Why so many stories that 'jump?'

Question: Why do you make it so difficult to read the newspaper? Our kids have many things on their schedule, they don't have time to search for the ends of the articles. We as seniors have the time, but by the time we jump four or five pages we have lost our patience. The job of the newspaper is to keep their readers interested. You are not the only source of news. You have lost three potential families as readers. Continue your "jump" articles and lose more. Perhaps reformating the whole kit and kaboodle and putting the ads at the end in one place would help all of us! -- Bill Matherly, Worley, Idaho

Answer: "Why do you make it so difficult to read the newspaper?" Wow! That's a question editors hate to see.

A newspaper really is a remarkably efficient transmitter of information. Still, there are some things that we do routinely that do make it more difficult for readers to navigate the paper. One of those things is "jumping" stories. We know that readership of any given story plummets when the story jumps from a cover page to an inside page. Most readers simply aren't interested enough to follow.

There are a couple of solutions.

First, more of our stories should be more interesting. Readers will follow a great story for as many jumps as necessary.

Second, fewer stories should jump. Some newspapers limit the number of jumped stories to just one or two per cover. Routinely, we jump all four, five or six stories from a cover page.

Third, we need to change our cover page design to accommodate more short stories and news briefs that provide a great deal of information in much less space.

Last thought --- advertisers pay the bills. They won't pay to be separated from the paper's news content. That's a change we won't see. -- Steve Smith, editor

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