Toronto Star elevates local coverage, gets easier to read

New Toronto Star masthead

I’ve never understood why a newspaper called the Toronto Star would relegate Toronto news to the B section of its print edition. The Star is without peer when it comes to covering this city, and yet it wasn’t always obvious when you picked up the paper.

Well, with changes introduced today, the local news is where it ought to be — in the A section.

Another obvious change is right on the front page. The famous blue banner has been removed from the paper’s name, and applied instead to the words “Voice of the GTA” [Greater Toronto Area] which appear above an unadorned “Toronto Star” [pictured above]. It’s a lighter look, just as we’re seeing on many news websites.

The Star’s body type has been enlarged from 9.9 point to 10.25 point, with greater leading, to improve readability. Handy for those of us whose arms just aren’t long enough to read as well as we used to.

The paper is also incorporating the results of its website polls and online comments in a daily feature called Traffic Report. Great.

Late this summer, the Star will shave an inch off its page width, and a lot of dollars off its newsprint expenses. The new width will be 11.5 inches, a half inch narrower than the recently slimmed Globe & Mail.

Full credit to the Star for explaining the changes to readers — even getting publisher Jagoda Pike and Editor-in-Chief Fred Kuntz in front of the camera for an online video. It’s all nicely done, except for the fact that some material published on the thestar.com hasn’t been adapted for online reading; it’s just copied from the print edition complete with references to page numbers rather than hyperlinks.