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Letter: A truly democratic tradition

It’s no surprise that some Monitor readers dislike The Insiders column. Some reader somewhere dislikes something in every paper. However, since the complainers clearly read the Monitor, let me ask them a question: Would they like the Monitor to continue publishing? It can do so only as long as there are markets for what it produces.

The Insiders are meant to appeal to “younger” readers – younger, anyway, than Chuck Annal and me, of the Social Security brigade. Newspapers all over the country are shutting down for lack of readers, and it’s younger readers who consume newspapers least. If there’s a future for local papers, it lies with younger readers.

Here’s another question: Do the complainers read every word of every edition of the paper? I’m a big fan of newspapers generally, and the Monitor in particular, but I seldom read the sports section. Should the Monitor quit wasting space covering what I’m not interested in? Oh, wait – I’m not the Monitor’s only reader. Maybe the sports pages appeal to others. Meanwhile, I’ll start reading about the Sox when they’re up for another World Series.

Personally, I like The Insiders’ humor and ’tude, though I don’t follow the column regularly. Newspapers are a truly democratic tradition; their survival depends on appealing to as many segments of an increasingly segmented audience as possible. When individuals try redesigning the local paper to one set of tastes, they start digging its grave. Live and let live: One reader’s wasted ink is another’s anticipated highlight.



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