Well, I was rather disappointed to receive a letter from the Globe and Mail last week
informing me that the Globe and Mail would no longer deliver a paper copy in Thunder Bay starting September 1st. The letter stated rising costs and service delivery issues as the reason and offered as a substitute a cheaper subscription to the electronic Globe and Mail known as Globe2Go. Oddly enough, our service has actually improved immensely over the last while and given all the airline competition and additional flights out of Thunder Bay (The Toronto edition of the Globe & Mail is flown into Thunder Bay every morning and delivered throughout the day) I do not see how costs have risen that much. Yet, who am I to quibble with one of our many overlords from Toronto who constantly develop new methods to affect our daily lives here in the North.
In some respects, I suppose this was probably inevitable. I used to have a subscription to the National Post and they too left the local market citing costs. They also dangled the prospect of a digital subscription at the time they left. This departure is particularly annoying because it also means I will no longer get my Sunday New York Times delivered. It came on the Monday but its heft was something I looked forward to.
Now, its not that I do not use computers or the internet (I'm blogging am I not?). However, I find reading a newspaper on the computer or an ipad or an ipod inevitably feels like …being at work. For some reason, I find reading the physical newspaper a more reflective ritual whereas once I’m on an electronic device I simply point and click on a few items, scan quickly and move on. I get greater personal value from the more expensive hard copy than I do from the cheaper digital version. If I’m only going to point and click on half a dozen stories, well the main ones are available for free on the web either from the Globe or dozens of other competitors.
Moreover, once you are into electronic subscriptions, the market opens up dramatically. Whereas I only have the choice of the Globe and Mail or my own local paper when it comes to hard copy newspapers, once I start to consider electronic subscriptions – well, the choice is limitless. In some ways, this is an opportunity to reappraise how I currently get my news. I suppose the Globe and Mail is gambling I am so addicted to their product that an electronic Globe is better than no Globe at all. I’m not so sure. Maybe it is time to subscribe to the New York Times electronically or perhaps the Guardian to get my international news and rely on my local newspaper subscription and free web access to Canadian dailies for my Canadian news. Maybe it is time to consider the choice between what the Globe offers electronically compared to the National Post. In any event, I’m going to take some time to decide what I’m going to do given that I now am being forced to choose.
By the way, when the National Post decided to stop delivering in Thunder Bay, I did not take out the digital subscription.