You might have noticed that, starting Tuesday, the pages of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette were a little narrower than before. The width of the paper was reduced by one full inch to save on newsprint, which is sold by the ton. The reduction will allow the paper to reduce the amount of newsprint used by approximately eight percent per day, according to the paper's vice president of operations, Lynn Hamilton.
Newsprint currently costs about $430 per ton. “In this business the two largest expenses are salaries and paper,” Hamilton said. He wouldn't disclose the dollar savings.
When asked what the reduction would mean for the news content, deputy editor Frank Fellone simply said, “it's narrower.”
“We've lost an inch of the canvas on which we paint the day's news events,” Fellone said. “We have done a couple of things to ameliorate that. The margins, the white space outside of the print area, are slightly smaller. Column widths are 1/6 of an inch narrower. The type-face and the size of the type will not change. We haven't eliminated any features. Photos will be slightly smaller, headlines will be slightly smaller, everything will be slightly smaller.”
Hamilton said the paper was following an industry trend.
The Tuesday Democrat-Gazette carried no article explaining the change in the size of the newspaper. Asked whether there had been a discussion at the paper about whether to run an article about the change, Fellone said that would be a better question for the paper's executive editor, Griffin Smith. Our calls to Smith's office were not returned.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee, a presidential candidate in 2008, has been earning wide attention in national political media lately for sharp attacks on the Obama administration, particularly on health care. It's been widely interpreted as a move to capture the ultra-conservative Republican base in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Huckabee also got a great deal of (unflattering) press attention for a radio talk that said “Obamacare” would have denied U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy medical care in a battle with brain cancer.
His defense of that statement rang false with Ezra Klein of the Washington Post. Said Huckabee; “I want to see improvements in health care, too. But I think a better way to honor Ted Kennedy would be to ensure that every American has access to the latest private health care, as good as what senators receive.”
Senatorial-level coverage for all? That beat anything a Democrat has proposed. Klein's headline: “Mike Huckabee's Plan to Socialize and Bankrupt the United States of America.”