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Why doesn't The New York Times go tabloid?

Hey:

Does size really matter? I think it does. The long ones always flop over unless you hold them up just right. I prefer the shorter ones because you can hold them up straight easily and they don't take up so much room on the kitchen table. I'm talking about newspapers. Why are all the "reputable" daily papers so big? The so-called "tabloid" size makes so much more sense. In New York, there were actually instructions on how to read The New York Times on the subway. You had to fold it a certain way so it would not get in the way of the person next to you who was reading the much easier handling tabloid-size but much less respected Daily News. Why is the smaller size not in greater use?

— Pondering the Papers, not in New York any more

The Subway Fold is one of those big-city skills most people do reflexively, like walking 50 blocks without making eye contact. So why does The New York Times insist on making your life so difficult by retaining the broadsheet format? A lot of it is in your observation about the Daily News; somehow "tabloid" equals "lightweight ," although much more fun to read. At least you're sure you won't get brain freeze from a critical analysis of foreign policy by some ex-State Department geek. But you will get every detail about that quadruple homicide in Ecuador. With pictures. The word tabloid itself has plenty of negative connotations.

The other thing about tabloids is, they're printed and bound in one lump; a broadsheet can have as many sections as you want. National news, local news, sports, lifestyle/entertainment, automotive, real estate — each section can cater to its own advertisers and create its own image if it's not forced to share a staple binding with the others.

Anyway, try to imagine how it would look if The New York Times suddenly went tab. Half their cred goes out the window. Besides, if you have to work a little harder for your news, maybe you appreciate it more.

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Hey:

Does size really matter? I think it does. The long ones always flop over unless you hold them up just right. I prefer the shorter ones because you can hold them up straight easily and they don't take up so much room on the kitchen table. I'm talking about newspapers. Why are all the "reputable" daily papers so big? The so-called "tabloid" size makes so much more sense. In New York, there were actually instructions on how to read The New York Times on the subway. You had to fold it a certain way so it would not get in the way of the person next to you who was reading the much easier handling tabloid-size but much less respected Daily News. Why is the smaller size not in greater use?

— Pondering the Papers, not in New York any more

The Subway Fold is one of those big-city skills most people do reflexively, like walking 50 blocks without making eye contact. So why does The New York Times insist on making your life so difficult by retaining the broadsheet format? A lot of it is in your observation about the Daily News; somehow "tabloid" equals "lightweight ," although much more fun to read. At least you're sure you won't get brain freeze from a critical analysis of foreign policy by some ex-State Department geek. But you will get every detail about that quadruple homicide in Ecuador. With pictures. The word tabloid itself has plenty of negative connotations.

The other thing about tabloids is, they're printed and bound in one lump; a broadsheet can have as many sections as you want. National news, local news, sports, lifestyle/entertainment, automotive, real estate — each section can cater to its own advertisers and create its own image if it's not forced to share a staple binding with the others.

Anyway, try to imagine how it would look if The New York Times suddenly went tab. Half their cred goes out the window. Besides, if you have to work a little harder for your news, maybe you appreciate it more.

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