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A correspondent (who asked to remain anonymous) pulled together some comparisons of daily newspaper page size, on occasion of the Boise Idaho Statesman‘s switch today to publication on the press of the Nampa Idaho Press-Tribune – which is cutting the page size.

But it has been cut before, and it has been a process. A big process it has been, too. In 1986, space on a page of the broadsheet Statesman covered 323.1 square inches. As of today, a page is 233.7 square inches.

And we should note here that the Statesman is far from alone in the trimming; few if any daily newspapers publish today in the dimensions they did 20 years ago.

From our correspondent, with a photo for comparison.


Comparing the Statesmans

Here’s a photo of Sunday’s and Monday’s paper plus a June, 1986 copy, showing the downsizing. The image is slightly distorted by the position of the camera, to be fair.

Here are the dimensions, approximately, in inches of the full sheet:
1986 edition: 13-3/4 by 23-1/2
1Mar09: 11-7/8 by 23-1/2
2Mar09: 11-0/0 by 21-1/4
In other words, the new paper is less than an inch narrower that last week’s edition, but it seems a lot smaller.

Today’s op-ed section has a Tom Friedman piece. It looks awfully squeezed down, but the columns, counting white edges, are 1-5/8 wide compared with the old op-ed column width from last week of 1-3/4. They’re only 1/8-inch narrower.

The vaunted new obits, look about the same, but the 2-1/2 pages of legal ads take a magnifying glass to read.

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