Saturday, May 12, 2012

Star thinks "freeloaders" should buy subscription

The Toronto Star's Ken Gallinger has a column in the print edition today extolling the business value and the ethics of subscribing to a newspaper. The business part of the discussion is for the Star. The ethics part is for you, dear reader. Mr. Gallinger begins by referring to a "freeloading reader". This is apparently anyone who reads the Star for free in the Second Cup or wherever else he finds it deposited. The column points out the subscriptions are important because it pays the bills and makes advertising more valuable. Advertisers  don't want the business of freeloaders. But wait a second. It isn't the reader who dumps free papers in every place where people gather for a few minutes. And there's nothing to even suggest that if the free newspapers disappeared that anyone would care. The Star's problem is not that readers are freeloaders or unethical in any way. The Star is just caught in a changing world where there are new ways of consuming news. 

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