It's always important to hear what our readers think about the paper we produce each day on their behalf. It's easy to pick up the phone and voice your opinion to myself, Editor/Publisher Jerry Taylor, Associate Managing Editor for Content Laura Fraembs or Editorial Page Editor Kenda Burrows. Many of you do call when the urge hits you.|
Beginning today we are reaching out and asking you to complete a short survey to give us feedback on an important aspect of your daily paper — the comics. By responding you could also win tickets to Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse.
Like many other features of our paper, the Comics & Puzzles pages are designed to appeal to a wide range of tastes. We know that few readers read all of them, but nearly all of you have favorites. It's important to check in from time to time to see which ones are "hits" and which are "misses" as we try to appeal to your wide range of tastes.
We did a similar survey about five years ago and dropped some comics as a result while adding new ones to replace them. It will be interesting to see what kind of following those "new" strips — Dustin daily and The Knight Life, Pajama Diaries and Shortcuts on Sunday — have developed.
Five years ago Zits, Family Circus, Baby Blues, Rex Morgan, Blondie and Garfield were the most popular. Those that were the least popular were long ago relegated to the comics and puzzles scrap heap. Didn't even miss them, did you?
Continuity strips like Rex Morgan and Mary Worth usual rank among both the most and least popular — you either read them or not. It will be interesting to see if their numbers have changed.
We also wonder how the following has held up for a venerable comic like Peanuts which has had no new strips since Charles Schulz died. We sense that the strip is pretty timeless — tales about Snoopy and the Red Baron and Charlie Brown and the little red haired girl are as entertaining today as when they were originally drawn. We need to know if our readers feel the same.
Five years ago 89 percent of respondents said they never read the Bridge column, but we decided to keep it anyway. Whether that number has gone up or down may determine the future of that feature.
We also look at how the puzzles and comics are rated among various age and income groups — that's part of making sure that we are offering something for everyone in the paper each day. For instance Sudoku rates low among older readers but much higher among younger ones.
The survey is designed to help us determine what readers like. There are also open-ended questions where you can suggest comics or puzzles you have seen elsewhere that you would like us to consider adding. There is also a chance to tell us what you would like to see more of in the paper.
We are excited about the opportunity to review these features again, but that effort can't be successful if you don't take the time to give us feedback. So please do.
You can answer the quick survey with a few clicks of the mouse by going to QCOnline.com and clicking on the Please Take Our Comics & Puzzles Survey link.
Or, the survey can be found on Page A13 of today's paper. We will run it a few more times, too. You can simply check a few boxes, tear it out and mail it to: Comics Survey, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co., 1720 Fifth Ave., Moline, Ill. 61265. From among those who respond, three names will be chose at random to receive a pair of tickets to Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse in Rock Island.
In either case, please respond by Friday, Dec. 20. That's when we will start compiling results. Thanks in advance for your help!
Roger Ruthhart is managing editor of The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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