18 pm
I stopped reading the paper when the sports coverage began to be shifted so heavily to everything UGA and HS Football. I’m not a fan of GT or UGA, but rather another major school in the METRO area. I know at least one school is getting “more” coverage in the paper just because they advertise, which is really not the way to do business, especially when that additional coverage barely constitutes a blip on the radar.
When you stop sending beat reporters to cover the local teams on road trips – i.e., Knobler the Thrashers and Sekou the Hawks – you start losing a great deal of credibility with your readers. When you ignore a lot of great things that are happening in other local sports – i.e., two Division I college baseball teams that aren’t GT or UGA in 1st and 2nd place in their respective conferences, you ignore me as a reader.
There’s more out there if the AJC cares to look for it. Unfortunately, the impression is that they don’t.
April 19th, 20091:24 pm
It’s not Print vs. ‘Net, particularly on Sunday mornings. For years I looked forward to sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee reading the Sunday edition, sorting through the ads. The internet can’t replace that lost pleasure.
I quit reading a number of years ago, when the complete lack of balance, even in the choice of comic strips, finally had me reading nothing but the advertising flyers and classifieds.
The free market is indeed speaking. If content is king, balance has to be the queen.
In Support of Mark Slockett
April 19th, 20091:33 pm
I was wondering how laying off Mark Slockett, a man who worked as a newsroom clerk and assistant for well over 30 years, helped the paper’s overall bottom line. Mark was only months away from being able to retire with full benefits after his long career of dedication to the only “family” he had left in his life — his AJC family. Mark’s status in the newsroom was not nearly as high-profile or financially rewarding as all of the writers and editors who managed to stay employed through the years and after the buyouts, nor will he ever manage to find a job that will provide him with as much personal reward and satisfaction as his job bringing papers to the newsroom, delivering mail to the staff, and running errands for the M.E.s did.
And how did you reward this man, who always had a friendly smile for everyone he encountered while he did a job that few people would’ve sought to do? You fired him just before he could’ve left the company on his own terms, and with his full pension intact.
Tell me, Ms. Wallace — did the recovery of all Cox News Service would’ve lost to Mr. Slockett really improve the company’s bottom line?
Was it worth it, in retrospect, to treat Mark so shabbily after he had given his employer a lifetime of dedication and hard work?
What a shocking lack of compassion and heart the AJC has shown. Shame on all of you who were involved in the decision to dismiss Mr. Slockett so unceremoniously.
April 19th, 20091:42 pm
Miss J…it is obvious why you are a “former employee”. Get the chip off your shoulder and get the facts straight before you comment. There are many other things that I would like to say but I doubt if they would be allowed to be posted here.
April 19th, 20092:02 pm
No rational person could read the comments on the blogs at the AJC or any other paper and come to the conclusion that conservatives are meaner than liberals. Dana Milbank, of all people, has a story on that matter in the Washington Post asking why the lefties are so angry.
As for those who see all of us who disagree with Cynthia Tucker as racist I would urge you to be careful with your language. It’s an easy epithet to throw and a hard one to take back. People don’t forget being unfairly attacked with that sort of language. We were just treated to MSNBC and CNN using similar language and unfettered rage toward conservatives who disagree with them.
That kind of race baiting is not going to help the AJC or this state.
April 19th, 20092:32 pm
Does anyone buy the your statement that you “heard” what AJC readers want? So now you’re going to fix things? According to your liberal, social-engineering agenda, you forgot to add.
Here’s a few tips I’m sure you’ll ignore:
Report the EVENTS. Report what actually happened, not what your ilk thinks SHOULD happen. Identify criminal suspects at large by sex/height/build/ AND RACE.
Just report the news; don’t try to shape it to fit your leftist political bent.
April 19th, 20092:39 pm
I am a dedicated recycling person, and have recently purchased biodegradable doggie bags for walks with my dog. (I found out about them in my AJC!) While I’m grateful my daily newspaper is never wet in the morning, I wonder if there is an affordable way for the AJC to bag the home deliveries in biodegradable plastic bags. I’m willing to pay a little more for my subscription in support of this environmental effort.
On another subject, I often email AJC articles of interest to friends and family who do not live in Atlanta. It is not always easy to find the print edition online or to locate the article on ajc.com. I wonder if others have experienced this as well. Do you plan to make any other changes to ajc.com? If so, a search engine that locates what I’m looking for with one or two clicks would be wonderful.
April 19th, 20092:59 pm
Some are using this forum to vent political views or other agendas. I’ll try to stay on topic.
1) Layoffs are distasteful and unpleasant, but most reasonable folks understand why they’re necessary. My only criticism is this: You allowed Creative Loafing to do a quicker, better report on your personnel changes than you did. I get that an any employer must be sensitive to handling information related to personnel matters. However you had to know information was going to leak, and you should have been the initial and primary source for that topic. I can’t emphasize that point enough.
2) I’m more than willing to keep an open mind about the future of the AJC. You say you want it to be improved, I believe you. And I believe it can be. I’m glad to hear that you’re using professional freelancers, who — despite some criticism on this forum — shouldn’t be sold short. I wouldn’t be surprised to see improved content in certain areas.
3) I’m a lover of the news. I read the paper first thing in the morning, then throughout the day I check updates online. If I had to choose BETWEEN the two, I’d choose the online because it’s fresher…
4) I wouldn’t mind paying for the AJC online as a subscription as long as it’s content were unique enough to the local (Atlanta & Georgia) scene that it couldn’t be supplanted by other news sources. I don’t need national news from the AJC, at least in the print edition. If the AJC was the only place I got my news, sure, that would be different. But let CNN online cover the nation and world. I want the AJC for what’s happening in my city and state.
5) You’ll get criticism no matter what you do. Some people don’t like improvements, because they don’t like change. Don’t sweat it.
6) Folks criticizing the handling of Mark Slockett — truly a good guy who will be missed at the paper — ignore the fact that he made his own bed by refusing the buyout. I think it was probably heartbreaking to see him have to go. But allowing him to stay on would have established a precedent that could have cost the AJC millions if sued by other employees later on. You did the right thing, not the easy thing.
7) Summary: do a good job, improve the offering, make the AJC something that’s vital and unique from any of the meta-news search sources. That’s not just the best way, it’s the only way.
Good luck to you and everyone there. You still have a heck of a team!
April 19th, 20093:27 pm
Certainly newspapers are charged with the responsibility of reporting the “good, bad and ugly.” The democratic process is well-served in that manner. However, that process MUST NOT be tainted by political favoritism. Opinionated journalism must be reserved for the
EDITORIAL page (section). Time and again I see news articles prostituted because either the publisher, editor or journalist has a political “axe to grind” and denigrates his (her) profession by outright favoritism. This, in some way, has not served print jourrnalism well. Above all, “call the shots” down the middle. Don’t let one political party or figure “slide by” while “trouncing upon” the other because of your political bias. When done, your profession is not well-served and your readers and country are cheated.
April 19th, 20093:32 pm
Ted… Thanks for your comments. We do have a very strong team committed to doing the journalism that is so critical to this community. Today’s newspaper is filled with examples of that: Tammy Joyner on a family rewriting the American dream; Bob Keefe’s profile of Congressman Tom Price; Bill Rankin on the “crisis” in the death penalty system and Sekou Smith getting us ready for the NBA playoffs. Several people have asked about ajc.com. In the past several months, we have been working to improve the site. We have added google search in the top right corner. It is dramatically better than our previous search. We also are focusing more on news. In the recent changes to the newsroom, we have created a round-the-clock breaking news team so we’re faster and more thorough with the news you want.
April 19th, 20093:40 pm
I’m having a hard time seeing how so many people view the AJC as a liberal mouthpiece. Please explain.
April 19th, 20093:48 pm
Since I live in Eatonton my home delivery of AJC will cease on or before the new format is born..
I can not understand why the AJC would actually tell loyal readers to go away..
If Putnam County is too far from Atlanta to matter and the cost to service this area is too high simply RAISE your price for home delivery in this and other outlying areas.
A well rounded fair and balanced newspaper is as essential to the FORTH ESTATE as that FORTH ESTATE is to good government..
We all witnessed the recent national elections where most of the FORTH ESTATE sold out to the liberal/progressive mantra of “Change”. Now those who would give this recent history a fair look will see that the nation still does not know what “Change” really means and the FORTH ESTATE seems to have become the propaganda arm of the current national government.
The point is, without a good, healthy and balanced print media we all seem doomed to repeat a failed socialist agenda.
THUS I would pay more to support the AJC since the AJC is a real newspaper and, sadly, so far, the Macon Telegraph is little more than a poor grade of FISH WRAP..
Regardless of whether you at the AJC relent and continue to deliver to Putnam County I wish you the best in this rather uncertain changing world. American LIBERTY needs you and other daily newspapers we can read over coffee with nothing more than a candle for light.
April 19th, 20094:04 pm
Your readership may claim not to want a tabloid, but most of the stories that appear on the “most popular” list on your webpage would be right at home in the National Enquirer.
After the AJC ended the editorship of Bill Kovach, I thought we were being force fed mediocre newspaper. Now I see that if this community has the mediocre newspaper, it is because we deserve it.
I’m very amused by some of the previous comments. Many on the far right consider the AJC.com overly liberal in its slant, when the AJC is one of the most moderate and balanced newspapers in the country. Strong voices from conservative, liberal, and moderate perspectives receive prominent play on the editorial and op-ed pages on a regular basis. The truth is, the ultra-conservative consider anyone who’s more moderate than them to be overly liberal. Their idea of “fair and balanced” is Fox News.
I also find it funny that some bemoan the AJC’s focus on local and state issues. To me, that’s the point of a local newspaper. We have plenty of 24-hour national and international news sources available to cover those stories. I want my local newspaper to tell me what’s going on here, not on the other side of the world. As a south Georgia native, I’d rather see the AJC cut back on national and international stories in favor of more coverage of stories from other parts of the state.
My only real complaints about the AJC are the depth of the reporting and the quality of the editing. Far too many articles leave too many questioned unanswered, and far too many contain glaring errors (often clearly caused by over-reliance on spellcheckers). As a professional writer and editor who spent 5 years working in newspaper, I find myself much too often frustrated by poorly reported or edited articles. I’d rather have a smaller, higher-quality newspaper than one that tries to “cover Dixie like the dew” and falls short.
April 19th, 20094:15 pm
>>The truth is, the ultra-conservative consider anyone who’s more moderate than them to be overly liberal. Their idea of “fair and balanced” is Fox News.<<
you must admit that while Fox News is biased on the conservative side their coverage, i have found, to be much MORE BALANCED than NBC..
(I must admit here that I jusr recently discovered Fox News after having given up on NBC, CBS and ABC as being too much “in the pocket” of the far left liberal democratic elite..
Also, just to be open, my personal politics are conservative with a definite liberal “leaning” like: favor a womans right to choose, favor stem cell research and so forth..
The reality is that there are far more middle of the road people than far right OR far left..
April 19th, 20094:33 pm
As far as the AJC, why don’t you just close it?
April 19th, 20094:36 pm
You and the other AJC execs just don’t get it. This is a Republican/Conservative state and the liberal slant to C. Tucker, Jay Bookman, and Mike Luckovich along with so many others at your paper dooms your AJC to failure (going out of business). The editors and so called journalists hate everything conservative and report the news accordingly. I grew up in Atlanta and the paper that I read almost all my life went off the deep left end of the news with Bush hating/bashing. Then, your reporters slobbered all over the O’Bama election like a 16 year old boy with a hot date in the back of a ‘67 Chevy.
You editorials have no problem throwing out the racist label on conservatives as “right wing radicals.” Get used to it, there are more conservatives in Ga than liberals except for the Dekalb, Clayton, S. Fulton areas.
I stopped my subscription to the AJC six years ago when all of the Bush bashing was in style. I still do not get the AJC but occasionally read for sports news for the Braves.
If your content continues its liberal slant then I will get my news from all other sources (WSJ, Marietta paper, Fox news online, etc). Good luck trying to stay in business with Tucker/Bookman/Luckovich. Maybe, someone at the AJC might get a clue from the former subscribers.
April 19th, 20094:44 pm
“Many on the far right consider the AJC.com overly liberal in its slant, when the AJC is one of the most moderate and balanced newspapers in the country. ”
Says who? You?
One need not be a member of the “far-right” to see the AJC’s absurd bias. I worked for Cox Communications for years and the liberal slant of the AJC was a commonly accepted fact among the staff.
Arthur E, Trim
April 19th, 20095:05 pm
Growing up in the southeastern USA, the AJC was once the voice that was listened to by everyone weather you agreed or not!! For a very long time now it is simply another poorly managed, local, politically correct, daily paper! Close the doors and go away!!
Eugenia R Stephens
April 19th, 20095:06 pm
My husband and I had taken the AJC 44 years before home delivery was stopped January 2009. What good is a new design when you can’t subscribe or buy the AJC? Yes, we are bitter to be losing the AJC; Yes, we tried mail delivery and a trial online. Not satisfactory.
April 19th, 20095:12 pm
Greg… If you stopped subscribing six years ago and now only read the paper for the Braves coverage, you have missed quite a bit a change.
The latest is a change we announced Monday on the editorial pages. Cynthia Tucker is moving to Washington to become our national political columnist. We are dividing the editorial page editor job, which Cynthia held, into two jobs. Andre Jackson becomes the Editorial Editor, responsible for writing the institutional editorials. Ken Foskett becomes the Opinion Editor, responsible for putting together pages that reflect a balance of different viewpoints and different topics. Our columnist line-up will be:
Cynthia from Washington
Kyle Wingfield, our new conservative columnist, who starts in May, Kyle was most recently an editorial writer for the European edition of the Wall Street Journal.
Also, Jim Wooten will continue writing his “Thinking Right” column in July, after he retires. And Bob Barr will give his Libertarian and unpredictable views once a week.
We also will offer a wide array of syndicated columns from all political viewpoints, as well as regular pro-cons on issues.
Our editorial pages offer a variety of thought-provoking opinions – from all sides of the political spectrum.
April 19th, 20095:23 pm
Despite the fact that the complaint cited most often in today’s posts is concern about liberal bias, Ms Wallace has refused to address the issue at all. The complete unwillingness of AJC management to even consider the possibility that there might be any truth to this gripe has been a large contributor to their drops in circulation, which are much larger than the industry average.
I canceled my 10 year subscription to the AJC several years ago for one reason: I could not stand the ever increasing bias in both the opinion and news sections. I know many others who have done likewise. If the AJC really wants to win back readers, it needs to address this issue. I don’t care what changes they make to the format, if the AJC continues its recent tradition of favoring political activism over ethical journalism, I’m not buying.
April 19th, 20095:24 pm
The AJC is a Liberal Newspaper and this is very easy to prove. I have been in Atlanta since 1987 and have yet to see the AJC support a Conservative or Republican for either the Georgia Senate seat or the President. The AJC is Liberal-Democrate all the way.
April 19th, 20095:27 pm
Please tell me the last Conservative Republican this newspaper supported?
April 19th, 20095:32 pm
Here’s hoping all your leftist leaning, illegal immigrant loving “journalists” (i.e., Cynthia Tucker) will be gone.
April 19th, 20095:33 pm
Whoa, I didn’t read any of the other blogs BEFORE I wrote the first time. Now, I want to make it clear I read the newspaper to get information and I do not let liberal leaning columns change my opinions. I do critical thinking and if I don’t agree with a columnist
I pass over their diatribes.
April 19th, 20095:37 pm
I’ve been a AJC print subscriber for years, but knew that media change would continue to morph the AJC. Many of us recognize you have no choice but to continue to move to new models of providing news. As i write you, I’m sitting at the table, much as I do in the mornings with my coffee. Now I have a pc notebook besides me instead of the printed AJC. But where am I still looking? To the AJC. So keep the great editorials, newscoverage, and political cartoons coming. I’m learning to use your website as a future primary source–and liking it more each day. Good luck as you transition Atlanta journalism in this new world.
April 19th, 20095:49 pm
Julia, many of your potential readers seem to think the job of a newspaper is to affirm readers in their political beliefs.
And if there is ideological bias in the AJC, it is nothing compared the ideological bias found on the city’s Cox-owned radio station.
April 19th, 20095:56 pm
@ Kelly Brown:
I hear this SO much and it’s so tired. There’s this absurd idea out there that newspapers have been pressured into not giving descriptions of minority suspects. The fact is that if a description consists of almost nothing other than the fact that a suspect *is* a minority, it’s not really a description.
One of the first things you learn in journalism school is to write what is relevant in a news story. Saying that a suspect is (for example) a “black male between 18 and 30 years old, 5 foot 8 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing jeans and a black sweatshirt” tells the reader essentially nothing and just serves to further malign an entire group of people. If that’s all the information we have, it could be any one, what, 150,000 people in the area? If someone had seen the car he was driving, a license plate number, heard someone address him by name, something distinctive about him that might help someone pick him out, that’s a different matter. But basically saying “It was some black guy” is pretty pointless. Worse yet is an even more vague description like “white or HIspanic male.” Now you’ve got nearly half the whole metro area in your description.
My understanding is that non-information like that doesn’t contribute to the story and only serves to further malign a large group of people. Also, sometimes police are evasive about details of a suspect’s appearance when they think they’re closing in and don’t want him/her to know it.
April 19th, 20096:01 pm
A couple of things.
There are a number of parts to a newspaper. Of course the AJC has some leanings, including Mr. Wooten on the right. I read him and often wince; and, I read Tucker and Bookman and wince. I read a lot of opinion and wince. Now and again, I read and resonate. That’s what opinion is.
So why is it that ya’ll won’t read what you don’t agree with? It seems to be limiting.
As to the news, the AJC has been middle of the road, at best, for a long time; but, it’s what we’ve got other than what passes for full local news on TV. (Not to slam WSB radio – it can’t do more more than report what is breaking.)
Print is probably on its way to the morgue and I lament its passing. I miss it, especially on the weekends. I also am annoyed by tonight’s dinner or whatever it’s called at AJC.com and a host of other non-news fluff on the website, especially since they take away from the resources needed to fulfill what the paper says is its primary mission, to report local news. (On this line, it is very frustrating to read an AP story about a news event in Georgia.)
All this said, I will continue to read the paper online (I never click an ad, sorry; and, the pop-overs used to annoy me until I trained my subconscious to look elsewhere, or look for the “X.”)
Ms. Wallace, I still occasionally get a paper to read at lunch. I wish you well in your hunt for revenue. I’d even be willing to pay for content along the line of Steven Brill’s recent proposal, not happy, but willing.
April 19th, 20096:04 pm
A bit of history on the endorsement question: Until 2002, we had two newspapers, the Atlanta Constitution and the Atlanta Journal. The Constitution generally supported Democrats; the Journal generally supported Republicans. Since the Journal stopped publishing and the editorial pages were combined, we have supported a mix of candidates. We have certainly leaned Democratic, but not completely. For example, of the two Republican U.S. senators, we endorsed one (Isakson) in the general election
April 19th, 20099:06 pm
Mr. Wingfield…. I’m going to talk to you as only a true southerner would do. Why don’t you come on over, sit down, drink a glass of tea or a beer, and tell us a little bit about yourself. Now who are your people? Where did you attend church? Where did you go to school? I understand you’ve been away for a while now… you haven’t forgotten the most important sports rivalry in this history of the world have you?
Welcome home. I trust your column will be informative, balanced, and not afraid to tackle the issues. Go Jackets!!!!
April 19th, 200911:09 pm
Dear Mr. Wingfield,
I’m curious if you could tell us in detail what “conservative” means to you?
Also, I wonder what you opinion is of this statement: “People who labels apply to themselves do themselves a disservice by indicating to others that their decisions are based on the ideology of a group rather than their own independent evaluation of each issue?”
April 19th, 200911:10 pm
Damn editing typos! It was supposed to be:
“People who apply labels to themselves do themselves a disservice by indicating to others that their decisions are based on the ideology of a group rather than their own independent evaluation of each issue?”
April 25th, 20097:51 am
Is celebrity coverage really so necessary on the front page?
April 25th, 20097:59 am
I HAVE HEARD THIS SWAN SONG ONE TOO MANY TIMES. JOURNALISM IS DEAD.
April 25th, 20099:02 am
Lately, what the AJC doesn’t say has at times spoken louder to me than what it does cover. I think one of the most true tests of the AJCs new management, and of your own watchdog role, is whether we see anything regarding media news, particularly as it applies to the debate on media ownership consolidation, cross-ownership and FCC action on these issues. If I can’t trust the AJC to throw an honest spotlight on itself and its own business, how can I trust what it says on anything else? Thanks and good luck ahead.
April 25th, 20099:04 am
Hopefully we will see a little less glamorization of the violent and negative hip-hop culture
April 25th, 20099:41 am
Georgia is a red state politically by a wide margin. The AJC is notorious for being far left of center. You haven’t been giving the dogs (your audience) the dog food they want. A swing closer to the center may just help your bottom line. How about circulating to Lumpkin County again. I was not happy over having my home delivery of the AJC canceled. You deliver to Hall County just next door.
April 25th, 20099:55 am
April 25th, 200910:05 am
What steps are you taking to correct the numerous grammatical errors and oversights in editing that appear on your website every day? For example, from a headline story today comes this gem: “Police say Michaels’ BMW hit the Carters’ Mercedes and then both cars cross over to incoming traffic.” The grammatical error notwithstanding (I think the writer meant “crossed”), the paragraph from which this sentence was taken contains two references to Ms. Michael as “Michaels” (not to mention that if her name were actually “Michaels,” the proper possessive would be “Michaels’s’”–perhaps a less well-known rule, but a rule nonetheless) I could probably pull 50 more examples from the site at any given time. It’s hard to take the AJC seriously when its stories read like they are written by fourth graders.
April 25th, 200910:08 am
Local News – that will give people in the Metro what they cannot get on cable, twitter, etc. Doesn’t have to be expensive. For example: Why not send someone to pull zoning applications and tell the folks whose thinking about moving dirt in their back yards before the bulldozers rumble wakes them to their morning coffee? You and I know from having covered local government that the deal to develop is done by the time there is a meeting held. Is it true you killed the crime beat? Are you kidding me? Do you not realize that all readers, no matter how silk purse they may claim to be, are RUBBERNECKERS. On the same vein, Angelina Jolie sells, but do we have to feed the fat people oreos? (I like analogies). The dailies such as the Gainesville Times, or others out in the burbs cannot “Watch” local government the way the AJC could, but doesn’t any more. There are all sorts of sordid tales of real government corruption, outrageous police action that are growing in numbers because the word is out: The cop (you) is not on the beat. ( I work in a law firm and I am working two cases, one in Fannin and one in Stephens County where incompetence deprived two men of their freedom…a Jonesboro lawyer is handling a case where a policeman ran over a homeless man and not the County is doing every thing they can to get out of compensating the man.) There is so much more out here that shapes our every day lives long before Washington even makes a ripple. Feel good stories about the neato things Atlantans do..where are they? In a recession, those stories sell papers, lure readers. We are southern by God, and we celebrate our rednecks, our folk artists, the people who use hubcaps for landscaping. But where is that coverage? We’re glad when we meet reporters who look like they are indeed real people, southern, with mortgages. Where are those guys? The quirky southerners. Look at some of the cool pieces coming out of Atlanta Magazine, Garden and Gun, Creative Loafing. They’re mining your territory! Don’t you want it back? Look up some of those freelancers and get them to do some of that neat stuff they do to give the living section something that looks like living in a funky south.
But it looks like the AJC doesn’t care. It used to be that if I learned of any gossip relating to a development or crime or corruption, or neato people, I headed for the AJC. Consistently, these days, nothing. I don’t recognize the community portrayed in the pages. It sends a message that you are not part of the community, you are isolated from it. So I think your position and your mission to gather our comments is a glimmer of hope. I want a vital AJC, but I want it to be a real paper again as a citizen, and not so much as a resident…there is a difference. But as a resident, I want a colorful spread of feature stories. More pictures (your photogs are amazing…we need more of it) I want you to be the Fourth Estate again. Believe me: The guys who take our tax money, know you’re not watching. I’d like to know what the plans are for local news.
April 25th, 200910:11 am
The AJC as become another media source in the “monkey see, monkey” media circus. The hype, gossip, speculation, smoke & mirrors and very, very little substance! More of the same B.S.!
April 25th, 200910:19 am
Thinking? Or lack thereof?
If you were really thinking you would discontinue punishing yourselves trying to print and deliver a daily newspaper. The cost of delivery alone should be enough to make it a no-brainer. Not to mention the cost to the environment.
The future is now! Be bold and leap into the 21st century!
April 25th, 200910:32 am
I would just like to be able to BUY THE NEWSPAPER AGAIN where I live. I think that cutting the circulation area was the biggest mistake that has been made so far. We used to read the ads in the Sunday paper and then drive to Gainesville or Buford because we do not have the stores available in Habersham.
David L. Anders, M.D.
April 25th, 200910:49 am
OK, let’s begin with how you will be a better source of journalism:
For years, readers have been subjected to ongoing defensive remarks from editors and writers at AJC claiming there was no bias at AJC. To this day, Ms. Wallace seems to try to deny bias, but then admits that new changes at AJC have “led to fairer coverage — more care in our play of stories as well as more straightforward approaches in headlines and local and wire stories.”
So were you (the AJC) or weren’t you biased in presenting the facts. If you were, that is as close to a fatal journalistic flaw as a news organization can make. For too long defenders of the practice have tried to confuse the argument by injecting the axiom that editorial columns MUST be opinionated. We ALL agree with that. But, PLEASE, keep the opinions on the opinion pages. If the AJC has been guilty of bias otherwise, and many – including Ms. Wallace – appear to feel it has been, a major front page apology and correction is due the readers and former readers of the AJC. For too many years our complaints have fallen on deaf ears, or worse, have been turned back on us in an attempt to characterize our complaints as uninformed, unsophisticated, and unsubstantiated.
The first and most important trait we expect from our journalists is brutal honesty, closely followed by intense intellectual curiosity, unintimidated by surrounding circumstances. When will we see that type of reporting from the AJC, starting with the topic which should be most accessible to its own reporters, which is “What went wrong with the AJC?”? Many readers must be unsatisfied with the official characterization of the circumstances involving the departure of Ms. Tucker and her daily influence at the AJC. The absence of a complete telling of her downgraded role in the paper is just one more reason readers have not to trust the AJC any topic published. If you can’t included the painful truths about the inner workings of your own paper – and certainly there must be more to tell during this unique “perfect storm” of challenges for the print media – then don’t waste your money on focus groups and special telephone lines trying to learn what readers are thinking. We’ve already acquired all the information we need to make an informed decision.
Shawn McIntosh, AJC Public Editor
April 25th, 200910:52 am
Thanks for your feedback. I hate that we’ve had to cut home delivery in some areas outside Metro Atlanta. In this economic climate, however, the company has had to make some difficult business decisions. I’m told the circulation folks ran analysis to try to make it work and tested options like raising prices. Unfortunately, it just cost the company too much to continue delivery in outlying areas.
April 25th, 200910:57 am
Good luck Shawn. Best place to see what we’re up to out here is Twitter. That’s how we keep an eye on you folk, in other words. I advise doing likewise. Don’t talk down to us and you’ll be ok. Not that you would do that, of course.
Will chat more later. Gotta go tighten my corset for the BBQ. I’m sure you can relate.
April 25th, 200910:58 am
A sports section without box scores / game statistics is like a business section without stock market results.
April 25th, 200911:16 am
One commenter asked why we don’t just eliminate the print edition and move entirely to digital publishing. A large number of readers still prefer a print newspaper experience to getting their news online. And there are many others who are happy to get their news online during the week, but still want a Sunday newspaper experience.
The new AJC takes these changes in media consumption habits into account. The daily newpaper, the Sunday newspaper and ajc.com each have some dedicated staff; other journalists in our newsroom contribute to all three.
A breaking news desk works first for ajc.com, getting the latest from all over the metro area (and to the reader who asked, yes, they still cover crime). The daily staff is dedicated to bringing readers a broad sweep of news in a smart, efficient package. And the new Sunday AJC recognizes that on the weekend, many readers want to relax with the newspaper and understand the why behind the week’s headlines.
Readers will see the new design beginning Tuesday. Let us know what you think.
April 25th, 200911:19 am
Welcome, Shawn. DO the best job you can and cover local issues. Recognize local blogs and other Atlanta media outlets because they deserve credit. You’re working with much less and you’ve said goodbye to a lot of great journalists, photographers, graphic designers and news researchers, but you still have incredible talent in that newsroom. Nurture them and let them do their jobs. rely on news wire for the fluff and don’t play it up.
And if some readers still can’t seem to grasp that the news pages are separate from the editorial board, then you’ve lost them. And if the editorial board shakeup (I think it was wrong) doesn’t satisfy those readers, then they’re totally clueless. Forget about them. Hang on to your core audience and report, report, report.
Good luck. Right now, ti’s just ajc, creative loafing, atlanta magazine and a handful of blogs covering communities.
April 25th, 200911:47 am
Like others have said, cutting your circulation area is a problem. I live less than an hour from Atlanta, in Spalding County, and I can’t get the AJC, even on Sundays. What the AJC needed to do was find a more cost effective distribution system to get the paper to people wanting to buy the paper (aka PAY YOU MONEY).
I couldn’t care less about the redisign… I CAN”T GET THE AJC. Oh well, I keep my money in my pocket. Brilliant!
April 25th, 200911:53 am
Less cencorship. I want to see people speak their minds with out fear of being moderated. Don’t cut out opinions that don’t agree with your own. I’m a little skeptical since your from the South. I think this newspaper needs more of an outsider to do things right. The South is always so out of touch with the rest of the country.
April 25th, 200911:58 am
Hewlett Packard (HP) wants their logo back! On top of that it’s a poor, washed out looking facsimile.
The Metro section is handy and the lay out with the drop down menu is far superior to the previous crappy design, but I don’t want to see stories from the last month or two still in with the current stuff. Apparently there aren’t enough writers to find new stories out there even if they aren’t hard hitting headline news. And when you do a local community story your writers almost never do a thorough job. Information on location or times for events are often left out. There should at least be links to bring us to maps, schedules and other pertinent info. You leave the same stories on the web for weeks so apparently there isn’t enough to fill the pages on a daily basis, so why not do the stories more thoroughly.
Headline: Police search for victims stolen blue Ford sedan….and….how about a model, a tag, vicinity it was last seen? Duh. Fire at Kennesaw apartment complex, families left out in the cold….name of complex?….address, general location of complex…Duh (to be fair tv outlets do the same thing, but that doesn’t make it right).
Photos are often left out that should be included but somehow didn’t make the web master’s final draft. National stories with photos seem to be available in other newspapers but are missing in yours. If you can’t afford to send a photographer solicit digital pics from readers. It would make the paper more interactive. However, when you have solicited pics in the past for fluff pieces, you do not offer any assurances that the person submitting it will not be taken advantage of and lose their rights to the photo. A simple…the image will only be used for publication on the paper’s web site and not published or used in any other form without permission. You guys have left it open to use the images we submit in any form you wish. Not fair if you make money off it with a book, etc. If we can’t trust you to do the right thing with their usage we won’t turn over all the great photos that could be shared with the other readers.
The word going forward is “interactive”. You can solicit stories, photos, announcements over the web far easier than sending someone out to cover it in a lot of cases. You have a chance to turn all that hot air from the blogging and twittering to some useful purpose. Like the man said, “there are a million stories in the “Naked City”…Your staff can proofread and tweak them at the office faster and more economically. I’ll bet we have readers who can actually write a story on a local event with more thoroughness and expertise from what I’ve seen from some of your writers. What do you think would happen if there was a section asking for information or stories, photos on various subjects from their local area.
Invest in more internet people who know what they’re doing to keep up so the web site is more timely (like within 30 minutes, not seemingly 2 or 3 hours or more for some of the more current breaking stories). If you’re going to compete, you need to be timely and offer something the other outlets aren’t. Guess how many other sources I can go to to get the same info?
April 25th, 200911:59 am
LO, about those box scores and sports stats: see pages C3, C4, C5 and C6 today.
David Mc Gill Eldridge III
April 25th, 200912:01 pm
What we need is another Lewis Grizzard, who will tell like it is will humor and insight. That sold papers just as my cousin Ralph McGill did with his writtings.
April 25th, 200912:04 pm
What we need is another Lewis Grizzard who told it like it was with humor and insight as well as my cousin Ralph McGill who gave a balanced view.
April 25th, 200912:11 pm
Stop referring to the 9th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. as “The ATL” . . . ATL is an Airport, not a city . . . Saying The ATL is Slang . . . Newspapers should be a model of using correct and proper English . . . When your newspaper, or web-site, uses Slang, I lose a ton of respect for your organization and I have to question your credibility . . .
Also, why do you put so much emphasis on celebrities and their million dollar homes . . . ?
The Only One
April 25th, 200912:18 pm
Do you really want to make this a popular news source? Provide a comments section on every single article written. Allow folks to speak their opinion on each article without bias’ed editing like what happens in the vent sections. You will have a traffic like you’ve never had before.
April 25th, 200912:31 pm
Gerald hit the nail on the head. Here in Bartow County (Cartersville area) lukewarm Republican John McCain pulled 72% of the vote again Obama. We are part of metro Atlanta and your paper’s content and editorials should reflect the fact that the majority of your readership is conservative.
April 25th, 200912:41 pm
After you all quit distributing the paper in North Georgia, the Chattanooga Times Free Press came in to fill the gap. Great paper. They truly give BOTH sides on issues. How refreshing after watching the AJC turn into a shell of its former self. I don’t miss the AJC at all.
April 25th, 200912:55 pm
One reader asked about the “Private Quarters” and “Private Quarters Splurge” features, which are visual tours of homes; in the case of “Splurge,” rather lavish homes. Those are extremely popular features. I understand that some readers might not be interested, but at ajc.com the features get quite a bit of traffic. As one reader explained to me, it’s a little bit of a bright spot in rocky economic times.
April 25th, 200912:56 pm
Just tell the truth without your left wing slant to it.
If I wanted propaganda I would turn on the tv.
April 25th, 20091:19 pm
All that you say sounds great. I hope it will translate into action. There are so many typos, malapropisms, misspellings and other careless errors in the online edition — I am no longer able to buy the print edition since you have stopped distribution in my town — are inexcusable lapses of basic journalism. I once emailed Julia Wallace and pointed out several monstrous goofs. I asked her to reply back if she cared. Result — no answer.
April 25th, 20091:35 pm
I read an article in Creative Loafing about the “downsizing” and tne rebranding of the AJC. Sounds like you’re trying to become the NY Post of the South. I’ve subscribed to the AJC for over 20 years. I will not be renewing my subscription.
Michael H. Smith
April 25th, 20091:53 pm
“Free (fill in the blank with anything)” as in the “Free Press” is an interesting concept. Ah, if only it could be found to exist anywhere in reality. The AJC certainly has not been free from an overtly overly abundant liberal bias over the years.
Many mainstream issues go unreported or they’re buried so far back into back-page obscurities, to at times give them the barest amount of coverage possible that readers should demand of the AJC publishers’ they at least be given a proper public listing in the obituary section, after receiving less than the dignity of a decent funeral.
It was some what uplifting to see some small changes taking place in the editorial section’s opinion page, though, too few hard hitting conservative voices are going to be represented in this so-called “free exchange” of ideas to offer any genuine balance in prospective for the readers to form a public consensus.
The AJC has been slow to face the changes confronting the media information market. Like it or not, convergence, one of the tentacles of globalization so warmly embrace by this paper and called “The Inevitable”, impossible to reject and to be gladly received by all, has the AJC gasping for life. Yet, the AJC finds it hard to gulp the bitter brew they readily have encouraged others to swallow with a smile.
The blogs should continue and will, because news-information has transformed into an elongated cycle, it no longer dies on the printed page when it is newsworthy. It’s life extends now often beyond the news that was made, into the news that is being made by the news (i.e. grassroots movements like the TEA PARTY which no doubt one political party or the other will try to dominate and take charge of to their advantage. However, despite the plays being made by the major political parties and certain media outlets they are overlooking the host of issues that have produced this outcry that is revolting against both political parties and their misbehavior.)
How unfortunate frauds abound on the AJC blogs that attempt to sway opinion by masking their true identity and often make multiple comments under false and fictitious names to appear as though public support exists for something that only one is fomenting. Like any fraud when perpetrated, if allowed to continue it corrupts until all integrity is utterly destroyed. As witnessed in the mortgage industry and on Wall Street frauds, without trustworthiness and real value eventually a collapse takes place.
In time perhaps the AJC can regain a good standing and profitability but you are very correct Ms. or Mrs. McIntosh, the readers are indeed the real news experts who judge daily the trustworthiness and integrity of your reporting with the proper measure from all points of prospective represented.
PS. Welcome back to the South and Georgia.
April 25th, 20092:12 pm
Why does a newspaper have to be labeled as “Liberal” or Conservative”? Why not just print news and views and let each side take from it what they will instead of attempting to be Fox News print version? Also, where is Cynthia Tucker?
April 25th, 20092:17 pm
I know some folks are cheering the change in our editorial columnist lineup and others are concerned. (For those who haven’t heard, you can read about it at this link: http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2009/04/14/wallaceed_0414.html)
I’m more concerned when readers believe the news content (as opposed to the opinion content) is slanted or not balanced. As public editor I will look into examples you bring to my attention. So feel free to email me with specific examples whenever you believe we’ve fallen short in that area.
We know that readers want balance in the viewpoints presented, and the redesigned AJC includes new ways to emphasize different points of view in a story, explain how we got a story and offer readers information about the sources we use in stories. And you will see more pro/con viewpoints when appropriate.
April 25th, 20092:18 pm
AJC is a joke — always has been and, I suspect, always will be.
April 25th, 20092:19 pm
I agree with “The Only One” as to the comment area for every article. To be honest it engages your readers and becomes quite addicting.
To be frank, the only way I would read the left leaning dribble coming out of the AJC is to vent, ’scuze me…..post my comments afterward. What fun!!
April 25th, 20092:23 pm
Hey Shawn. Good luck in the new gig. Ready for a couple of hard questions?
I walked into your office from the tiny Rocky Mount Telegram almost four years ago, happy just to be in a big-city newsroom. Our first conversation was about the power of blogs — I recall you being a bit dismissive of the concept at the time. Glorified columns, I recall you called them. Indeed.
Shawn, I left the paper, pre-buyout, without animus. But there are some worthy battles I left unfought. I’m deeply concerned that a diminished reporting staff — and let’s not kid ourselves here, the AJC took a serious hit in boots on the ground — coupled with the paper’s financial weakness, will make some of these battles harder to fight. I question the AJC’s commitment to aggressively pursue open records and open access. I see the paper continuing to make very conservative calculations of cost-benefit tradeoffs when a fight is on the horizon.
Case in point: This paper’s reporters have followed a practice of avoiding requests for e-mail under the Georgia Open Records Act. These kinds of requests are commonplace from most newspapers. But my understanding when I first arrived here was that the paper’s legal arm genuinely believed if requests for e-mail became commonplace, the legislature would act to exclude e-mail from the Act. So the paper has refrained from viewing some legitimate correspondence not because of legal action, but because of the threat of legal action. Will this policy continue?
My second concern is how thinly-spread crime coverage appears to be now. Granted, I’m in the camp of critics who believe crime coverage has generally been over-wrought, sensationalistic and exploitive … anywhere except Atlanta. Plainly, crime in and near the city has been increasing. But the paper has just one reporter covering the police beat for Gwinnett, North Fulton and Cobb counties now. A second reporter covers the city and Dekalb. Two reporters, covering close to 3,000 police officers and related agencies. I know, I know — there’s a staff of generalists to platoon in when something major breaks. But given the increase in crime (at least the perceived increase), and the clear corruption problems exposed by the Neal Street shooting, I fear that resources have been diverted away from examining these public agencies just at the time when that examination would be most valuable to the reading public. Folks like Atlanta Unfiltered are going to continue to scoop the heck out of the AJC if this stands. That may be an acceptable tradeoff, but I’d like you to address it.
Third, the business section of the paper appears to have been completely eviscerated in the last purge. I haven’t seen the market research, naturally, to show if the business writers were pulling their weight in readers or not. But the paper appears to have conceded the field to the Atlanta Business Chronicle and its imitators in Gwinnett, Cobb and elsewhere. I suspect the editors of these papers might disagree with this sentiment, but I fear that these business newspapers tend to be more conciliatory than challenging to the business community. You lost Kevin Duffy, Andy Miller, Mike Pearson and the great Thomas Oliver in the last round. Again, just as interest in business reporting spikes, the AJC backs away. Paul Donsky can’t do everything. Can you explain this decision?
And last, there’s this lingering question of bias. I find it interesting that the paper appears to be shifting to a more conservative posture just as it sheds itself of coverage and circulation in the more conservative parts of metro Atlanta — the outlying suburbs. I recognize the need to challenge the audience. Perhaps that’s part of the plan here. I imagine this is competitive positioning. If I were a potential online competitor to the AJC, I would set up shop just to the right of the paper and clean up in the more advertiser-friendly suburbs where the paper has pulled back. But the effect may be to alienate empty-nester urban news readers — a group growing in financial clout, even now. That’s an interesting trade to make. I do wonder how that will work.
Good luck, Shawn.
April 25th, 20092:28 pm
How is it that CNN is reporting a shooting at UGA and NADA on the AJC?
April 25th, 20092:33 pm
RE: Adittohead (and others):
Please nagivate to http://ewathoughts.blogspot.com/2008_06_01_archive.html.
April 25th, 20092:34 pm
Shawn – I think LO’s remark about the lack of box scores and statistics in the sports coverage was referring to the online edition. I, too, find it irritating that I have to go to the ESPN website to get statistical sports coverage of local teams because the AJC doesn’t provide it.
April 25th, 20092:42 pm
Paula, we’re working that story hard right now and hope to have some updates soon. Thanks.
April 25th, 20092:44 pm
When I wrote to Cynthia Tucker to correct an error in her column…..I cited the search engines on the internet as my sources.
She wrote back to say ” she uses ” dead wood sources” as her search engines.
That told me all I needed to know about closed minds at leftist AJC.
April 25th, 20093:05 pm
Maybe you can try bringing real journalism back…less of the sensationalistic drivel being spewed from the majority of media outlets these days (including the AJC). We need more n-e-w-s, not some much commentary and not how many apartment fires or banks were robbed last night. (Let the crime blotter be the crime blotter). The paper should report just the facts (not tainted or bias) and let only those who actually have perfected the craft provide creative and interesting news.
April 25th, 20093:43 pm
To George Chidi: If you think the AJC resembles a conservative media voice, you’re out of your gourd.
April 25th, 20093:44 pm
One of the great things about a paper use to be that it had different news every day. The problem with the AJC online is that (for example) the same pictures and the same stories have been on the Gwinnett County page for 3 or 4 days.
April 25th, 20093:48 pm
One gripe about AJC.com: At the end of articles these is a subheading – “More on AJC.com”. Sometimes there are very recent related articles. More often, however, it seems the links are weeks or even months old. It is disconcerting to read an article months old without realizing it, not to mention a waste of time. Why not put the date of the article next to its reference on the main article’s page? That would save a lot of clicks just to land on old “news”.
Question for You
April 25th, 20094:27 pm
As the readers’ representative, what are 4 or 5 of the top concerns that you’ve brought to the attention of editors in the newsroom?
And what was their response?
April 25th, 20094:54 pm
This is for “dontlistentodittoheads”
You say “And if some readers still can’t seem to grasp that the news pages are separate from the editorial board, then you’ve lost them.”
Your tone is arrogant, condescending pseudo-patience with people who are less bright than you are. Bag it. People are not stupid, no matter what you think. They know the difference between reporting and opinion. Historically, they find bias in both. They don’t like supporting editorial writers with whom they have radically different opinions. Imagine for a moment that Hannity and Gingrich were the editorial board of the AJC. Then I could give you fatuous, condescending dismissals while you canceled your subscription in a huff.
April 25th, 20095:08 pm
I think it was a huge mistake to remove so many counties from your distribution area. It will be very difficult for our areas to keep up with state politics. My area is Pickens County and we depend now on Chattanooga to provide us with a paper. I feel cut off from so many subjects since the AJC is not available. Between Bent tree and Big Canoe, I know you sold a bunch of papers. Please rethink this action.
April 25th, 20095:28 pm
Why so many prom pictures? Why any prom pictures?
April 25th, 20095:46 pm
Shawn, I hope you plan to respond to George Chidi’s thoughtful comments
Legend of Len Barker
April 25th, 20095:57 pm
Suggestions for recovering income:
1) Make the readers pay for the online paper. Since the circulation is now down to metro Atlanta, if the rest of the state wants to read the paper, they can only get it online. If someone is already a subscriber, give them a special code to access online stuff free. Sweeten the pot with exclusives that aren’t in the paper.
The AJC was originally a pay enterprise online. The Houston Chronicle and New York Times are considering going back to the model.
2) Enhance your archives. Currently, the AJC’s online archives on the site are on an outdated search engine and use an outdated style. The search engine is quite poor and doesn’t include images or the newspaper page. It also only goes to 1939.
3) Digital photo archives. Getty Images has their stuff available for a price. I think the AJC could scan their vast photo archives, make them searchable, have thumbnail previews, and make a little bit of cash for reprints. Anyone who’s familiar with printing off microfilm knows that a) they aren’t in color and b) generally print in poor quality.
5) Quit trying to be inoffensive. Ralph McGill and Lewis Grizzard worried little about what the readers thought. Grizzard was about entertainment, but had some not so nice sobriquets as a touring book author. McGill wrote what he believed as right. Luckovich is your top editorialist these days. And he doesn’t write.
April 25th, 20097:51 pm
Thanks for all the feedback.
To the reader who asked the four or five top concerns I’ve brought to the editors’ attention, I just want to remind you I’ve only been in the job five days! Check back in a month or two!
Seriously, I imagine they will include these areas:
- Making sure our journalism is accurate and thoroughly reported and reflects a wide range of viewpoints;
- Making sure we make the right decisions about what to cover and what to take a pass on;
- Making sure we correct factual errors, quickly and completely;
- Responding to our readers’ needs and feedback; and
- Continuing to provide aggressive watchdog coverage.
Since those are the priorities of our editors as well, I’m not sure I’ll have to bring them to anyone’s attention. But I”ll appreciate your feedback along the way about how we’re doing.
Just to quickly answer a couple of other readers’ questions and comments:
To the former employee who said we are not aggressive about public records, we’ll just have to disagree. The AJC has taken legal action (and won) many times to protect the public’s access to public records.
As for business coverage, moving weekday business news inside the A section and trimming it was one of those difficult choices we had to make. The business pages are still full of local news every day and we are trying to edit tightly so we can provide national briefs and top news as well as the full local report.
Watch for the new re-designed Sunday business section next week; I think you will enjoy it.
To the commenter who asked about the link “More on ajc.com” at the bottom of online stories, those links are often recent news but at other times our editors link to older stories that might provide background or context to the current story.
And to the commenter who suggested we charge for online content, improve our archives, etc. to improve the bottom line, thanks for the suggestions. I think all newsrooms are watching to see what works and what doesn’t as we try to transition our business model to a digital platform.
Thanks again, everyone, for the feedback and discussion. Catch managing editor Bert Roughton here tomorrow.
April 26th, 20097:52 am
This question may not be in your “area” but customer service is no help either. I have decided not to renew my subscription because the cost is about double what it would be for a new subscriber. This is not fair to loyal customers. Customer service sent me emails TWICE that said someone would be in touch with me within a couple of days. I would like to renew but only at the best cost available. Or I atleast want someone in management to know why I’m not renewing. Thanks for your attention. Gwen Margaritondo
Here’s the most recent email:
From: AJC Customer Care
Subject: Re: Why I’m not renewing [#10070083]
Date: Thursday, April 16, 2009 9:14:35 AM
Thank you for contacting The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
We apologize for the delay in response. However, we have forwarded your
information to the correct department for discounting the paper. A
representative will contact you within 1-2 business days.
Please feel free to contact our Customer Care Department at 404.522.4141 if you require additional assistance in the future.
Thank you again for your e-mail to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
April 26th, 20097:55 am
Such a shame that your caring for readers does not extend to Rabun County. We, too, appreciate and enjoy a GOOD paper that presents local,state, national and international news. I suppose to be adaptable is good, but as an advanced senior citizen, a 30 year Yankee implant to Georgia, and a dedicated reader of the AJC (even online)I miss reading the paper and enjoying my coffee at the breakfast table!
Just my comment.
April 26th, 20097:59 am
This is first Sunday in 20+ years without a Sunday Paper.
I have to take attitude that the AJC has ceased to exist.
What a terrible thing for a paper which once said it covers Dixie like the due to cover hardly anywhere now.
April 26th, 20098:14 am
I’m glad tgo see that some”old line” journalists are doing it better. TARFI theres always room for improvement. Way to go! It woud be too big a commute to get your, I;m in Clarkston Mich! Maybe i can get it once in a while on the net. Just thought I’d give you a friendly ‘thumbs up’ Writing can be such a challenge, even my own poor blog, (here goes the plug) i say this for now @ blogstream. ideas come free, or cheap. Doing it, takes the other definition of ‘work’. Have a good day.
Bert Roughton, managing editor
April 26th, 20098:31 am
The toughest thing for me has been the awful fact that we’ve had to reduce the numbers of counties in which we circulate. It’s one thing for people to leave us, it’s another to take the paper away from loyal readers. I have a vacation house in a county that used to get the AJC, and it kills me when I go to the convenience store and no longer see it in the rack. But our business realities wouldn’t let us continue delivering to such a wide area. At one point, we estimated that it was costing us $5 per newspaper to deliver it to some parts of the state. I hate it, but we really didn’t have a choice. Let’s hope for better times.
In the meantime, we do offer an online version of the newspaper that offers something at lease closer to the experience of reading the paper – as close as you can get without the pleasure of the actual paper. Check it out at ajcprint.com. I’d love to know what you think.
Gwen, I’ll see what I can do for you.
April 26th, 20098:33 am
We live in rural south Georgia. The paper is no longer delivered on a daily basis down here. Any way your coverage area will be increased?
Since we can only get the paper “ONLINE”, are you going to charge for this service? THANKS AND
LONG LIVE THE AJC
April 26th, 20098:51 am
I love the AJC, but sadly it is no longer available here in the mountains. Please, as you re-design your online version, remember us up here. I have been reaing the daily newspaper since I was 5 years old, and it is a major disappointment to live out my golden years in an area where no major newspaper is available.
April 26th, 20098:53 am
A managing editor who can’t spell the word for a heavy fabric called canvas, and a copy desk that didn’t catch it? Ay-yi-yi
April 26th, 20098:57 am
Bert – the changes you portend are good over all. My beef is with the
ON LINE paper. The DeKalb Section is always thin and the pictures and stories stay up forever – to wit the Marine Corps School and its headline. And, the slant to the political left has left me cold. Objectiviy has left the building! AJC paper is losing out to the weekly fare as far as news goes. And, their reporters and editors are really accessible. One more thing – your DeKalb beat guy seems not to gather the facts before he submits his stuff and the editor doesn.t know so misleading and untrue stories get going. I am a native ATlantan and a Grady baby and know what the AJC used to be – BETTER!
April 26th, 20099:12 am
I moved to Banks County from Phoenix, a culture shock to say the least. The AJC was the closest thing to my Arizona Republic. Now the AJC is gone. The online version is just not the same. Why is it that rural Georgia is always the areas left out while metro areas prosper?
How long will it be before AJC begins to charge for the online version?
April 26th, 20099:16 am
A fresh face must equal a fresh content.
What is a blue paper doing in a red state? When is Cynthia Tucker leaving? and Mike Luckovich’s cartoons are a detriment to our society.
Look, I stopped reading your paper when I noticed that at the end of my read I was thouroughly pissed off. The counter to this is the , Wall Street Journal, I read and read and I get my news.
So a fresh face MUST BE followed by a fresh, factual, unopinionated, politically unbiased content. Can you do that? Look at Page A3 today, 3 ways to build a more efficient newspaper, where is the fresh content? Uou think this is just about efficiency?
The most important news this week has been the Interrogation tactics, where is the other side? You think the LA Times is a reliable source rather than a propaganda machine? You are supposed to give us the facts so we can be informed and make up our own minds. Rest my case.
April 26th, 20099:19 am
Rosita: Just blame the managing editor – the copy desk never saw my little essay. It reminds me again of how important it is to be edited – even if you’re an editor. It’s also cool that you can fix it online and not feel miserable that you have printed a quarter million copies with a stupid typo. Please read the newspaper as carefully and email me when we let something by.
To folks losing the printed edition, please take a look at ajcprint.com and give me your thoughts.
Jack: I’m happy to discuss the issue of bias, but it really helps me to discuss a specific case. I’m not sure I agree with you that the newspaper used to be better – I know, I was here. But I will say that my focus at the moment is making Monday’s newspaper as good as I can make it and then moving on to Tuesday.
April 26th, 20099:29 am
Ena: Good morning. I appreciate that you have rested your case, but I must ask, did you read the newspaper’s coverage? Was there something in that coverage that suggested a bias? I’m sorry that you dislike the work of Cynthia and Mike, but many, many readers love them. Our editorial pages carry a variety of opinions in a pretty balanced way. But balanced does mean that you represent opposing views. Our new columnist Kyle Wingfield, who comes from the Wall Street Journal, is likely to keep our readers on the left feeling challenged quite often.
April 26th, 20099:34 am
Don’t forget the old who, what, when, where, why. “Pulitzer oratory” has become so bad that one routinely has to read to the final paragraphs buried deep within to discover the reason its news.
April 26th, 20099:36 am
Bert: Ena has it! Jack
April 26th, 20099:38 am
Bert, I really appreciate your responsible attitude toward errors. That’s part of the solution. But I must ask, isn’t involving the copy desk also part? That seems to be a major flaw with the online edition: writers rush their copy to the site without anyone proofing it. It may seem small to non-journalists, but journalists (I’m one, too) know that accuracy is an essential component of reportorial excellence. Good luck
April 26th, 20099:41 am
Phil: Interesting that you raise this point. It became clear to us as we spoke to readers last year that they really, really wanted is to boil things down and cut to the chase. We heard them and are editing our stories to get as much to the top as possible – particularly with the daily – and to write with as much brevity and clarity as possible. This doesn’t mean that we don’t have greater ambitions for stories that merit it, but it does mean that we are editing just about everything with a view to provide you the most news we can in the time you have for us.
April 26th, 20099:42 am
Bert: Your response did not include my impression about the “boney”( i.e. no meat) DeKalb Section – put someone on that!
April 26th, 20099:44 am
Bert – howzabout putting some people in the DeKalb Bureau – they seem to come to work once a week measured by what the online section contains. By the way the Marine Corps school stuff is STILL up!.
April 26th, 20099:46 am
Rosita: No one values copy editing more than I. (After allowing a typo in my blog in full view of people who can fire me, I have a fresh appreciation.) Unlike my blog piece, everything that goes in the newspaper is edited by experienced editors. We’ve had a few structural changes that have disrupted the editing process some, but we have not lowered our standards or decided to tolerate errors.
April 26th, 20099:48 am
The AJC has been our newspaper for over 40 years but now that you’re excluding Clarke County from your delivery area we’re switching to the New York Times. We’ll miss you but the times are a-changing and we can change with them. Stay intelligent and don’t be taken in with the majority of our backward politicians in this state of Georgia. Report the facts not the biases except to critique the biases.
April 26th, 20099:49 am
Bert: final note and I’m off to choir – newspapers are drying up, closing down and bankrupting all around the country – why’s that?
April 26th, 20099:50 am
Jack: My first job at the AJC was covering the DeKalb County Commission and its, uh, colorful chairman, Manuel Maloof. DeKalb is very important to me personally, and it’s key to our strategy of focusing on the core counties. I promise I’ll look at our coverage and do the best I can with the resources we have.
April 26th, 200910:00 am
I’ve been a faithful reader of the AJC since it was “The Atlanta Journal” and the Constitution was a totally different paper. I actually do enjoy the ability to read the paper on-line, although I miss Sunday afternoons with the paper strewn all over the living room. From my perspective, the most unfortunate result of budget cutbacks at the AJC has been the obvious reduction in editorial review staff. The abundance and pervasiveness of grammatical errors in the writing is quite noticeable and extremely annoying. One has to wonder if the writer is making so many errors in verb tense, what else might he or she be overlooking? The ability to publish on-line gives one the ability to do so quickly, but does not relieve the writer of the responsibility to ensure the text is accurate. If you don’t have the money to hire a proper review board, at least hire people who can construct a simple sentence with the correct verb tense (or know how to use the grammar check button on the computer).
April 26th, 200910:01 am
Jack: You want me to answer that as you run out the door to choir practice? Why not ask the meaning of life? A lot of factors are hurting newspapers – longterm trends in the way people consume news content, the rapid evolution of the Internet and the implications this has had on all advertising dependent media, etc. But I believe there’s a place in the media landscape for a newspaper – a printed newspaper. I don’t believe the AJC is dying – I do believe the AJC might be in serious peril if we didn’t change. A lot of that change will be evident with the redesign that you will see next week. A lot will be less obvious and has to do more with how we cover the news and invest our reporting and editing. I’m also hoping that readers won’t take us and what we do for granted. We aren’t perfect and we make mistakes, but I can’t imagine what would have happened in metro Atlanta over the 38 years I’ve lived here if someone from the AJC hadn’t been keeping an eye on things.
April 26th, 200910:06 am
MSH: I solicit your help. Please let me know every time you see such a mistake. This will allow us to figure out where we have weaknesses in our systems. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at 404-526-5681. We owe it to you all – and the language – to correct this.
April 26th, 200910:27 am
I will be happy to do so. I reailze the English language is a living, constantly evolving entity, otherwise we’d still be speaking Latin. Schoolkids read this paper also, and should have good examples of writing set for them. This one rather jumped out at me this morning. Please let me know if I’m being overly particular: “Police say Michaels’ BMW hit the Carters’ Mercedes and then both cars cross over to incoming traffic. The Carters’ car hit Tracie Johnson’s Volkswagen. Michaels regained control of her BMW and continued on.”
April 26th, 200910:31 am
i applaud your efforts but this paper is as left as chavez. you try to argue that the coverage isnt biased, but the constant selection of stories against republicans and the amazing lack of stories bad for dems (along with your constant endorsement of dem policital candidates) show your paper’s true intent. plus, the writing is poor. the only decent thing going on right now is bob barr’s column, because he is critical of both the left and the right and plays it straight. we all know that cynthia’s opinion is going to be pro-obama, race card, but bob really puts both parties in their place. move bob out of the opinion pages and into the editorial page and i will consider subscribing to this paper.
April 26th, 200910:35 am
Bert: 5 front page aricles, yes I get it. But the A Section is full of articles from the AP, LA Times, NY Times; If you have to rely on these sources for the news, then this is the sad part. These are propaganda machines Bert – clearly – So the AJC has become one of those where the same biased news keeps getting reported.
I have high hopes with the New Public Editor Ms McIntosh. Her bio sounds promising and I hope she will deliver.
and Good Morning to you too; I value freedom of the press in it’s full meaning; not a copy cat of redundant propaganda. I hope I am being very clear to get my point across to you; value your intentions and the love of your job; and my comments are to give you input to the overall problem with the AJC – loosing circulation – the content is very questionable. Respectfully, have a great day.
April 26th, 200910:37 am
sorry, forgot to give other praise. mark bradely’s blogging during the basketball tournaments was awesome. i was at work and it was like i was there. we asked questions and he answered. even though we all know he is anti-tech, i really appreciate the extra effort he put forth during that time. i look forward to it during the bowl season and maybe nba finals. he did a great job.
maybe that is something that you should consider. whenever we see these stories in the paper, they are stale. journalists put them them and we read them. there is no interaction with the journalist. we only get the surface of what he or she was thinking and often misinterpret the writing. maybe to make the ajc a living paper, you can provide the means in which, online, we can interact with the journalist (obviously, ap stories aside). email is used now, but we dont see the conversation. you can do it where for 2 hours a day, each story will have a blog link in which the person that wrote the story can be asked questions. if people are interested in the story, it will help to drive interaction with the story. plus, you will be able to see the types of stories and manner of interaction in which the readers are most interested. you do this a little bit with the opinion blogs, but that is not news.
just a thought.
April 26th, 200910:44 am
May I call you Bubba? I’m not really arguing about our coverage. I am asking for something more specific. My job is to see what the problem is and address it. Sometimes I feel like a doctor examining a patient who complains of having a pain without telling me exactly when or where it hurts. I also sometimes feel as if I’m hearing from a lot of people who haven’t seriously read the paper lately. That’s fine. I’m thinking of ignoring what I experienced in the 1980s and buying an American car because I think it might be the right thing to do. People and products change. So, here’s my challenge, Bubba, start reading our paper next week and for the next couple of weeks. If after that, you honestly conclude that we are a bunch of semi-literate, leftist propagandists, they you’re only out the cost of a decent bottle of wine. If you decide that we’re better than you thought, then you can make an informed decision about whether to subscribe or not.
April 26th, 200910:56 am
Ena: I appreciate your support for the free press. We do have limited choices in bringing you world and national news. I believe this is a sad reality, but for perhaps different reasons. My experience tells me that you are a bit hasty in dismissing these newsgathering institutions
as propaganda machines. I’d say that in most cases, they are reputable news people trying very hard to get it right. Sometimes, we disagree with their approach and news judgment and often decide against running something they have produced. But this is the exception rather than the rule. I would find it very helpful if you would ignore the source of the story – as much as you can – and get to the details of what they are saying that strikes you as biased. That gives us something to work on and look for. Now, we may not always agree with you on what is and isn’t bias, but it really helps me to be as specific and clear as possible. We also are going after our own content to intentionally provide balance – look at the Sunday paper’s treatment of assessing Obama’s first 100 days. You can always email me at email@example.com or phone me at 404-526-5681 if you have a concern. I’d love to hear from you.
Why do people insist on whining about certain writers? There are certain writers I don’t care for, but guess what….I DON’T READ THEM. It’s people like you that have ruined America, forcing your way on everyone. Sad.
April 26th, 200910:57 am
Bubba: I like that idea.
April 26th, 200911:00 am
also, maybe part of the newspaper can be a “follow-up” section in which the original journalist puts down some of the questions and additional informatino or thoughts other readers may find useful or interesting. further, by providing for an interaction capability, us readers can interact with each other. by acting as the forum, the AJC strengthens itself and its brand.
April 26th, 200911:04 am
April 26th, 200911:06 am
bert, by the way, i did not mean to imply anything about illiteracy (i think that was another blogger). i have been reading your online version for quite sometime. i am looking forward to seeing the changes. i started reading the marietta daily journal online because i honestly was tired of only reading about how the right was corrupt (we all know its on both sides) and seeing biased coverage. hopefully, you can change things.
i am really looking forward to teh online interaction, if you start it. i would love to talk to the journalist that wrote the article of interest to me. i would also like to see what other people are asking and commenting about the story. this would be awesome for the race to the governors house.
April 26th, 200911:07 am
It’s laughable to suggest that the AJC editorial page is anything other than stridently left-wing. Having one token conservative on staff (and only one–you even had to go to a writer living in England to find a replacement) says all you need to know about the leftoid tendencies of the AJC.
Here’s the thing, Bert. You could get away with having a paint-by-numbers Leftie editorial slant (and spare us the bit about editorial being seperate from “reporting”–how many people in that building didn’t vote for Obama? I doubt it’s higher than single digits) when you had a monopoly. Your monopoly is gone, and so is every conservative reader who’d had enough of being insulted and belittled by the Tuckers and Luckoviches and Bookmans of the AJC. Those people are the vast majority of your potential customers, and we’re not coming back.
You had your chance, and you blew it.
April 26th, 200911:09 am
bert, good luck! gotta head off to church. i am excited about the changes and sincerely appreciate you listening to your audience and replying. i also like the fact that you are defending yourself, because that shows to me that you believe in what you are doing and care. maybe in 2 years we can read about how the ajc lead the newspapers into a new age. now that would be cool.
April 26th, 200911:15 am
OUR NEW EDITOR: “I appreciate that you have rested your case, but I must ask, did you read the newspaper’s coverage? Was there something in that coverage that suggested a bias?”
THIS IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM. You can’t even agree that the AJC leans left. If you don’t come on here and admit that is has a leftward bias, then I will see you as another editor who doesn’t get it. When someone takes over a failing business, the first thing they need to do is figure out what the problem is so they can resolve it. If they can’t even figure out WHY it is failing, how will they succeed? Once you can accept that this paper is left leaning and that is the MAJOR change that needs to take place RIGHT NOW, then you will get the support from readers like me…the same readers who have canceled our subscription over the past 5 years.
I am encouraged on some of the other things that you are trying to accomplish, but they aren’t your main problem.
April 26th, 200911:19 am
Thanks for highlighting the online print edition. Today was the first day I had heard of it and I’ve been reading the ajc online for six years. While I too lament the absence of a paper here in the mountains, I am thankful that ajc.com is still free!! I began my early working days in the same manner as you and will always value the experience of reading an actual newspaper. I don’t really have a complaint or concern, just wanted to say thanks for your posture and for dealing with the harsh realities of today. Keep the newspaper going – it is one of the few things that brings light to places that need it.
April 26th, 200911:26 am
Bubba: I’ll listen to readers like you day and night because you make us better. Please check us out and let me know how we’re doing.
Mitchell: While I’m pleased to give you a laugh, I’m sorry that you believe we’ve blown it. But your comment strikes me as someone who isn’t deeply familiar with our newspaper. I will offer you the same challenge, but it will require that you invest in the product a little. Next week go out and get the paper and then continue reading it through Sunday. (Heck, go out and get the Sunday paper today, it’s a fine sample of our product, if I do say so.) Repeat step one. After that, if you conclude that we are what you believe us to be, then you have risked little and perhaps gained a lot. If I’m wrong and you are basing your opinion on what you experience every day with the AJC, then help me by indentifying where we express bias. Cynthia and Mike don’t really count because they are clearly in the opinion business and we make no bones about that. Are you willing to give us a try, or are you content to just throw rocks?
April 26th, 200911:33 am
Andrew: I would admit that if I believe it to be true. I believe our news pages – the area I have some influence over – provide balanced, accurate coverage. I believe our editorial pages offer a diversity of clearly marked opinion, some left, some right and much in the very gray area in the middle. The point I’m trying to make is that people often say all these things without really reading the newspaper. Read it, find examples of what you think shows bias and then let’s talk about it. I believe it’s in your interest as well as mine to have a thriving newspaper in metro Atlanta and that well-focused, specific criticism will make it better.
April 26th, 200911:34 am
JoJo: It’s my pleasure to help. Bert
Hi, Bert. I’m excited about all of the thought that has gone into this, and relieved that the watchdog role is still taken very seriously. Seeing “State of Play” last night, I was reminded that while newspapers are made up of human beings who themselves wrestle with issues of right and wrong, the urge to investigate and hold leaders accountable must be protected and strengthened in a world full of frivolous distractions. Thank you for holding firm on that! I have never doubted your determination to do so.
April 26th, 200911:37 am
No Sir, it’s in my interest to challenge a newspaper that has been an embarrassment to this city. I was looking forward to a new editor who may bring our newspaper where it should be. YOU DON’T HAVE A CHANCE IF YOU DON’T SEE THE BIAS….it’s a shame.
April 26th, 200911:42 am
I continue to be mesmerized reading though the statements over the past few days how the Editors and Staff “listened to the public”. Yet, the rumbling of discontentment have been heard for years. I, for one, got tired of paying for the abuse imparted on me as a customer and reader over 3 years ago. So now, you have listened, you have changed the format, the reach of the paper has been reduced, you are adding other view point, all that for the hefty cost of numerous employees who were laid off.
Hence my question… what was the tipping point that made the AJC realize that, after years of steadfastily ignoring its constituency, listening to it had become a novel idea that, perhaps, meant the road to survival?
April 26th, 200911:44 am
As a subscriner since 1985, with time out for some work in California, I’ve seen many changes in the AJC. My initial sunscription was to the Journal, and then I contiinued with the AJC.
I watched as the AJC swung left with Cynthia Tucker and Jay Bookman, among others and, over time still occasionally read Ms. Tucker but quickly learned to completely ignore Bookman. There was an occasional conservative opinion offered (Tuesday and Friday) but the “reader;s input” section was, by Ms. Tucker’s choice, always full of liberal, left-wing comments, most commenting favorabily on her editorials. So, it got t where I rarely read the Editorial section. Then, you began sneaking liberal thought into your “News”stories, by choice of content and stated positions by your “reporters.”
Then, you cut the number of columns of information from 7 to 6. Well,…still O.K. but it seemed that the size of print was also decreased. Now, you’re going to a “Reader’s Digest” size paper with only 5 columns! Tour Daily “Comic” section is already so small that I have a hard time reading the little six panel cartoons. You do realize that your average daily reader is not a 16 – 17 year old but people much more “seasoned” who, in many instances, already have a need for some reading magnification, don’t you?
Also, the cartoons are no longer funny, with LIO, Pearls before Swine, Brewster Rocket, Scary Gary, Non Sequitur and others. Several of those are far from funny. They fit in the “weird and Sick” criteria.
The “New” AJC reminds me of Girl Scout Cookies. It’s getting smaller, you get less content for a higher price and it appers to be less satisfying before you even taste it!
I’m going to give it “the Old College Try” for a few days. If it provides any satisfaction, I shall keep my subscription. But, if it turns out the way I think it will, I will cancel my subscription.
April 26th, 200911:45 am
Cathy: I haven’t seen the movie but I hear that it has scenes that would make someone like me blubber in a public place. I have no doubt that someone soon will present us with the idea of an automated newspaper reporter – input the facts and the software would provide a clear, typo-free story. Without doubt, that would reduce the heartache. But newspapers are special, important and vulnerable places because of the people attracted to work for them, and nothing can really replace that.
April 26th, 200911:46 am
Bert I just sent you an email with an example with the acticle on A13 about the interrogation tactics. Classic miss labeling of the headline and miss representation to the public; and Yes, I do like the Obama 100 days in office reporting; very fair, thank you. NO I am not hesitant about dismissing the news gathering institutions as propaganda machines as I know that is what they have become; hopefully the people can force them to turn around and work for us rather than Washington DC, George Soros or Moveon.Org to name a few. Thank you.
April 26th, 200911:50 am
Remember, a lot of the cuts in size, etc., are in response to the realities of the business and lousy economy, not because we’re eager to cut back. Also, if the paper turns out the way you worry it will, I might cancel my subscription, too.
April 26th, 200911:58 am
Piozou: That’s an interesting question. I’m not sure there was a tipping point per se. We have seen the obvious for some time – that readers were moving away from the printed newspaper and that it was becoming increasingly difficult for us to continue as a profit-making business without making some important changes. We decided that it was essential to focus the newspaper on serving readers who are likely to stay with us. It may sound ridiculously simple, but we decided a few years ago to go after people who like newspapers and to redesign our newspaper to appeal to them. Rocket science, right?
April 26th, 200912:07 pm
All: It’s too pretty a day for us to be stuck in front of these computer screens, so I’m going to go out for a while. I’m heading to the Inman Park festival but will return later to continue. Go ahead and post comments about what we’ve been discussing so far and anything else – so long as it’s related to the newspaper. If you see me at the festival, I’d be happy to continue the conversation. The very pretty yet patient woman with me will be my wife. Her name is Melinda, and she is the newspaper’s toughest critic.
April 26th, 200912:08 pm
I have serious concerns about the way the publisher has quietly changed the constellation of the editorial board. Gone are Tucker, Bookman, and Downey….replaced with, hmmmm….the publisher. Are there other newspapers that allow the publisher to participate on the editorial board? It seems non-transparent and suspect to me.
P.S. Good luck, Bert. You’re a lot more fun that the other AJC conversation folks!!
April 26th, 200912:27 pm
Bert, You are one brave dude to field all these accusations about “bias”. Most people get their national and world news from sources that agree with their own bias on cable, radio, or the net. They then come to the AJC to find out what is happening in Georgia and are outraged that you are not FOX News or MSNBC -”shocking it is how biased you are! “(YODA quote) . Bias has become a code word for “you don’t report what I want to hear”, regardless of what is news. Stay strong Bert
April 26th, 200912:29 pm
I must say that I marvel at some of these comments that suggest an AJC left-leaning bias. How can this be said of a newspaper that actually gives Bob Barr a voice? I’d prefer to see his 2nd amendment promotion and his secession support of Texas packed off to, well… Texas.
April 26th, 200912:50 pm
Happy to know that your new look will keep opinion, left and right, on the editorial pages so those who want to keep up with the news, but are intolerant of different viewpoints, can just skip those pages.
Personally, I think you’ve done an incredible job minimizing coverage of the poverty, ignorance and inequity that is ubiquitous to our city, state and region. But when I want even less, I can always just toss the AJC aside and switch on your sister Cox radio station for the balance of Neal Boortz.
April 26th, 200912:53 pm
As another reader who no longer gets the paper in habersham county, i wanted to say that one on the things that i miss the most is the ads that came in the paper. Our family would read the paper on sunday mornings after church and then plan a trip into Gainesville or Buford to go shopping. I hope the businesses realize how much they are losing because of the cut backs.
April 26th, 200912:57 pm
P.S. Went to go look at ajcprint.com—–thought it was pretty lame and a REALLY POOR SUBSTITUTE for a newspaper.
April 26th, 20091:01 pm
Why do you not offer paid subscribers to the AJC free access to ajcprint.com as well? On those all-too-frequent days when my paper doesn’t arrive or arrives late or arrives wet or is missing sections, it would be most helpful to be able to read the paper online rather than wait for a possible redelivery. This access should be free to all paid newspaper subscribers.
Online version is poor substitute. I will read articles here and there but no interest in reading whole paper online. You have lost loyal subscriber for good.
April 26th, 20091:14 pm
April 26th, 20091:25 pm
In the beginning of the “new way” of the AJC I was very hopeful. I heard the admissions that the AJC had to be more careful about being sure that its stories were not ideologically biased. The next day, the AJC published an article about stem cell use that might as well have been a promo for a pro stem cell position. It was simply advocacy journalism. There was not even the barest aknowledgement of another point of view other than a dismissive wave. My hopes for the AJC evaporated as a realized that the writer was either clueless or dishonest.
Now you ask for a trial. You ask for us to come and see, judge for ourselves. Bert, we will. One and only one more time.
April 26th, 20091:28 pm
From the on line edition right now…
Napilotano said at a White House news conference Sunday that the emergency declaration is standard operating procedure—one was recently declare for the inauguration and for flooding.
lost in Athens
April 26th, 20091:42 pm
Okay, so my AJC is going to be unavailable to me in printed version for the first time in my 50 years of living. Fine, I’ve been reading the online version as I travel around the world for the last few years, anyway. My question is: Do I need to cancel my subscription out here in Athens, or will it be automatically canceled when delivery stops to this far flung outpost of liberalism in an otherwise conservative state?
April 26th, 20091:47 pm
No more AJC in Macon . I was able to buy a Sunday New York Times . It was $ 5.00 !!
April 26th, 20091:58 pm
This is the best explanation I’ve gotten thus far. We appreciate your honesty.
I’m a big sports fan. In the past year or so, I’ve watched that section shrink and shrink. I’ve watched a lot of your good people — Barnhardt, D’Allesio, Michelle Hiskey — leave. Will the sports section continue to be smaller?
Is sports just no longer a priority, even though UGA is an hour away?
April 26th, 20092:12 pm
Home delivery will soon be a thing of the past everywhere just like the milkman. I’m guessing three years tops.
April 26th, 20092:16 pm
The editorial board needs to balanced and you have not even admitted that this a problem. You have Thinking Right (now retired) vs. Cynthia (In Charge), and Bookman with the wild leftist cartoons of Toonboy. This does not represent the values of your readers. Well it might now that you do not deliver to the outlying areas.
All I ask for if you have two from the left, you have two from the right. I also ask that you have a cartoonist to balance the leftist lunyluko.
This paper is a sad reflection of the once noble paper that covered Dixie like the Dew.
It is not too late to fix it, but you have to admit there is a problem and look to balance your views instead of leaning left and ignoring the problem. The problems faced by Newspapers are not just fixed by just looking to find balance. Technology and the marketplace are putting outside pressure on this business, but you should not make it worse by ignoring your internal problems and continuing to tick off the readers.
April 26th, 20092:46 pm
Can’ wait until you quit delivering in my community, as the deliverer wakes me up at 5 am with a blaring radio. I have called twice to ask that this stop to no avail. As for the paper, it is another sad victim of the internet and it’s poor quality will not help save it.
April 26th, 20093:06 pm
You publish in a state where Republicans hold the governorship and comfortable majorities in both chambers, yet you haven’t endorsed any but Democrats for president or governor since … Eisenhower?
And then you feign confusion when confronted with your famous liberal bias — while claiming to look for ways to better serve Georgia readers?
Enjoy your coming insolvency.
April 26th, 20093:20 pm
“There are certain writers I don’t care for, but guess what….I DON’T READ THEM”
Right and if the bulk of the writing is from writers I don’t care for, I DON”T BUY THE PAPER.
The problem is that the AJC is writing for a San Fransisco audience, but they are serving a red state. Frankly, I ended my subscription because I was tired of being demonized for not sharing the narrow views of Tucker, Bookman Luckovich and the rest of the editorial board. You folks refuse to acknowledge the obvious bias of the paper, which is fine, but I don’t have to buy it and I don’t.
Roger D Smart, PO1, USN, Retired
April 26th, 20093:34 pm
My question to any AJC writer/reporter is this: Do you have a military writer on staff? If not, you certainly need one badly. I can’t even give you a story or a report on the tribulations of my agenda. i am requesting you get a military reporter with the military in mind.
April 26th, 20093:47 pm
Lots and lots of bitter people out there! It’s attitudes like that keeping our country from moving forward. That and big business, big government and wall street having lost all credibility, all trust and all sympathy through selfish, greedy deeds of their own. In the middle of all of that…. God Bless the local newspaper! But, one thing, on the Sunday Jumble, can you print the answer upside down like you do the rest of the week, so I don’t see it when I turn the pages looking for the puzzle!?
April 26th, 20093:54 pm
I’ve seen this kind of thing before, where the guy at the fair sits above the big tub of water while slackers throw baseballs at a target, hoping to knock him in. Well, you’re still sitting there and you’re not wet. Good work, maybe you should try your hand at mediating that thing in the mid-east, it couldn’t much harder.
April 26th, 20094:10 pm
AJC has seen it’s best days. You have taken away the paper from the people that enjoy reading it the most SENIORS. AJC has no respect for people or staff. You have allowed a reckless news staff, a reckless staff of higher ups destroy this company. When I see your building it looks so pitiful. What happen to the joy and pride of the AJC. New reporters, new writers, new staff, new whatever nothing will save the AJC. New York Times is much better than AJC. Your paper only cares about the wealthy people of the south. Go ahead and consider AJC out of business it will happen it’s only a matter of time. This newspaper business is not the same and the so call improvements you are making will not last. Nobody likes the paper you guys product. NOBODY!!!!!!!!!!! Accept and move on. Maybe a new media will come to Atlanta and show AJC what it takes to stay in business. You must be fair to all people.AJC needs to understand fairness to ALL.
April 26th, 20094:13 pm
I hasve been reading the daily newspaper since I was old enough to sit with my father every morning and talk about one article in each section. I still read the print daily but if the AJC wants to look for the decline in subscriptions it needs to look inward at itself. My paper does not arrive till after 830am which is entirely toooo late for an am delivery and half the time it is nowhere near my door. I live in a building and i assume I am the only one who gets a paper on my floor and the delivery person when the elevator door opens leans out and “chucks” down the hall towards my door. So am am ready to cancel my subscription as well and just pick up a copy when I can…. it is a shame that you have lost focus on the Customer.
April 26th, 20094:16 pm
About the movie: State of Play — yes, it touched the ever-present journalist’s heart in me because there was so much heart in the movie. The characters were dealing with real corruption in politics, the realities of enw ownership and real challenges in shifting from paper to on-line reporting. It was a brilliant snapshot of where we are. And while it is so easy to sit back and criticize journalists, if you haven’t walked a mile in a reporter’s shoes, your insights are limited.
April 26th, 20094:29 pm
I’m also lost in Athens. I’ve been a reader and subscriber for a couple of decades, and I’m unable to understand this decision to cut us off. The AJC has a printing plant in Gwinnett County, for pete’s sake! Is this just another bad business decision in the wake of so many others? I hope for the AJC’s sake not, although I must say I wonder how the top people there are still employed. Kind of like the banking industry, I guess.
And as for the alleged left bias of the editorial pages, I feel sure that if you did a rigorous, unbiased analysis of the editorial pages over several months or years, you’d find a strong conservative slant. It’s Bob Barr, Charles Krauthammer and Wooten all the time.
April 26th, 20094:32 pm
I’m back from the festival – it was super – let me catch up.
April 26th, 20094:37 pm
I think it’s admirable how you’re responding to the veiled attacks here by some. We all know it’s a tough economy…some things have to change, whether we all like them or not. That’s just the truth of it.
Anyway, keep up the good work. You’ve still got a supporter in me.
April 26th, 20094:57 pm
As long as the AJC has Bookman, Luckovich and Tucker it will continue to die a slow death. I know you have one conservative columnist but frankly- he is just a token so the AJC can pretend to present both sides. Hey, you have a cool last name…but good luck. The AJC is sinking fast.
OK. Thanks everyone for the comments. I see the themes are still sort of the same. I’m pleased that a few lefties suggest that instead of being ultra-liberal, we’re actually the tools of the right-wing conspiracy. Are you balanced if you complaints from both sides? Let me say again that we strive to present the spectrum of American political thought – as much of it as you can squeeze in our editorial pages. Whatever your point of view, you should be able to find a challenge or some comfort. I hope everyone at least something to think about. Our news pages, on the other hand, must be free of political agenda. A couple of you have pointed out some legitimate concerns about specific stories, and I will spend some time with those when I’m in the office tomorrow.
And again, I challenge everyone who comes to this conversation with a preconception about the AJC to have the courage to be challenged by actually reading the newspaper for a couple of weeks. If you see evidence of bias or anything else that concerns you, let me know and I’ll take your concerns to heart.
To those who no longer receive the paper, it breaks my heart. But let me say again we didn’t leave your parts of the state by choice. I guess we could continue printing everywhere in Georgia and continue with the same size and staff we had in 1990, but I’m guessing we’d be broke in a matter of weeks. We’re are taking these steps to preserve the newspaper because we believe in what we do. Let’s all hope for better days.
On sports, it’s true we’ve reduced space and have become pretty conservative about how we assign reporters and editors. It isn’t that we don’t care, it’s that we must respond to the realities in front of us. And we’re are listening very closely to sports readers as we proceed. When we can make changes that are within our means, we do. But it would be dishonest of me to suggest that sports readers wouldn’t see the difference. My best advice is to be patient with us as we move through these changes but make it clear to us what you believe you must have in your sports report.
We don’t have a military writer at the moment. As I hope you know, we’ve had some good ones in the past. Let me take that concern on board as we look at our staffing. If you have a specific story you’d like to discuss, give me a shout.
And Billy, if you sit in the target, you get dunked. That comes with joining the carnival.
Those of you with specific service complaints, I will share those with the right folks on Monday. And let me know how it goes. I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org, 404-526-5681.
April 26th, 20094:59 pm
Nice to hear from you, Uncle George.
April 26th, 20095:01 pm
I deeply miss the print edition of the AJC down here in my small town in south Georgia, but I am grateful to at least have the online version. It’s not the same as holding a paper in hand, but it at least keeps my informed. There are certainly aspects of the AJC that I dislike, but I still appreciate the news. And, I have to say, I respect you for being will to post your thoughts here and then take all the pot shots from disgruntled readers. If I were you, I’d go back outside and enjoy the day.
April 26th, 20095:02 pm
And obviously, I need some proof-reading, too.
April 26th, 20095:12 pm
Keith: I’ll be back outside shortly. I gave a speech at Georgia Southern a year or so ago, just after we stopped delivering to that part of the state. The people there were wonderful. I went to a place in Statesboro called Snookies, and met the owner, Bruce Yawn, who was very saddened to lose the newspaper. He wasn’t a computer guy and didn’t really know we had an online edition. I told him, and he was cheered a little but I could see he had lost something very important. Losing readers like you and Bruce is hard for me to take. I’m hoping people up here will pay attention to folks who now know what it’s like to be without us. I even had a guy tell me that he missed hating us.
April 26th, 20095:17 pm
We all have our opinions on virtually every subject. I appreciate the fact that the subjects are discussed and that sparks us all to be involved.
I agree will Jack about the online news articles. After about a week or so, replace them. The articles about the Weeks have been online for months. Keep them fresh.
What about a section dedicated to helping those readers that have been devastated by the recession? Articles on jobs, job fairs, training opportunities, etc. Along this line, how about more help with seeking the best price for goods, perhaps help locating coupons, free services, etc.
Each month, each municipality in each county has a Council Meeting. How about including those in the Metro sections in the county coverages?
When we read about a subject, it would be nice to be able to read the previous articles on it as well. We have to pay to enter the archives to do this. Could you create a link online, in the article, so the previous articles can be viewed also?
I enjoy reading the AJC every day. It is set as my homepage. Good Luck!
April 26th, 20095:29 pm
Wayne: These are good ideas. Let me ponder them some more.
Peaches: I meant to say something about your concerns about the way we played the stem cell story. I think you may be right about that one, and I’ve said so in the office. This is a complex story in which people are invested deeply on both sides – as if there are only two sides to the issue. If I remember correctly, we clearly represented the opponents of lifting the restrictions on the front page but the stories that day, taken as whole, could lead one to believe that the newspaper was celebrating the decision. I honestly believe the decision making in this case – including my own – was off key. We tried to make up for it in subsequent editions, but that one gave me pause as well. Thanks for giving us another chance.
April 26th, 20096:00 pm
Time to go fire up the grill. Please take a look at the redesigned newspaper starting on Tuesday. It is way cool,and I’d love to hear your responses.
April 27th, 20097:27 am
This is silly. To pretend you have just sliced bread when this Sunday/daily dissonance has been with us for decades. Every “consultant” has touted it, and most readers accept it. But once again a newspaper editor, sent out by the publisher to joust with critics of the cut-our-way-to-prosperity insanity, resorts to a thumb-sucking rationale that makes almost no sense in the 21st Century. The answer to your woes is simply: print news. Stop slashing reporters and editors while trying to convince us and you that less is better. News is by definition labor intensive. Yet this editor would have us believe that “different” and “smaller” and “cheaper” equates to “better”. It’s okay to lie to us. It is real bad, though, to lie to yourselves. When your goal has been reduced to having the biggest newsroom “in Atlanta” from “Covering Dixie Like the Dew,” then your demise is evident. Too bad. Just stop lying about it.
April 27th, 20097:30 am
I think the electronic version is worthy, though still waiting for the “paper screen” from MIT. Will this include coupons and other ancillary items such as TV week and coupons though? and will those coupons be accepted by the vendors. If it does, paper may have a chance..
April 27th, 20097:36 am
I feel like I am listening to folks like the Final Exit/Kervorkian, that make things sound like the end of the world is just going to be ok, and grin and bear it. Rather than innovate, it’s slash and burn. As I stated last week, what needs to happen, what must happen is to get the newspapers to get together and share and bring about information of substance from a local, regional and state purview. If the paper wants to be the Atlanta Daily, then admit it. But stop this happy go nonsense that everything will be ok by cutting staff and personnel. The electronic version you just laid out should have been implemented YEARS AGO. RIP AJC.
April 27th, 20097:40 am
Please, the changes to the newspaper are being done for financial reasons. Not that there aren’t improvements along the way. Just be honest. The newspaper is losing money and readers understand to remain viable that can’t continue. Just tell us that. If we need you as a watchdog, you need to be truthful when it concerns your motives
April 27th, 20097:45 am
ok, I give up. tell me how circulation goes down nearly 20 percent during the week and readership is up 2 percent. did you hire people from enrons accounting division? shortly, you can sell 100 newspapers and readership will still be up. you advertisers must love the fact that they buy print and they get online. makes me salivate.
April 27th, 20098:30 am
Since you no longer deliver to the area where I live, you have lost mine and many more readers. I spoke to several convenience store employees and they all said it is hurting their walk in business.
I have switched to another newspaper.
April 27th, 20098:31 am
Tell ya what …YOU continue to shamelessly deny that your newspaper is liberally biased in its selection, placement and wording of news stories, and I’LL continue to go elsewhere for my morning read.
April 27th, 20098:34 am
I’ve got to agree with Elizabeth. Were it not for the comics pages (and they’ve been slashed to death) I would not read the AJC.
April 27th, 20098:39 am
I have subscribed to the AJC for decades – I hate to say how long. However, my weekday news is gathered online. My husband likes to read the physical paper so we continue to subscribe for all 7 days. I do read the editorials but with quite a jaundiced eye due to your overwhelmingly liberal bias. This unabashed bias makes me question everything I read in your paper, so I make sure I read multiple sources to get a more balanced view.
On Sunday, I sort through the paper and pick out the Living Section, the comics and Parade first (used to include Arts & Entertainment for the book section). I do not look at your coupon or ad sections except to try to filter through and find the Parade. I think you hide the Parade in there so I have to at least touch those sections. Somedays I have to go through the stack 3 times to find the Parade. The TV Weekly is a waste of paper for me. I never look at it.
My husband goes right for the front page, @ Issue and sports. We trade sections after we’ve finished our first choices.
April 27th, 20098:44 am
I look for certain articles online only.
You have lost me after over 20 years as subscriber.
I do not think online only is a vaible business model and your decision to force out your best writers does not help either.
April 27th, 20098:54 am
I think newspapers should do away with their editorial pages. Then let’s see if these people are lying or not about their claims they stopped reading because of “liberal bias.”
April 27th, 20098:57 am
Hey, that Julia Wallace is kind of hot, in a Sarah Plain-esque sort of way. Rowrr.
April 27th, 20099:12 am
It’s funny how some people complain complain complain about the AJC but they’re still on the site. They’re probably the same folks always complaining about the mail service, the weather, their health, and their neighbors.
I sort the Sunday paper, reading the sports section first. I then return to the front page and read through the section. I read editorials. I stop. Later in the day I the other sections in no particular order.
April 27th, 20099:26 am
Don’t think that waving jazz hands in our faces is going to make for the lack of content, the profound brain drain that you allowed to happen, and the gutting of the editorial board.
Asking for our Sunday newspaper routine is insulting after the way the print reader has been dismissed.
April 27th, 20099:42 am
AJC circulation is down nearly 20%, maybe that’s because they have very little original content and an extremely left-wing bias.
THE STAR-LEDGER, NEWARK, N.J. — 287,082 — (-16.82%)
ST. PETERSBURG (FLA.) TIMES — 283,093 — (-10.42%)
THE OREGONIAN, PORTLAND — 268,512 — (-11.76%)
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION — 261,828 — (-19.91%)
SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE — 261,253 — (-9.53%)
April 27th, 20099:47 am
“It’s funny how some people complain complain complain about the AJC but they’re still on the site.”
Yeah, but we are not paying for it. Big difference. Look at the circulation drops relative to other papers and maybe you might start to see that there is a real problem.
The AJC’s local coverage is still useful, but few people are going to pay for a subscription just to read the Metro section.
April 27th, 200910:00 am
Also, the people who continue to actually buy newspapers, they are my parents age…and, to be blunt, that will soon be a dieing demographic.
I would be curious to see the circulation number by age < 40, 41 to 60, and over 60.
April 27th, 200910:06 am
This newspaper is falling apart. Today the Dear Abby column was cut off midstream, yesterday an obituary for an 8 or 9 year old child listed the child as a 1 year old and in the past few weeks I have caught numerous spelling and grammatical errors. For goodness sakes, in the online version you described someone’s boyfriend as their “bo” instead of “beau.” Ridiculous, meaningless columns such as the “social butterfly” are still being put in the newspaper even though no one reads them except for the people featured that day and hard hitting articles are being cut or even eliminated.
A few suggestions. One, hire someone to proofread your paper. 24/7. Because based on the past few weeks you should be embarrassed. Two, get rid of the fluff columns and let investigative reporters investigate. Three, I personally don’t care much what your conservative or liberal editors think. I am here to read the news, not read what their opinion is about a subject. I would prefer you cut out all editorial articles. Occasionally, let people involved or experts write pro/con articles about subjects.
April 27th, 200910:29 am
Sharecropper and Concerned, we certainly are not trying to sugarcoat the economic challenges we face. No one here likes having to make difficult decisions to reduce staff or cut circulation to outlying counties. As our publisher said in a recent letter to readers, “We can only be a strong, free press — beholden to no one — if we are profitable. Right now, the AJC — and other newspapers across the country — are struggling financially.”
And it’s true that there are some parts of the new design (the narrower width, for instance) that are driven more by finances than by reader demand.
But there are numerous improvements in the new AJC as well, improvements that were driven by reader research. It’s easier to navigate and scan; the pacing is better; the font is more readable and there are lots of new features, especially on Sunday, that readers we’ve tested it with really like.
April 27th, 200910:32 am
Long time reader, I promise we don’t intentionally hide Parade. It’s just that Parade, like the ad inserts, is not printed with the regular news sections of the newspaper; it’s inserted after printing.
April 27th, 200910:36 am
With a print newspaper you are forced to read the story in the format provided. With e newspapers you can select any format. Why is there a question if you have access to the Internet? Maybe a federal bailout is the temporary answer to American print’s last agonizing twitches.
April 27th, 200910:40 am
As a “60 something” who lived most of my life in Atlanta, I was always a 7 day a week subscriber until moving just across the state line into NC four years ago. At that point I began to read the AJC online during the week but to always buy that precious Sunday paper. That is, always, until you discontinued Sunday delivery to the northeast part of the state. It’s a funny thing but I would be happy to pay $5 a week to hold that paper in my hands again, but I am not interested in paying to be able to see online what I can no longer hold in my hands, to sit down with in my living room, to read, starting with the front page, in order, all the way through, to place the TV Week on my coffee table and, in the evening, cut out the coupons. I enjoy all the advertising circulars inside, the more the better. I look forward to those seasons when there are more of them, i.e. Mother’s Day, Christmas. I even read the classifieds. We still do a good bit of shopping in Atlanta, so all of the advertising is relevant to we who do not have much access to shopping, maybe even more so. Maybe you could consider a more expensive “exurb” edition to send to the hinterlands. That “dieing demographic” is still relevant (they buy stuff!) and pretty substantial in number.
April 27th, 200910:54 am
I think one of the big problems in this country is all the labeling everyone does constantly. “Liberal” this, “Right Wing” that. Seems like everyone complaining about the AJC being so liberal just wants to read an opinion that only agrees with their own. Can’t we think for ourselves any longer? And why all the labels? I think it’s time for more independant thinking and less labeling. If you don’t want to read an editorial, don’t. There’s more to the paper than just those pages. I really believe we as a country would get more done if we did away with all the labeling.
April 27th, 200911:00 am
Can we please stop this constant liberal vs. conservative battle. The ‘New York Times’ and ‘Washington Poat’ are liberal papers that I read on a regular basis. Neither paper has this on-going rage from conservatives complaining about the liberal bias of the paper. They just don’t. The AJC, as opposed to good quality reporting, fills space with comments from conservatives complaining about the paper. We know conservatives don’t like Tucker, we know liberals don’t like Wooten.
Let’s move on to a smarter paper. If you want a ‘role’ model, go study the ‘Post’, good in-depth stories worth reading. (I know the ‘Post’s circulation is down, don’t use that as a defense of your minimalist paper.) If you want people to read the paper, sell us a quality paper.
April 27th, 200911:11 am
BA, Most of the circulation decline in the most recent report was because of cuts in distribution. The AJC cut its distribution area from 74 to 49 counties in mid-2008, and to 27 counties this winter.
I know that seems counter-intuitive to deliberately cut readers during difficult financial times, but delivering to those outlying areas costs more than we can make for those subscriptions.
April 27th, 200911:12 am
I enjoyed Michaels comment about the “country” labeling everyone. It’s the media that does the labeling and the AJC was particularly good at criticizing the “bad conservatives”. The AJC lost sight of the big picture. Although they are a news agency, they need to make money. Unfortunately for them, they swung so far left that they alienated and lost many conservative customers, you know, the rich ones that have the money to buy their paper. Forget the editorials which I never read anyway because they were so biased, the way they report the news and what they decided to report on is biased too. So it has nothing to do with being an independant thinker. When I read the news I want to read the facts, not some liberal reporters interpretation of the facts. If I wanted BS, I’d watch Kieth Olberman and Rachel Madow. And since the AJC does not provide unbiased reporting, I am not, and will never be a customer. I’ll continue reading my local newspaper which reports the facts.
April 27th, 200911:13 am
Yes, the dieing demographic does purchase quite a bit, they have the highest disposible income of any age group. But, as younger people age and older people pass away, there will be fewer and fewer people who get hard copies of the newspaper.
It’s not a business model that has the brighest future
April 27th, 200911:20 am
The editorial pages are just the visible part of the AJC’s problem. If a reader has a viewpoint, be it left or right, that reader will have questions about any issue or story that they read. As a conservative, the AJC has consistently ignored or doesn’t even consider the questions that are raised in my mind (for example; has all this spending to eliminate homelessness actually eliminated any homelessness or just built a new bureaucracy?). The content in the stories, the questions asked, the issues raised, even the placement and length of the stories betrays a deep-seated liberal culture at the AJC.
The NYT and the WaPo reflect their regions and readership. The AJC doesn’t.
Bankruptcy, the fact you are here means you are a customer. The fact you take your own biases and cast them onto objective news stories just demonstrates on the more clearly it is your brain that is bankrupt. This newspaper reports the fact, the slant comes from your interpretation.
April 27th, 200911:30 am
When you completely remove Cynthia Tucker from any connection to the AJC, your paper has improved. Additionally, remove all fluff from this newspaper and report the news……good, bad, and indifferent. Having neutral slant on the news will go a long way for the AJC to survive.
April 27th, 200911:35 am
I have been a reader of the Atlanta newspapers for decades; both the Constitution and the Journal at first, now just the AJC. To say the the AJC has declined in virtually every category is to put it mildly. My wife and I recently canceled our subscription, because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Going from 3 sections on Sunday into 1 (Arts & Living, Travel, and the Style section) while claiming there is no loss of coverage or readability—puleeeeeeeeeeze. Meanwhile, the quality declines. Even if you have spellcheck, and use it, it helps to first be able to spell. Every time I pick up the paper, there are errors, sometimes egregious ones. You want to save money??–stop printing the Saturday paper, it’s been a waste of pulp for decades. Stop printing the TV section, it’s what? 4 pages long now? Seriously consider publishing only several times a week, and, as a reader above suggested, stop lying to yourselves and trying to lie to us that everything is just as good as it always was. Nobody really blames you, it’s the economy, stupid. But to continue gutting a once very fine paper while passing it off as still a fine paper borders on sacrilege, in my opinion. I’ll always honor Mr. Grady and his paper. I’ll always remember reading the daily paper with my father over breakfast, before the rest of the family got up. But I’m glad Daddy’s gone, so he wouldn’t be having to read this with his poached eggs. The smell from the remains of the carcass of a once noble publication is now the only thing “that covers Dixie like the Dew.”
April 27th, 200911:36 am
By the way, the some of the writers above, it would be “dying demographic.”
April 27th, 200911:37 am
“to some of the writers above…”
April 27th, 200912:06 pm
I “USE TO” look forward to reading the paper for at least 1-2 hours on Sunday mornings, over a cup of coffee, eggs and grits. But I cancelled my subscription about a year ago when the AJC stopped making Gwinnett section….sorry you guys are going backwards
April 27th, 200912:13 pm
Ward, I appreciate your comments. It’s that kind of specific feedback (the story idea on the homeless funding) that helps us respond to readers. We recently covered, for instance, cuts in city support for a homeless shelter at Peachtree and Pine and the city’s contention it was not getting results. That’s not exactly the story you mentioned, but I hope it demonstrates that we are interested in covering issues like that completely and showing more than one side of the story.
As much as practical, I’d ask that other readers who complain of liberal bias on our news pages give specific examples. I’m not asking that in order to pick an argument, but to have specific, actionable information I can share with our editors.
Now as far as complaints about some of our opinion columnists leaning left, I don’t need any further explanation on that; readers are pretty clear and specific about what they don’t like.
I’m not sure all readers here have heard of recent changes in our editorial lineup. You can read more here. http://www.ajc.com/opinion/content/opinion/stories/2009/04/14/wallaceed_0414.html
April 27th, 200912:24 pm
The cuts in circulation have been going on for a few years now. To say readership is up even in total is not honest. I will stick by what nowayjose said about Enron accountants.
Also, your prior publisher put you in this mess, granted, the economy stinks, but, his consultants, his hires, and his lack of leadership was the main reason.
As far as the changes to the paper, I am sure they will be fine. But, getting readers to give their opinion is a bit contrived…like betting on a sports team after the final score is posted. You had an outcome in mind, increase bottom line performance, and to me, that makes sense. Just tell us. I would guess that if these economic hardships hadn’t hit, the changes to the newspaper would be a lot different.
April 27th, 200912:28 pm
I am thoroughly disappointed at not having the AJC to read because delivery does not come to the Athens area. My wife and I looked forward to our Sunday mornings reading the newspaper and discussing articles and exchanging sections over a cup odf coffee. Coupons, crossword, puzzles, advertising and news, I miss them all. Can’t you at least compromise and send us papers on Sunday. Some person that lacks knowledge about what consumers wants is making a major error. Online is fine but sometimes you just wanna step away from the computer.
April 27th, 200912:34 pm
A couple years ago, I changed my daily subscription to weekends only. Like many of you, I did enjoy the coffee and paper routine on weekend mornings. As I grew increasingly impatient with the bias slant on all issues political and racial, I decided to cancel completely. Recently, I picked the Urinal and Constipation on my Kindle. Don’t know if it is the lack of photos (especially that Racist – Tucker) or what, but I find myself reading more of the AJC than ever before. Report only objective news, do not support politicians or politically touchy issues, and you just might come out of this alright.
April 27th, 200912:52 pm
I still say it’s amazing how many folks find so much wrong with the AJC and here they still are….
April 27th, 20091:46 pm
To the readers who ask how readership can be up while subscriptions are down, it’s not any tricky accounting. It’s just that we are referring to combined print and online readership. So you folks, here, are counted as readers even if you didn’t see a print edition today.
Hope that helps explain.
April 27th, 20091:58 pm
I’d say that clears it up nicely, Shawn. Keep up the good work. Some of us who hold your paper in our hands and visit your site don’t mind admitting we do it because we want to.
April 27th, 20092:54 pm
Tucker, Bookman and Downey demoted…. now if you’d just send Luckovich and his ratty scrawlings on his way, the AJC just might be readable again. For as long as it lasts.
April 27th, 20095:30 pm
Ok, I’m older but at 54, not THAT old. BUt I still love a printed newspaper. I almost never look at the online site. I want it in my hands! It gets me through my three times a week dialysis session. On Sunday, I take out the ads that don’t interest me, then I go to church. And I leisurely read almost every word of the paper for the next day or two. Alas, not taking me as long to read as it once did.
April 27th, 20096:20 pm
Want a specific factual error in the paper?
Friday, April 24, page B1, “Allow car washes, councilman urges” — para 7 “…That’s because Lake Lanier…remains at 9 feet below full…”
Friday, April 24, Page B2, “Corps declines request to raise Lanier by reducing water releases” — last para “Winter rains raised Lanier far more. Since late December, the lake has risen 13 feet and stands about 7 feet below full…”
Well, one of these two stories is factually wrong. (I believe the first one is wrong.)
Also, the AP stylebook says you should spell out whole numbers less than ten.
I see stuff like this fairly frequently, but when I’ve reported similar to email@example.com, I never see a correction, so I’ve kind of given up.
April 28th, 20097:02 am
I would love to comment on the new paper. However, it hasn’t been delivered yet. It is always there when I leave for work at 6. I take it with me. This morning, I waited until 6:15 and no paper. I guess the new look is invisible.
April 28th, 20097:03 am
Your new newspaper format is horrid. It reminds me of the “Weekly Reader” I used to receive in grammar school. The print is small and very light. I will give it some time and try to get used to it. My first opinion is that it is just awful.
April 28th, 20097:04 am
The changes to the print version really don’t make a difference to me. The print version is only used to for the bottom of my daughter’s lizard cage.
April 28th, 20097:12 am
Baseball standings so tiny that I need my glasses to read them and a sports section that qualifies as tiny too (all of 3-and-a-half pages) simply hastens my decision to ditch the AJC in favor of USA Today.
April 28th, 20097:14 am
The new design is too hard to read! It is way too compact. Some pages have 6 columns & are barely legible. Older people read the newspaper, but won’t be able to read this fine print!
April 28th, 20097:21 am
I also would love to comment on your paper but after being a subscriber for 20 years you no longer deliver to the Toccoa/NE GA area. You people have no idea how you have alienated so many people with your selfish decision. The AJC is not just (well it wasnt) a Atlanta newspaper, it WAS a state icon that everyone could take pride in and enjoy but you took that from us.
April 28th, 20097:26 am
I’ve been a subscriber since 89′, sorry folks, I know you are struggling, but, it is my opinion that you have finally put the last nail in the coffin lid. It looks like a failed USA Today. Font size too small. What’s with the faded colors and subdued sub-headlines? I hope you didn’t pay someone for this new layout. It is really terrible. Do something fast. I equate the new AJC look to that fiasco of Couric replacing Schieffer at CBS News.
April 28th, 20097:28 am
The new design is terrible. It looks like a comic book!
April 28th, 20097:32 am
Hate the new format, looks like a cheap USA Today. Faded front page is a jumbled mess of columns. This may finally be the end of our 20 year subscription for home delivery because it is no longer worth it.
I’m a native Atlantan and longtime subscriber, but this is it for me. A gimmicky and cartoonish remake isn’t the way to get more people to subscribe. Perhaps instead you should have tried hiring some writers/reporters who have knowledge about what they’re writing about.
April 28th, 20097:33 am
The AJC has lost almost 20% of subscriptions in the last 6 months. The trend shall continue.
April 28th, 20097:35 am
OMG, it really sucks! If this were April the 1st I would think it was an April fools joke on us. More change we could have done without.
April 28th, 20097:38 am
Not good. I don’t want to be a naysayer, and will give it a few days to get used to, but the new paper feels like the local community paper we already get. Not serious news, just fluff and funnies. Disappointing given how much you have put into the change.
The real problem of note is how the AJC editors have failed to figure out what has caused the decline in readership/subscriptions; that would be the total lean to the left of the reporting, editorials, etc. while the subscribers are much more moderate. Just take a look at which media are seeing increases in viewership/readership and you should have learned: Fox News, WSJ, and other moderate to right leaning organizations are catering to the people who can afford to buy your paper. I was recently asked at my son’s soccer game if I was the only one who still subscribed to “that rag”, when I brought your crossword page to the field. I think that’s close to true. Everyone got so sick of the unbalanced support during the last election that they can’t bring themselves to give the AJC any respect. I even pledged to stop subscribing, but gave it a 6 month extension because I’m an avid reader. But with the changed paper, I guess this is a final run for me as well.
April 28th, 20097:40 am
I have a great idea – bring back what worked !!!!! The AJC from not that long ago . I have been reading for 32 years and am thoroughly disgusted with the so called ” new and improved “.You lost me.
April 28th, 20097:42 am
No matter what you do to the columns or font sizes, the AJC is still a piece of junk liberal rag. Until that changes, your readership will continue to drop. You are serving a tiny dot of blue constituents (ISP Atlanta) surrounded by a sea of red constituents (the rest of the state). Get a clue, formatting is not your problem!
Terrible colors — especially the Sports section. C’mon, is kiwi green really a sports color? And the sports stats are so small I need a magnifying glass to read them! Overall, I am very disappointed in the changes. The paper size is too narrow, the “new” font looks cheap and frivolous. For a major daily, I expect a little more serious tone and appearance. I know this is a cost-cutting move, but if I wanted to read the USA Today I’d go down the street and steal one from the Marriott Courtyard!
April 28th, 20097:44 am
I would love to tell you what it looks like. However, you decided to stop delivery to Athens so we do not know what it look like.
I first went to the editorial pages and noticed a welcomed change, one that indicates that you really did listen to all the feedback from subscribers during the last few weeks : NO Lukovitch and Jim Wooten in Cynthia’s old spot. THANK YOU !
April 28th, 20097:46 am
Fine. But exactly when will your liberal bias in the selection, wording and page placement of news stories be addressed? You remain starkly at odds politically with too much of your potential paying market here in metro Atlanta.
Is any amount of furniture rearrangement likely to compensate for that?
April 28th, 20097:49 am
Reading for the first time this morning, I find the new layout confusing. It’s difficult to scan the paper to find articles I want to read. The font used in the Vent and the Obituaries is. The old format of using bold font for the first few words of each Vent made it easy to move from one posting to the next. That’s no longer available and it is hard to scan from one posting to another.
It is difficult to visually separate the obituary listings on a county basis. I’m interested in one or two counties and it’s hard to find them in the list.
So far, this new layout isn’t an improvement for me. Maybe it’s a matter of getting used to it, but im not sure that’s the only reason for finding it difficult to read.
Leonard A. Meyer
April 28th, 20097:50 am
The new AJC is awful. The new print is so small that it is very difficult to read, espcially in the business news section. And why have you discontinued printing the PGA and LPGA tournament results in he Sunday edition. For years you have provided the final scores and winnings of both tours and that information is not available anywhere else. I have been a subscriber for over 65 years and miss the old format and news. Muste you use such small print for he view and financial statsitics?
April 28th, 20097:53 am
I’m sad to see so many great newspapers like the SF Chronicle, Seattle PI and others come to their end. I know the AJC is trying to stay afloat, but I’m not sure this redesign is the answer. The reason I don’t subscribe is that many stories are poorly written, burried leads, and often opinionated. (I’m not saying liberal/conservative, just opinionated.) The number of AP stories seems to be growing while in-depth Atlanta stories are shrinking. Business stories seem to be left to the Atlanta Business Chronicle and in-depth features left to Atlanta Magazine. My suggestion, which is born out somewhat by others who study media, is to increase the depth and bredth of local coverage, leave the national news to AP/Reuters. May I also suggest a kid’s page, similar to the Washington Post’s Kid’s World. May I also suggest that the writers be trained/retrained on how to write a news story. Some of the writing is just awful.
April 28th, 20097:54 am
I was very, very sad to see the new edition of my beloved Atlanta Journal-Constitution Newspaper.
I understand that these are tough economic times for newspapers but I feel that the AJC could and can do better.
Sunday newspaper had a front page story that said it would continue on Page 10 but was instead it was on Page 5. This is not up to Atlanta readers standards. Even a downsized paper need proofreading and quality control.
I understand that you are shifting your focus to the Internet but there are millions and millions of websites and newspapers on the Internet.
Getting readers to visit and stay on your site with all the other web options available is optimistic. You cannot flip thru the pages of a website and get the same type of intimacy you get with a paper.
I believe that the “Fourth Estate” and the AJC are giving up much, much to quick. America is a country of newspaper readers. Atlanta needs a fresh vibrant newspaper with Atlanta coverage rather than a lot of stories that could have been written weeks ago.
I would also like for the AJC to consider the “blockbuster” idea of lowering the price of the paper to .25 cents on a daily basis. I would much rather have 100,000 people buying the paper with a gross of $25,000 than having 25,000 / 30,000 people buying it at .75 cents. You get the paper in more people hand and attract more advertisers.
When you go in the local convenience store you always see a stack of unsold AJC Newspapers. I suspect that advertisers see this as well.
As a former AJC employee with nearly 10 years of service in the Circulation Sales Department I pray and hope that the AJC will survive and flourish.
GOOD LUCK !!!
Charles Douglas Edwards
April 28th, 20097:56 am
I understand that first and foremost you are running a business so you have to find a way to make ends meet. Having said that, is turning the AJC into a second or third class newspaper for a city that strives to be first class really a good idea? Sometimes something isn’t really better than nothing.
April 28th, 20097:57 am
Good morning all. Is the font hard to read? Our testing found otherwise. We selected a font that was specifically developed for “older” eyes. It is more condensed, and makes for faster and easier reading. Our previous front had a lot of white space that slowed down the reading process. If you have other newspapers nearby, take a look and compare. I have three others on my kitchen counter and think ours is the easiest to read. It may take a bit of adjustment, though, because of the smaller paper size and smaller use of photos. Is our design version of USA Today? In developing the design, we took the best ideas from elsewhere and merged into what seemed right for Atlanta. We heard over and over from readers how much they like the organization and color-coding of USA Today. You see that reflected in the design. We also heard about how much people wanted a lot of information, without wasted white space and large photos. They like the newsiness and density of the Wall Street Journal. You see that reflected as well.
April 28th, 20097:58 am
Well, Today’s the day for the new “Look”. What a surprise! This morning I woke up to find a copy of USA Today in my driveway! Is this April 1st? Funny!
April 28th, 20097:59 am
I’m really wondering what the purpose of these changes are? The paper is harder to read, the additional color seems to make it more expensive to print. So in times of declining readership and decreasing revenue this seems counterintuitive. I’m not sure at all how this is going to help keep your newspaper alive.
I may get used to it, but I doubt it. This is pushing me further away from the print edition and more to my on-line sources for news. My husband is a big fan of the print edition and he found the new format harder to read and harder to focus on the stories.
April 28th, 20098:04 am
Are you kidding?? Very disappointed in the redesign..type is extremely small, paper is tiny, logo is blah..
If the redesign is so great why does it change back to the original design over the weekends… AJC will lose a significant number of daily readers due to the change..
April 28th, 20098:05 am
I didn’t see Julia’s explanation before I posted. One of the things I said to my husband this morning is that it looked like you were trying to look like a cross between USA Today and the WSJ. I’m not a big fan of USA Today – too much fluff. I like the WSJ, but I put up with their multiple columns and crowded look because of the content. For the WSJ this look is their trademark – you recognize it immediately. It’s not necessarily the best format, but it’s immediately identifiable as their brand and the articles are top notch.
This isn’t true for the AJC – it’s not your brand, it’s more difficult to read and the content isn’t worth it. Cosmetic changes aren’t going to keep your readers – you need good, reliable, unbiased reporting that we’ll turn to even if the paper isn’t full of color or gimmicks.
Is this a joke? This morning there was a copy of USA Today in my driveway, no AJC! Is this the “New Look” Maybe you guys should have introduced the new paper on April 1st!
April 28th, 20098:11 am
Tragic. A once-great paper surrenders, and is forced to walk the streets of Atlanta dressed as a free weekly.
I am appalled as well as saddened, because I now realize it’s over for the AJC. And I know it’s over between me and the AJC – it’s not even worth the less than 5 minutes required to read it. I will miss it.
In journalism schools across the country, the AJC will be held up as a case study of how print is dying.
Seven of Nine
Well, since it’s no longer sold in my area, who knows? Good luck with it. Everyone knows redesigns foisted upon readers all at once creates upset. The correct way to do it is a little at a time and don’t make a scene about it. Then people digest it and don’t even notice they’re taking medicine.
April 28th, 20098:12 am
The paper has been going downhill for a year. I can’t judge your newest debacle because today’s delivery did not happen, also something which is becoming more common. When do you retire?
April 28th, 20098:16 am
It just “feels” thin, and cheap. When you hold the WSJ or even the old AJC, the width of the paper gave it gravitas. The new paper feels thin and cheap.
The fonts are hard to read. Even with “young” eyes.
The colors are cheesy.
The layout is crowded. Yes, the WSJ uses it . This is not the WSJ.
I understand the business model is changing, and that paper costs money. But honestly, this change is “new coke.” Sadly, I enjoy reading papers so much that I will continue my subscription. But just like when I drank “new coke,” I won’t enjoy it as much as I did in the past.
April 28th, 20098:17 am
I personally love the new design. It’s crisper and I find it easier to read and find the articles I want to read. And I love the font. Don’t mind most of the people on this post. We all now that Georgians don’t welcome change well.
April 28th, 20098:18 am
Forget the color and use the money you save to make the black print bolder. I am a print-oriented person but you have made the AJC so difficult to read that I am not sure it will continue to be worth the struggle.
April 28th, 20098:19 am
TERRIBLE !!! This new format is the worse makeover I have ever seen. Looks like a comic book, too cluttered, too buzy, too confusing to get through. I couyld read the old AJC without having to put on my reading glasses. The new type is too small, too close together and looks like a local bulletin. If you don’t change, I will cancel my subscription.
The font style used for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and section headings look amateurish and give that feel to the paper. I don’t think the date on the front page needs to be quite so big. Overall look reminds me of USA Today. I applaud the AJC for doing everything they can to survive. It is tough times for the newspaper industry.
April 28th, 20098:20 am
On Page 2 and the Fast Read, why not make the topic bars the same color as the section (such as Sports/Section C Turf color)?
I did not renew my subscription
After 45 years of reading the local paper daily, I called it quits last month with the AJC. I felt I was aiding and abetting a socialistic agenda by sending money to the AJC. I am a die hard capitalist, and the socialism this country is adopting is scary. The AJC and many other local papers are partly responsible for not uncovering or revealing the truth about some of the candidates on the ballot.When was the last time, if ever, did the AJC endorse a presidential candidate that was not a Democrat?
I will get my news from the Wall St Journal, and get my sports from online sources. I truly miss my daily reading routine, but the AJC dug it’s own grave.
April 28th, 20098:21 am
Are you kidding me??? Very disappointed in the changes…The redesign is absolutely awful and full of cheap gimmicks.. font is tiny and hard to read for a middle age adult, paper is compact, cheapen the look. If the “new look” is so great why is the AJC going back to the original version on weekend editions when readership is much higher.. been a loyal long time daily reader.. no longer.. please change back to what gave you longevity or your organization risks losing a significant number of daily readers..
I don’t get the hard copy during the week; only on the weekends. But just don’t get rid of Mike Luckovich–he is awesome. His cartoons are spot-on!!!!
April 28th, 20098:24 am
Kyle I wish you well, but I’m afraid your the ‘lipstick’ on the ‘Pig’.
Still looking for a thumbs up
April 28th, 20098:25 am
When I logged in there were 32 comments posted. I’m still looking for a single positive one.
Looks like somebody may have goofed. I sure hope not.
April 28th, 20098:28 am
Mugglemikki, Georgians aren’t welcoming this design change; only Atlantans are.
Avid Intown Reader
April 28th, 20098:32 am
I agree with the consensus. I understand Julia Wallace’s defensiveness. But I think she’s made a mistake. I think the colors, EVERYWHERE, instead of for special emphasis, makes the page confusing. What’s wrong with a traditional newspaper look? Is “modern” always better? Look at buildings designed in the 1960’s. Modern. Easily identifiable. Horrible for the most part.
Indeed, it is so thin, it looks like a small town weekly version of USA today, or perhaps an advertising flyer.
When Coca Cola introduced New Coke, it was the marketing flub of the late 20th century. Get a clue. Admit your mistake. Put it back. Seriously, folks, you have some fine writers on your staff. You need to figure out a way to honor the newspaper tradition, keep your focus, and still stay viable. I don’t believe this is it.
S. Kurt Jocoy
Very poor copy of USA Today.
I know that coladawg. Most Atlantans know that the world isn’t static and nothing stays the same forever. I think most people on here just want to complain about something.
We hate it. Seriously considering cancelling subscription. With what I get from the AJC I could make due with the neighborhood weeklies. Also rec’d a price increase a couple of months ago seems like we are paying more for less. If there were options open I think you would lose many readers.
The print might be easy for someone younger than 40 to read, but for those of us whose vision isn’t what it used to be, the change in font is not a helpful one — not by a long shot. At 41, I am not at the point of needing reading glasses just yet, but I can tell you that this morning, I nearly squinted through the first two sections, whereas last week, I had no trouble reading the stories at all. Did you study only young people while doing research for the redesign?
Additionally, I am very disappointed in the similarities of the “new AJC” to USA Today…if I wanted to read tidbits and snippets of stories, I would subscribe to USA Today, not my “local” paper. The most horrible part, though, which has been mentioned previously, is the sports scores — this is where I literally got up from my table and used a magnifying glass to see last night’s Braves score. Why should I have to do this?
The colors are also off-putting. Since when was it all right to fashion a newspaper after the colors on a Trivial Pursuit board? Oh, right — when USA Today did it.
It just seems as though you are trying to attract the lowest-common denominator of reader…the ones who gravitate toward bright colors and funky type. I didn’t think the redesign could possibly be as bad as what passes for acceptability on ajc.com, but management seems to have outdone itself with this terrible print offering.
I long for the days when my “newspaper” didn’t look like the flashing lights of a small-town carnival. Send in the clowns — don’t bother…they’re here.
Your sans-serif face is a bit too hard to read, and I’m not quite that elderly yet. The vent, for instance, is a bit of a strain. I understand the constraints you were under with the new paper size and re-designs are never easy. Hang in there; readers eventually will adjust.
April 28th, 20098:34 am
Sad, very sad. I know that you’re trying desperately to stay in business, but this latest change appears to confirm that the AJC is in it’s death throes.
April 28th, 20098:35 am
The new font is Too Small.
Both my wife and I have too much difficulty reading it.
Perhaps your extensive study relative to font style and size should have included some real live testing with some of your local senior citizen customers rather than rely on someone else’s data.
If the font size is not changed soon we will be forced to cancel our subscription.
Albert W Holland
April 28th, 20098:39 am
This change just about puts the headstone on your publication. First you up your subscription, then make the print so small we older people have to get a glass to read it. Then you make your cartoons so small they aren’t funny anymore, and the sports page has gone to hell in a hand basket. I give you less than six months, and you’ll be out of business. I know the people in South Georgia are ready for your demise. I’m considering USA today as a paper of choice…
April 28th, 20098:40 am
As a longtime newspaperman, I’m more disturbed by the changes than I could have imagined. Worse, I hear the editorial board is being reshaped toward a more conservative view. Ralph McGill is turning over in his grave.
It’s terrible. It’s so “rinky Dinky” You have five columns with
4 to five words on each line. I pre-paid my subscription in Jan.
and I’d like to have 7/12’s of my money back.
Just another short thought: Many folks here are comparing the paper unfavorably to USA Today. Do y’all realize that USAT is the only major paper in the country that has GAINED readership in recent years? Whatever they’re doing, it works. Maybe that’s why it has been copied so often.
April 28th, 20098:43 am
As I used to enjoy the AJC I always wished it was USA Today. My dreams have come true. Do you really think font, color, and page layout were your paper’s biggest problems? I am not sure you have a realistic idea who your customers are today – and more importantly who they will be in the future. You seem to have produced a paper designed to appeal to a generation that doesn’t – and likely won’t ever – READ the newspaper (at least in print). Terrible job.
I’ll be honest, the paper made me – a bona fide newspaper junkie – a little sad today. Not that the design isn’t great, because it is. It’s doing the most with the evaporating resources available. I like the concept and execution, and I’m confident it will get even better. It is fresher, brighter, more readable. I was somewhat shocked, however, that the Atlanta Hawks playoff game coverage wasn’t in my paper this morning, and the game was on the East Coast.
The tinge of sadness comes from just seeing what print journalism has become. There were only 3 1/2 pages of classifieds; the paid obits may be creating more revenue now. Display ads are almost nonexistent; there were less than 2 pages of ads in a 12-page ‘A’ section. The Living section had only the two pages of movie listings. I know, it’s only Tuesday, traditionally a light advertising day. But in reality, this is a trend that is accelerating.
My sadness comes from the fear that this new approach simply isn’t enough. I’ve read the AJC since 1956; I subscribed to both papers until the Journal died. I remember the Blue Streak…
Best of luck to the whole staff.
April 28th, 20098:44 am
Look – it’s a positive comment!
Much better in print than the description looked like – I was afraid it was going to be even narrower.
It looks much more “texty” – the new font has clearly let you eliminate white space while preserving the readability.
Glad to see that you’re still including box scores in the sports section – I was afraid that would go away.
Hopefully when the economy improves, the amount of content can increase again – it seems pitiful that it’s so thin, but it’s probably just the Macy’s inserts that are missing.
April 28th, 20098:45 am
This is truly sad. In order to survive due to reduced advertising revenue, the AJC has to shrink both the size and quality of the publication.
Your readers are understanding of your plight – in order to save money given the economy and the lack of demand for advertising in print medium, this needed to be done. However, in my view, there has been a negative impact to the newspaper. It’s so light, I don’t even think I would hear it hit my driveway anymore.
At the end of the day, your readers will need to judge for themselves, but please be honest with us – the change is about business realities, not a new and improved format.
April 28th, 20098:47 am
Pathetic. The AJC is obviously dying…let it go with dignity. The makeover is horrible. While the AJC is sick it amazes me that print space is given to The Vent, Peach Buzz and other such trivial garbage at the expense of news. This latest example delivered today has made up my mind not to subscribe any longer.
It’s very hard to read. I had a copy of an old AJC and compared it to today’s paper — there is no comparison in the readability. I finally gave up and went to an online newspaper. I’m worried even more now about the print version of the paper — I believe we need the newspaper to survive! But your core readership, I’m guessing, has eyesight like mine. Did this “award-winning” design team have your market group actually READ the paper or did the market group only comment on the cosmetics?
April 28th, 20098:48 am
How bad can you make it? You have succeeded in making the AJC print version the worst I have seen. The print is so small I can’t read most of the paper. For many years I have enjoyed reading my paper over breakfast, not now. I guess the TV will have to come on sooner in the morning. At least USA Today uses a font size large enough to read. I will stay until I see the Sunday edition and if it is not improved then goodbye AJC!
April 28th, 20098:49 am
So CAR is afraid the paper is becoming more conservative. Let’s hope CAR is right. Have you seen cable rating lately? Fox, the fair and balanced network liberals love to hate, has double the ratings of any other cable news group. Clearly, the people who are working, who are paying taxes, who are creating the wealth Obama is giving away, support a more conservative approach. These people are also the ones who buy newspapers and support advertisers.
Ralph McGill was first and foremost a businessman. He’d do what he had to do, including kiss George Bush on the mouth if necessary.
April 28th, 20098:50 am
Marion G. Webb
April 28th, 20098:53 am
What a shame. The fonts are now too small, and the ink quality is subdued. I see where AJC had consultants for this new look; I hope you haven’t paid them yet. You have carried economy too far.
It still SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
April 28th, 20098:57 am
The new and improved AJC is a joke isn’t it? I mean, you must be kidding!!! I was born at night but not LAST NIGHT. If this is better than what we got 50 years ago from what was then two newspapers for a nickel each, then I am a monkey’s uncle. You must believe we are all idiots if you think the new format is going to drive circulation upward. Your liberal bias was bad enough and the only good that I can see will come from the new and improved AJC is that fewer people will read! You have delivered something you call new and improved that is hardly big enough to use as a fish wrapper. Count me as a former subscriber. With these kinds of continued improvements, you will be out of business soon and we will all be better off. My money can be spent much more wisely, and I plan to do just that. Please cancel my subscription!
April 28th, 20099:01 am
a picture of the new print edition in the post would have helped find the paper at the newsstand
It’s amazing sometimes how people at the “top” just don’t get it. We canceled our subscription after they raised rates for “less” paper. It was frequently delivered late or not at all. I feel bad for the AJC the struggles most print media have gone through, but bad is bad. Chrysler and GM have the same issues – people at the top just don’t get it.
Walt in Marietta
April 28th, 20099:06 am
Why put another nail in your coffin?
Hard to read!
Front page was terrible…no highlights, just a lot of little and dull print. And it’s self inflicted.
I may go online for news that I used to go to AJC for!
I hate to see this loss happen to Atlanta on top of so many other reversals.
Atrocious! Your paper was already going downhill with numerous grammatical and typographical errors and erratic headline fonts. Now it’s a scimpy rag with columns pressed together and stacked on the front page so that you can’t even follow a single story to its conclusion. My husband has been pushing to drop it, and I’ve resisted. No longer. Farewell!
April 28th, 20099:07 am
Both my husband and I are avid newspaper readers. We have had a subscription to the AJC for 10 years and before that thru parents, etc, another 60 years. My father is probably rolling in his grave because of how you’ve butchered his beloved paper. I, too am appalled. I absolutely hate what you’ve done to the paper!
Based on the consistently horrific tone of these comments, I’m saying a little prayer for Julia and the AJC staff. I know they poured their heart and soul into this, and this is not the reaction they expected.
Give it time, folks. It’s a work in progress.
April 28th, 20099:13 am
It looks like it’s not in Macon .
April 28th, 20099:14 am
It really does not look good. The reversed fonts on the pastel backgrounds are weak-looking and hard to read. The long vertical columns are also a dreadful way to organize breefs. Seems to have a lot of color for color’s sake on it. I give it a D; it rates better than an F only because it’s so hard to shave more than an inch off the width of the page without making hideous compromises.
I think all the content, font and formatting changes are fine, but I don’t like the new masthead. Looks cheap/generic. Like the recent Tropicana package redesign that bombed. Nevertheless, I appreciate your efforts to keep the AJC alive in this economy – we need you, AJC!
April 28th, 20099:15 am
Just got the new paper–looks great. And reads great. I let my subscription lapse a year or so ago, but count me back in. My favorite paper is the Financial Times Weekend edition, but this may give it a run for its money. Kudos–and continued good luck.
April 28th, 20099:17 am
Y’all hired the New Coke guy, didn’t you?
Johnin St. Mtn.
April 28th, 20099:19 am
Lousy look. And it isn’t even original — it’s just a rehash of USA Today’s “McNews” format — short/no-depth reporting and cluttered pages. There’s also an over-reliance on wire service stories and pickups from other publications, which is evidence of the bloodletting that’s been going on in the AJC’s editorial staff. The cost cutting hasn’t been restricted to just the paper either. I just cancelled my Sunday subscription because the AJC’s circulation department wouldn’t deliver it (and, typically, there are no human beings taking calls from subscribers on Sunday anymore…it’s all voice mail and e-mail). AJC, your days are numbered.
April 28th, 20099:21 am
It would be great if you’d put a PDF copy of the new front page on your Web site. We can no longer get the AJC up here. I’d love to see it.
April 28th, 20099:22 am
I think the look is fine. Of course I was not unhappy with the old look. The test will be your efforts and successes in shaping the content.
Balance, real balance, not balance as determined by a Committed Progressive Democrat or Liberal will be difficult. For example: Last week in your OpEd Section you had “Two Views”. One view, the “Yes” view, was clearly on subject and argued the Progressive point well. The Opposing view, the “No” position, that you selected was not on point at all. You may want us to conclude that the Conservative view is therefore less convincing. But the fact is that you chose a poorly written, possibly even edited, column; then presented it as the “No” position.
Also is it possible that you could have written the original question such that the “Yes” position was Conservative and the “No” position was the Progressive?
Balance is hard work. Can you recognize balance? Can you deliver balance? Past experience says no. Time will tell.
Will your newspaper come in the LARGE print edition like Reader’s digest and other publications. I can’t read the paper now – even with my glasses on. Very irritating.
Sweetheart, I think what everyone is saying is…..”you have a lousy newspaper and no amount of cosmetic changes will help.” Your newspaper is too liberal, your sports pages are absolutely awful and I can’t even find the words to describe your awful coverage of high school sports. Please fire everybody and start over and next time try to be relevant. Political correctness has killed your once great newspaper.
April 28th, 20099:24 am
April 28th, 20099:30 am
Absolutely unreadable! (Not that there’s anything left to read, anyway.) USA Today in a bad font.
The new print edition is patheic..Goodbye AJC print edition!!
The new format is a big improvement. BUT continuing front page stories in back pages with completely different, unrelated headlines is confusing and maddening.
Re: Page 3, Denser Design Gets In More News – “pack in the most content without wearing out your eyes”. Yes – you’re trying to put 10 gallons of syrup into a 5 gallon bucket! Younger readers with good eyesight are getting the news from the internet. Older readers and the aged will have great difficulty. I understand cutting costs, but there must be a better way.
April 28th, 20099:31 am
Anyone remember the Atlanta Times? No, of course not, most of you are carpetbagging Yankees who can’t tell collards from turnip greens.
To enlighten you, it was a competing daily paper many years back that died a fairly rapid death due to the Cox family’s domination of the Atlanta news market (AJC, WSB).
Maybe now it’s time for a new, fresh, approach built from a foundation of balanced online and print excellence.
If someone will front me $20 million, I’m willing to give it a go.
April 28th, 20099:32 am
I am 65 and have a 3′ diameter magnifying glass on my desk to help me read dificult text. I did not need the glass to read today’s paper.
The font is fine with me.
Way to difficult to read now. The vent is a different font and many of the vents are not even sperated with spaces. Hate the fonts throughout. Columns are too hard to read. I’m the only one that has received a paper in my sub-division today, and that’s because I called to have it delivered after I still had not received it by 8 am.
Donald R. Runnion
April 28th, 20099:34 am
I do not care for the new design at all. The articles are too crowded together…and the constant columns….YUK!
Why bother with different sections?, The daily paper is so small now, you can just combine it all together. It’s just a crappy look. I MISS THE “OLD” LOOK!
April 28th, 20099:35 am
WOW WOW WOW. What an absolute joke. I know that Ms. Wallace must try to put the best face on the new AJC and defend the design changes, but really, this is shockingly pathetic. Do the publishers REALLY believe that THIS is going to save the AJC, a once great newspaper, the voice of the South that “Covered Dixie Like the Dew”??? Jagged-edge columns, poor organization, terrible graphics, and probably THE ugliest flag/nameplate of any large daily newspaper in the nation. No offense to Lacava or any of the designers at AJC, but this must be the most ill-conceived redesign I’ve seen, and I’ve been watching alot of them across the country. Do you people NOT look at other front pages on NEWSEUM.COM???? Hang today’s edition on a wall inside the AJC newsroom under a sign that asks, “Would YOU buy this newspaper?” That would be an embarrassing assessment. Look, I’m only 30, but I used to LOVE to buy the AJC, because it was a NEWSPAPER, just a classic, well-put-together broadsheet. Every newspaper in the country is ruining itself because they (and you) just don’t get it. You just CANNOT figure this out, and yet the answer was so easy. Expect to join the NYT for a 20% decline next quarter. The saddest part of this is that you will stick with this design out of stubbornness and unwillingness to admit a mistake. Until the last dog dies. And this dog is on its last leg. This is a sad, sad day for the AJC. Again, WOW.
WOW, WOW, WOW.
Top Tier Law Firm
The new look is cheap. The classic appeal of the old format was one in which people could recognize and relate. People traveling into Atlanta will now pick up this amateur looking newspaper and make a judgment on our city. It has no “international-city” appeal; it looks very “small town” and is not indicative of the image this city aspires to promote. This new look is not refined and has no character. It looks like a poorly executed attempt at a USA Today knock off. Raise the price if you must, but do not wash away all semblance of pride and sophistication. You have successfully alienated your longtime readers. Internet is always changing and technology keeps everyone on their toes, but the fact remains; there is just something so comforting about the consistency of the paper. Why change something so historic? Lady Editor, you are right, print is a powerful medium; please re-assess this unrecognizable medium make-under.
April 28th, 20099:36 am
Here’s a suggestion that may keep your current readers and draw new readers to the paper. There is already a USA Today (and, as noted, a successful one) – don’t try to fill a void that isn’t there. Instead, do more indepth local stories with writers that present balanced view points. Give us something we can’t get elsewhere. When I see so many stories in the AJC coming from the newswires, I wonder where our writers are. I can get wire stories anywhere. What I can’t get are the local issues covered in an unbiased way and the Atlanta stories that won’t get covered elsewhere. That’s what I’d pay for – not the same stories I can find elsewhere in a colorized format.
Born on Peachtree
My fourth-grade daughter, who’s been reading the AJC since she was 4, said it this morning: “This looks unprofessional and weird.”
I wanted to like it, but some parts are very difficult to read. I have very good eyesight, and often found myself having to put my eyes very close to the paper to read things like the baseball boxscores and “On the Air” sections of the sports section. Also, “the rest of the week” section of the weather uses a very small font. I can’t begin to imagine how people without very good eyesight will be able to read this comfortably. On the positive side, I do like the extra color.
April 28th, 20099:37 am
Hopefully you’ll read all of these. 2, maybe 3 positives out of 90 or so?? And while your response is fine, defending the research on fonts etc., you fail to acknowledge, discuss or even defend the content of the paper and the editorial makeup. If you want to sell a product, you have to design and produce what the user wants. Why do you and the staff, and I assume the owners of the paper ignore this?
Also, I trust you will try to get the Cox’s and Kennedy’s to read all of the comments. But then, that might cost a few their jobs.
Embarrassing!!! For a city the size of Atlanta to have a daily newspaper that looks like something I’d pick up in Panama City. Total cheese.
April 28th, 20099:38 am
I am a 20 year subscriber who hates to pile on this morning. I truly want the ajc to survive for the long run but you have just hastened your own demise with this trashy new look. Simply stated, my reaction this morning is that I despise the new look. It kind of reminds me of 1985 when another favorite Atlanta icon proudly rolled out New Coke. There is nothing about it that I view as an improvement. When I first picked it up and inspected it, my initial reaction was that this was some kind of cruel joke. Several people have given voice to my exact reaction — this is a poor cross between the old Weekly Reader and USA Today, neither of which I cared for. The format is so uninviting; I don’t even want to read it. It is hard to read, too small (both the size of the paper and the print), lacking in content, and makes ineffective and annoying use of color. Your sales staff should sign up for training from whomever sold you on this “new look” because they can surely sell anything.
April 28th, 20099:39 am
Usually can read most parts without my glasses. Now need them all the time and a magnifying glass for the stock listings and the sports ratings. Bought a Marietta Daily Journal, the first in years. HELLO MDJ.
Julia, like I stated when the “new” online version was released, it is not good practice to ask users how they feel on the FIRST day of change. There are psychological things change does to the mind, and you’re receiving a lot of the effects of this by way of feedback.
April 28th, 20099:42 am
THE “NEW LOOK” IS HORRIBLE. I CANNOT READ THE SMALL PRINT. WHEN MY BILL BECOMES DUE, I AM OUT OF HERE. I WILL NOT PAY FOR A PAPER I CANNOT READ!!! SO AFTER 35 YEARS, IT’S GOOD BYE. NANCY
JJH Reader since 1996
April 28th, 20099:43 am
What a disaster ! As you are aware, your revenues have been falling as well as your subscriptions. Clearly, the vision you have laid out for your paper continues to propel you down that slope again. I have gotten so tired of your editorials, and your sports section especially Terrance Moore tries to provoke editorial comments to drive readership. Sorry, but the inverse is happening. Like so many others, I enjoy USA Today as I can read it and the format is quick and easy. You have missed the ball so much on this new format. Why doesn’t AJC just go out and buy USA Today, and deliver it instead.
April 28th, 20099:44 am
The print is too small and light, especially the Vent == one vent ran into the other!
April 28th, 20099:45 am
I guess i can get used to the format. I want to know where Luckovich(sp?) is. My only other comment is that with the ‘new’ policy of being un biased you are bringing commentators that are totally biased….
It’s the content, not the format.
April 28th, 20099:46 am
This looks terrible, is difficult to read, and overall seems to be a bad high school journalism effort. Very hard for me to believe professional journalists looked at this and thought it was a good idea. Your Sunday TV section, which I used to keep for reference during the week, is now a joke. You have lost so many of your good writers (Thomas Oliver, Terence Moore etc.) that you would appear to be little more than a clipping service. Horrible moves, that i wish you would reconsider. New Coke appears a brilliant decision compared to this one.
April 28th, 20099:49 am
Wow. I was going to criticize the redesign and call it strangely atavistic. (It looks like a poor man’s Baltimore Sun. Funny thing is poor men actually read The Sun, so…) But the response on this thing is so universally negative, anything I’d say would be redundant.
April 28th, 20099:50 am
Overall, not a pleasing look. The dense type is too hard to read. (I’m sure your graphic designers struggled with this — they all know the benefit of “white space” in design). The extra color is nice, but the weather page seemed “faded” compared to the intense colors in the old design. And what’s with the super large mast head. Gee, we all know what paper we’re reading — you could have allocated some of the mast head space to news! Sure, you are saving on newsprint, but you may end up losing readers who find the new look not worth the effort to read.
I like it overall. It has a nice clean, crisp look and I like the bolder headlines. My only change would be to make it was a little shorter and wider. But then I suppose then it would resemble Creative Loafing.
Now all you have to work on is the liberal slant. You have a good start with Cynthia Tucker gone. I would also put Charles Krauthammer and Thomas Oliver on the front page. They make more sense than all of the other editors put together.
April 28th, 20099:52 am
The comparisons to USA Today are accurate. If USA Today has grown in subscriptions lately, it’s probably only because other papers have gone out of business and it’s become the only economical choice in those areas. I don’t know of anyone who considers USA Today a serious or respectable newspaper. It’s a quick, light read when you’re on the road and it’s free. If that’s your business model goal, then you may succeed.
I don’t mind the section design so much, but the front page design does make the paper look cheap and less serious. To call it “Modern Classic” is just simply a misnomer. It’s more “Post-Modern” or “Eighties” design – which implies a certain cheapness and superficiality, to which everyone is reacting.
April 28th, 20099:54 am
I just threw up. I am waiting for talking head from the AJC to respond so that I can throw up some more.
April 28th, 20099:55 am
There must be a lot of legally blind people in Georgia if ya’ll are having
so many problems reading this font! You guys don’t driver do you? Tell me where so I can keep out of your way!
April 28th, 20099:56 am
From a life long, 50 year plus reader — the masthead is a great disappointment.
Wow. Tons of great designers right here in Atlanta and AJC hires a Montreal firm to output this garbage. It’s a mess of an attempt to make a newspaper look and read like a Web site. You can’t click a newspaper, folks and you can’t base quality design on what focus groups like.
April 28th, 20099:58 am
Message to Ms. Wallace: You said Publico was customized for AJC. Which weights/styles are you referring to? All the fonts look like the original release to me. I recently considered using this font for a project and was quite surprised at how tightly spaced the text version is. It feels like the display version, with sturdier serifs. It needs to be set with looser tracking, but that would ruin the kerning, obviously. A pity you didn’t have Schwartz redo the spacing. I also think the leading between lines is too tight. A bit more space would making reading more comfortable.
April 28th, 20099:59 am
Change the masthead to ITP Today. To take a cue from Serpent-Head, “It’s the content, stupid.”
I remain appalled that Condi Rice’s visit to ATL for Boys & Girls Club national headquarters warranted only a two-column pix w/slugline on the lower right of Metro page 1. The 100 or so well written comments here speaks to the caliber of readership you have, or perhaps, had.
April 28th, 200910:04 am
Not everyone in Georgia is red/conservative! Ralph McGill is turning in his grave!
April 28th, 200910:05 am
I actually like the look of the new daily AJC–and I have been reading it every day since I first moved to Georgia more than 40 years ago. However, you need to do whatever it takes to restore the AJC to communities like Bremen and Athens and Griffin that you are denying the right to read your newspaper. I know they can read news on line but it is not a newspaper they can hold in their hands, share with one another on the couch and clip articles from for memories. Guitting circulation was the biggest mistake the AJC ever made. I just hope those of us in places like Rome won’t be your next victims.
April 28th, 200910:06 am
The paper looks snappier but even with my new prescription lens I find it harder to read. The problem, for me, is that the rows are too close together. I compared to Monday’s AJC which has a wider row spread and could read much easier. If the demographics of your readers are tilted to seniors, I am probably not alone in my opinion. Younger folks should be OK.
April 28th, 200910:07 am
Mugglemikki: Your ill attempts at snarkiness betray your immaturity. Do you “play the dozens” at family visitation at the funeral home? You’re lucky this crowd is too polite to flame and critique your keyboarding (lack of) skill.
April 28th, 200910:10 am
Ranks right up there with “New” Coke………….Hope n Change……
I would love to comment on the look, but you no longer deliver here in Spalding County, less than an hour’s drive from Atlanta. Based upon these comments though, RIP AJC
April 28th, 200910:12 am
You will rationalize keeping this design by saying, “Well, it just takes people a while to get used to change” or “Well, we focus grouped it, got hundreds–no, thousands–of opinions, and this is what they told us.” This is a joke. Newspaper focus groups always tell you what they think you want to hear, or what they think they are expected to say. “We want better organization, we want to read the news fast, we want a fresh look so we will feel like we are actually reading the internet, blah, blah, blah.” And you people listen to that hogwash!?! Look at the great AJ/AC/AJC designs from the late 90’s, for example. Now those were some great looking newspapers that made you want to buy them when you saw them on the rack. This design wouldn’t inspire me to spend a nickel on it. Too bad, you could’ve saved yourself, but instead you just stepped closer to your grave. If I was in charge over at the AJC, I would scrap this “college campus newspaper gone awry” design TOMORROW and do an on-the-fly, overnight Hail Mary, and beg the readers for forgiveness. Of course that will never happen, because it seems the leadership at the AJC seems intent on driving this paper right into the ground. And you actually PAID a consultant for this redesign????
who is accountable?
April 28th, 200910:15 am
Yes, the circulation of most newspapers has declined in recent years – but the AJC has lost more readers than almost any other paper. Who is responsible and accountable for this subpar performance?
April 28th, 200910:16 am
Jawajedi, just continue to watch your Fox News broadcast and prepare for your next
anti-tax tea party, OK?
April 28th, 200910:18 am
Since you stopped delivering to Athens I have no idea what it looks like. Why not publish a picture online so those of us who have been cut-off can have a look. I have been a reader from back when the Journal and Constitution were seperate papers. You certainly no longer “covers Dixie like the dew.”
Apparently, your testing failed, based upon the majority of comments here on this blog. While I appreciate that you, Ms. Wallace seem to brush off the very people who care about this newspaper — the actual Readers, and defend instead, your testing and your focus groups.
That is, in an of itself, a sad statement about the approach of this new editorial board. If I wanted “newsiness” I can watch the Daily Show. I don’t want NEWSY, I want NEWS.
New format is fine except the masthead. I think it would look a lot better in black and in a different font. It’s clunky and cartoonish.
April 28th, 200910:24 am
My head is still hurting from my attempt to read the AJC’s new format. The font is so light and so tiny it is virtually impossible to read without a magnifying glass. I found the colors to be annoying and not even remotely close to a true representation of the real world. I understand the need to cut back in order to survive, however, you have shrunk the paper and its content to the point where we as consumers now need to decide whether the AJC in its new format is really worth the price of a subscription.
Busy, crowded, awful – and the content continues to drift off into drivel.
April 28th, 200910:26 am
Hey folks … the masthead is on page 2 and highlights management, delivery and advertising information. The flag, or nameplate, is the banner at the top of page 1. I agree … the new flag is quite a change – I think I would have gone with The AJC, saving space and developing the brand around “The AJC.” Fonts are a funny thing – you drop the point size to allow for more ’story’ and people complain. You increase the point size and folks complain that the stories don’t have enough meat. Both fonts are fine, it’s the size that may be an issue —maybe a little adjustment on the size of the sans serif Boomer font is needed.
I encourage readers to look at content, not just the packaging … we’ll get used to the new style and color. I remember being shocked when the NYTimes added full color – now it’s expected. Good luck to the AJC staff — please continue your focus on content — we’ll all get used to the new look.
April 28th, 200910:29 am
Looks aren’t everything. If the content doesn’t change I don’t think you will make it.
The print is too small for older folks.
April 28th, 200910:30 am
Looks good, but same liberal BS content.
April 28th, 200910:31 am
I find it hard to believe a high-priced consultant made these type and color choices. The nameplate is clunky, the heads look like blown up body type and the body type needs multiple adjustments. Many of my design students could have served you better. For free.
James J. David
April 28th, 200910:34 am
First of all, I am not impressed with the looks on the weather page. It doesn’t look very professional. Secondly, I always look to see what the weather will be in Pittsburgh, Pa. because that’s where my 88 year-old mother lives. Now you neither show it on the map or include it in the list of U.S.cities. This is very disappointing.
April 28th, 200910:35 am
Doesn’t look like a “real” newspaper!
I’m disappointed in the new format. It looks too much like a small town local paper that carries the “cat up a tree” kind of stories. The look betrays the quality of the content. You have fine writers and lots to write about, but that doesn’t matter if someone is too embarrassed to be seen in public reading it. On a positive note, I do like your web site and visit it frequently. Despite being a boomer who still loves the tactile activity of reading a “real” newspaper, I’m afraid this new format has me longing for the digital version. I can’t tell you how sad it makes me to see one of America’s great cities be without a kick-ass daily newspaper.
E. P. Heard
I would love to tell you what I think, if you delivered the paper to Spalding County.
April 28th, 200910:39 am
You said that thousands of readers guided you to the product we hold today and that an “award-winning design firm” was hired to come up with the new format. My opinion is that AJC needs to ask the firm for a refund. It is absolutely horrible, everything all squished together and extremely difficult to read. My boss said when our subscription runs out, he will most likely cancel.
April 28th, 200910:40 am
I wish I can say I am a Reader in Buckead but I can NOT read the paper!
Font is too small and too light. Stories have NO content!
I was a 40 + year subsrciber: when the subsription runs out, I am gone!
USA Today, here I come !!
(One good thing : at leastTerence Moore is gone, maybe we will get double lucky and he will stay off channel 2 as well!)
April 28th, 200910:41 am
I like it.
For a person with bad eyes, the new font makes a world of difference.
The smaller pages are easier to turn.
The verticle briefs columns are more reader friendly.
The Business Section will likely draw more readers as part of Section A.
However, soy ink and recycled paper do not eliminate delivery trucks.
April 28th, 200910:42 am
Newspaper enthusiast, interesting you suggested that the nameplate might have used AJC. That’s what we will do on Sunday. We tested it with readers and they preferred to have the full name during the week and the AJC brand on Sunday, which they said was an appropriate time for a more relaxed look.
April 28th, 200910:43 am
A single spaced 8.5×11 sheet of paper could also be called “modern classic”. Your new format is uninviting and unreadable. Stop writing “guides” on how to read this paper and simply publish what worked for decades. I’ll give it a chance, but not for long. Ms. Wallace writes it may take a bit of adjustment; my adjustment may be to unsubscribe.
April 28th, 200910:45 am
As a former, 32+ year, employee of the newspaper I am going to make a few comments. I learned to read with the Atlanta Newspaper. And I did read many papers over the years, pasted them up and created ads for it.
Don’t try to change your look. Make the paper familier. The type should be legible for old tired eyes. If one cannot see — one won’t read. Use a font that is legible and readable.
I have not seen the new look. But really? Lime green for the sports section?
Oh yeah. It seems you have let all the good people with many years of ink flowing through their blood, you let the life of the paper go. And kept many of the people that consider the AJC “just a job”
Have you thought about this??
April 28th, 200910:46 am
Since you asked, the answer is “cheap and flimsy”.
April 28th, 200910:49 am
It’s incredibly hard visually to find a story after the jump. There’s just too much text that’s not broken into any kind of sections for the eye. I’ve redesigned web sites in the past, so I know how critical people can be of anything different. I try to be very careful not to fall into that trap. But I’m disappointed with your redesign. It looks like a low rate college newspaper. I love you guys and want you to stay in business, but this isn’t going to help.
The paper looks like a small town newspaper, certainly not something that should serve 5 million people.
Times are tough, but it would appear that the AJC hasn’t figured out how to retain print subscriptions.
April 28th, 200910:50 am
We are 7 day a week subscribers and enjoy the AJC. The new format is fine, however; the ink comes off on your fingers and you have to wash your hands after reading the paper. This was not a problem with the prior paper.
April 28th, 200910:52 am
Sad, sad, sad. We moved to Atlanta from a city with a fine, respected newspaper, The Washington Post, but have subscribed to the AJC since then because we both like a print edition. But in recent months, the AJC has been losing relevance daily. The Social Butterfly is a perfect example–who really cares about a bunch of wealthy socialites going to parties? (Well, I guess they do — hope they’re buying enough advertising to make it worth your while.) It’s a throwback to the 50’s. It has NO relevance to my life, but at least you had Luckovich, who gave the paper some national credibility, and decent comics. Now Luckovich is gone along with most of the comics I want to read. Everything else is available elsewhere, better. The paper has been getting slimmer and slimmer and the content less relevant. Today’s paper was an embarrassment–unreadable, flimsy, cheesy. USA Today (McNews) is looking pretty good in comparison. The lady who’s using it for her lizard’s cage won’t have enough for even one decent cagelining but at least it will be in the appropriate place. I will read the Post online–I certainly won’t go to the AJC for anything but the store coupons. What’s the point? If I have to go online for news, I may as well read a better paper. Sorry. RIP.
My 85 year old Grandmother doesn’t do anything until she reads (and sometimes re-reads) the AJC. She was very disppointed this morning with the smaller format claiming that it was much harder to read.
I completely understand the change but do see the difficulty for my Grandmother.
Longtime AJC Reader
April 28th, 200910:53 am
Let me count the ways this redesign is terrible:
1. It’s ugly. It’s a jumble of overlapping headlines, uninteresting photographs and garish colors.
2. It’s dense. There’s only one, tiny picture above the fold on the front page. My eye doesn’t know where to look, except away.
3. It’s retro in the worst possible way, like something from the pre-computer 1980s.
4. The colors on the inside sections are atrocious. Lime? Teal? Wine red?
5. The flag is dopey. The font of “The Atlanta Journal-Constitution” looks like the font for a small-community news pamphlet or a child’s art project.
6. It’s small, 32 pages, including comics and ads.
Times are tough, AJC, but have some dignity. This is a Frankenmonster of stitched together bad ideas.
April 28th, 200910:55 am
Deanna, I agree with you. The reason we are all so upset is that we love the AJC and we WANT the paper to succeed. But this, well, this is the death knell. Likely, the circulation losses will accelerate, and within 18-24 months, the AJC will not be viable. People vote with their dollars, and when you put out a bad product, you lose. Look for web-only by early 2011.
April 28th, 200910:59 am
I do not like it AT ALL. The print appears to be smaller and the lines closer together. It is not attractive and if I saw it in a news stand I would not be inclined to purchase it.
Can you justify letting all your arts critics take a bailout? I can’t believe that freelancers will do a better, more thorough job of covering the symphony and art in Atlanta.
My eyes are burning
Good God …. do you get a MAGNIFYING GLASS to read the new look paper ???
Who on God’s green earth thought that small of print was a good idea ?
Awful. I’m putting a Bake Ham in for the AJC print version. Prayers sent.
April 28th, 200911:00 am
If you’re trying to emulate a successful newspaper, USA Today isn’t it.
I would have chosen instead the more credible look of The New York Times, which does a masterful job of conveying it’s look in a consistent way for both print and online versions.
No matter whether you’re reading print or online versions, you know without question it’s the New York Times.
The AJC is a big city paper. It should look like one!
C’mon Julia, just listen to what folks are saying and thank them for their feedback. Reflect on it, go to a local Starbucks or Waffle House and actually talk with some people – then respond. Your admonishments and focus-grouped-blather continue the arrogant tradition of Cynthia, and we’re all a bit tired of it.
I think in this economy, it was quite prudent to have high school newspapers editors consult for free on this one. Hopefully, the actual journalism will remain more professional.
Noah T. W. Givens
April 28th, 200911:01 am
A NEWSpaper should be just that – NEWS! News of today and Here. National interests that affect EVERYBODY Should be on the front page with leader paragraphs only And Important State then local items in the the first section….
Like the oath required of All Other Official Witnesses to any event – The Truth; the WHOLE Truth; and nothing but the Truth. The AJC has neglected these concepts for decades. Why should I buy strictly propaganda that I cannot regard as truthful? (Yes, I know the that meaning of ‘propaganda’ has nothing to do with truth).
Who have the Italians hired to protect their civilian fleets?
Why is voter fraud only prosecuted where there are paper ballots?
What do ALL Terrorists have in common?
What is the truth about ‘profiling’?
The TRUTH folks is NOT in the AJC.
The ONLY reason I would even buy the weekend edition was for the tv supplement. Even though there were errors it was a simple to follow and cheaper than $4 TV Guide. Now you don’t even have that! What you do have only covers to 22:30 hrs.
Good luck in you new look….. but like the saying goes – “Looks are only skin deep”.
You gonna have to start telling the whole truth and for a loooooooonnnngggg time before anyone will rely upon you again.
April 28th, 200911:05 am
I along with many others can’t comment on the “new look” since we no longer are able to read the print version in Athens and many other communties. But as a former (not by choice)30 plus year subscriber/reader of the AJC, It sounds like from what I am reading, that might be a blessing. Thanks for the memories!
After reading so many other comments that I agree with, I do not know what to say, except horrific and terrible. Too much extreme makeover all at once with what appears less content. I was recently thinking of cancelling my weekday subscription and this surely has helped me with that decision.
April 28th, 200911:07 am
RE: AJC issued 4/28/09: Columns under heading “Welcome to your new AJC”, the print is dark and easy to read, but under the “Redesign FAQS” column the print is lighter and therefore HARDER for me to read! Why do you switch from dark to light print (makes no sense)! You did the same thing on Page B2 (upper part of page is dark print but the Vent is LIGHT print and harder for me to read. Get rid of the LIGHT print! I am 62 years old. Since the AJC is so much smaller (fewer total pages) I certainly hope your subscription prices are going to decrease accordingly! Another thing I like in the AJC TV Schedule is that you color the movie information that is listed throughout the Schedule. Th