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Changing Times

February 2, 2009 - Jennifer Houtman
Newspapers big and small seem to be in a constant state of change these days.

We've gone from simply publishing a printed product once a day to maintaining a round-the-clock newsroom with ongoing updates on our Web site throughout the day and night as warranted. It's changed what we do and what readers expect.

It's that expectation that makes the news business so much fun. Beginning Tuesday, you'll notice some changes we've made to our printed product.

Perhaps the most significant is moving sports from inside the B section to the cover. That's the traditional place for sports in most newspapers. Sports, after all, is the primary reason many people choose to get a local newspaper. We know how compelling the tie to one's high school, college or pro team and its players can be and we want to give sports the prominance it deserves.

Our local report doesn't go away, it simply slides into the A section. That's where news-lovers already look for state and national headlines. We will maintain the same strong committment to local news coverage we've always had.

Here's a quick run through of the changes:

Sports moves to the front of the second section during the week. Local News moves up into the A section on Page 4. There you will find the latest in local happenings, our daily news poll and information on how to contact our reporters and editors. We've also moved corrections to the Local News page in an effort to make any corrections we have more easily seen by readers.

A2 is home to our new QuikBits page, a colorful summary of news and weather and the place to find our crossword and Sudoku puzzles. Obituaries are still located in the A section, they've simply moved back. A list of names whose obituaries appear inside will continue to run at the bottom of the front page.

Our daily Life page moves to the back page of the A section. Just a quick flip and you'll find the lifestyles coverage you've come to expect every day. Daily themes continue so you can zero in on the topics important to you.

Comics and our daily TV grid, Bridge, Annie's Mailbox and entertainment news have been relocated to the B section behind sports. The coverage and features remain the same, they simply changed locations.

These aren't drastic changes. We like to consider this more of an update to a product you've already come to appreciate. Our readers are loyal. Many have been with us for a long time and they know what they like. We aren't looking to shake things up too much. Rather, we want to make some changes our readers have said they want.

The development of our Web site over the years has been a major change in the news operation of The Marietta Times. is among the most visited sites in the area because of the news and features it provides every day and the ability for readers to weigh in on issues and stories important to them. We want to enhance our online report, too.

As of Tuesday, we will begin an afternoon update at 4 p.m. each day. Readers have come to rely on our breaking news postings online whenever a major news story occurs. But, this afternoon update will be a chance to get the latest on the important stories of the day and also see what we're working on for the next day's paper. As always, we do this with readers in mind. We ask that you give us feedback on what we're doing and provide us with information that can help drive our local news report.

Change is inevitable. As we continue to grow and change at The Marietta Times, we hope you'll come along for the ride.


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