Most people know that newspapers have reduced the size of their pages (or what we used to mean when we talked about “the web”) to save newsprint, but unless you have a lot of old papers lying around the house (ahem), you may not realize how much has been cut.
Here’s a 1966 copy of The Times from the Daily Mirror archives, compared with the Oct. 24, 2011, paper.
This comparison is even more dramatic: The elimination of 3 1/2 columns on a double truck or 1 3/4 columns per page. Using the SAU (standard advertising unit) calculation of 21 inches per column for a full newspaper page, that roughly translates to the loss of a 35-inch story (or 35 inches of ads) on every page. For comparison, most newspaper stories today run in the 20- or 25-inch range. A 35-inch story is often considered too long except for the most compelling news or writerly feature.
And here’s a 1964 issue of the New York Times compared to the Oct. 23, 2011 front page.