More ads

Q: It is shocking and disappointing to see ads on Page 1B. I know times are tough at The Post and Courier these days, as with most newspapers, but to sell advertising space on the front page of a news section is very disturbing. What's next? Will advertisers be allowed to purchase publishing rights and claim the masthead? Jake's Post and Courier? Kaye, Mount Pleasant.

A: Readers of The Post and Courier are unaccustomed to seeing ads on section fronts or on an opinion page. That has changed, and it is understandable that readers are concerned. Actually, I have been surprised not to have heard from more readers than I have.

Not only do the ads mean less news on those pages, but they are a reminder that the health of papers is declining.

Publisher Larry Tarleton said that the paper is looking for new sources of advertising revenue. "Other newspapers have had success offering these small ads on section fronts. I don't think they diminish the news report."

One thing the ads do not mean is that the news content will be slanted to please advertisers. The paper has run ads for years without doing that.

A little late

Q: I enjoyed Nathalie Dupree's article last week about figs. I only wish the article had appeared earlier. As she said in the story, fig trees have been bearing fruit for months. Would you please publish next year's fig story earlier in the season? Ruth.

A: Good suggestion. So many figs. So little time.