Tue, 01 Jul 2008
Dear New York Times

Dear Sir,

My mother subscribed to the Times nearly all her adult life, as have I. I am now an emeritus professor from San Diego State University. I use the Times every day. My wife is a classroom teacher and uses the Times in her classes. That said, I am terribly disappointed with what appears to be coming of my Times. I have entire sections that I routinely throw out, like "Dining In," or "Dining Out," or whatever the section is called on modernizing homes, or buying third homes. Indeed, on Sunday, I threw out nearly the entire paper after glancing at it. I read section A, the book reviews, and the Week in Review. The rest bit the dust.

Now, I am treated to two pages of indexes and news summaries in section A, surrounded by advertisements. I do not need an index to read a newspaper. I want news.

I want a daily (and weekend) complete section on the wars. I want maps. I want lines of battle. Histories of the players in the conflict, nations and specific people. I want a geological map showing me the nearby mineral and natural resources to related conflicts, trade routes, the labor conditions and methods of manufacture, etc. This request should be easy to grasp.

The price increase of the Times can only be explained to me in terms of this kind of coverage, not more photos of the Feelies, or, in the words of my undergrad students, that which can rightly be called, "whatever."

It was a stretch for me to forgive the Times for its coverage prior to the invasion of Iraq. Who knew? I knew, and so did everyone I know well. But forgive I did as I thought the Times would find its balance. That has not happened to the degree that I require.

So, let me know your response, and I will let you know about our subscription.

All the best,

Richard Gibson