My Newspaper Doesn't Want Me
By James Grahame
My subscription to the National Post expired last week. Instead of automatically renewing as they've done for the past three years, the company sent a polite letter stating that the cost of my subscription would increase by more than 400%. They indicated that the new price still doesn't cover the full cost of printing and distribution.
After four years, I had become strangely addicted to my daily hands-on dose of news and commentary. However, I couldn't justify the increased expense in an increasingly electronic world and made the reluctant decision to cancel. I suspect many others received similar letters and reacted the same way.
Ironically, I penned a brief editorial in December 2007 that pondered the resurgence of print news. Here's an excerpt.
"Newspapers have some wonderful advantages. They aren't hyperlinked, so the urge to click on an ad or titillating headline about Britney's latest lifestyle faux pas is completely eliminated. Printed photos and illustrations offer significantly higher resolution than screen images, often in color. There's absolutely no load time when you flip a page, and there are definitely no pop-up ads floating aggressively over the text.
In fact, there are myriad problems with the online reading experience. Most of us don't realize that self-selection ls severely limiting our online experience. We visit the same sites or RSS feeds day after day, and dynamic content providers like Google News can be configured to serve stories that fit incredibly tight niches.We're accidentally censoring our view of the world.
That's not to say that newspapers don't have their own editorial
biases, of course, but even the most controversial tabloid serves up a
surprisingly broad range of topics, often tossed together across a few
pages like a delicious salad for the mind.
Newspapers are also portable and lightweight. There are no batteries and they remain eminently legible, even blinding sunlight that makes the hardiest of LCD panels wilt in shame. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a copy of the paper and see what you've been missing. Just remember to pass it on to someone else (or recycle) when you're done."
Would the last one out of the newsroom please remember to turn off the lights?