I have a confession to make.
Most weekdays, if I didn't read the Deseret News here at work, I'd have a hard time finding time to read it at home. And I'm a newspaper junkie.Some days, I can get in a few minutes of reading right after I get home and before dinner (unless it's my turn to prepare it). And I often thumb through the paper while watching the 10 p.m. TV news.
Other than that, with dinner, innumerable and interminable church meetings, family activities, shopping and household/yard chores, plus a few hobbies, I seldom have much free evening time.
And I suspect many of you are in the same boat. Such is the sad lot of an evening newspaper.
But we're trying to change the paper to better fit your busy lifestyle. What do you suppose is far and away the No. 1 reason people drop the Deseret News? No time to read it.
Research also tells us that one-third of you spend less than 20 minutes with the newspaper.
So we suspect you'd like to spend your limited newspaper-reading time more effectively. You'd like a newspaper you can scan quickly, and easily find stories and topics of interest to you.
You ought to know this: We're hearin' ya.
Our intent is to create a Deseret News that the harried reader can spend 15 minutes with and still get a good overview of world, national and local news. Or, if you like, you can be leisurely and take as long as you please and enjoy complete, in-depth coverage.
We're already moving in that direction and we plan to do much more.
We are not, by any means, trying to trivialize the news or do it quick-and-dirty. Substance and in-depth treatment will still be there. But we want to make our news presentation more compelling and convenient and offer you the choice of both brief and in-depth treatment.
The trick is to provide enough reader helps, via page labels, story labels, detailed indexes, story summaries - and graphic devices like photos, shadow boxes, logos and charts - that you can look at a story or page and instantly determine what you want to read.
If you're scanning the paper, for example, and come upon a page labeled "EDUCATION" or "WASHINGTON, D.C." or "HOME & GARDEN," then you can more easily decide if you want to read it. And if you glance at a story that features some of the high points in a brief shadow box, then you can quickly get the gist of the story and decide if you want more.
A newspaper has often been compared to a smorgasbord. Readers pick and choose - a bit here, a lot there - among the tremendous amounts of news, sports, entertainment, advertisements, features, editorials, columns and so on, that we offer.
Our intent is to simply make that picking and choosing quicker and easier.