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Musings on newspapers and how they are changing




As the Internet gets more and more common, even dinosaurs like me are becoming comfortable using it. At the same time, various methods of print media are fading from use. Some blame the declining newspaper circulation on the ideology of the publishers/editors, which are overwhelmingly liberal/far left, while the majority of Americans are more central or conservative/right wing. 


My favorite part of the paper is the puzzle section, followed closely by the comics. As more of my favorite comics are disappearing from the paper I find myself reading fewer and fewer of them. I still miss ones like The Katzenjammer Kids, Snuffy Smif, Andy Capp, Mutt and Jeff, Sad Sack, Lil Abner, and a few more that were deemed politically incorrect a few years back. Most of the newer, replacement strips just don''t entertain me. The drawings are unrealistic and the scripts are improbable. 


My father always enjoyed the puzzles. Since he died within a few weeks of my stroke and brush with death, I''ve taken up the habit of working the puzzles, but I can''t get interested in that number-solving puzzle. 


The Dispatch is toying with the idea of charging Internet users with a fee or subscription to read the online version of the paper. If they will include the puzzles in a printable version so I could print them out and work them, plus include the comics, I would seriously consider purchasing a subscription. They could add a feature that would allow them to track the number of readers who read which comics to help determine which are truly the most enjoyed. 


Now, as to the proposed $7.95 cost, I have a pet peeve. Why is everything $X.95? Turn on your TV and soon you''ll see an ad for the latest whiz-bang, time- and labor-saving gizmo, and it''s ONLY $19.95, plus shipping and handling of $6.95, BUT if you call within the next ten minutes they''ll double the offer and send you TWO for the price of one, just pay the extra shipping. Go ahead and say it costs $20 plus $7 shipping and make it easy on people. 


One feature that was not available before my father passed away, and one I thoroughly enjoy and I believe he would have too, is Rufus Ward''s column every Sunday. History has always fascinated me, especially local history. I guess that''s why I''ve become so interested in genealogy. 


Cameron Triplett Sr., Brooksville



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