Why I will avoid using the Toronto Star, when reasonable

If you follow this blog, you’ll be aware that I have enormous respect for many columnists on the Toronto Star, and that my starting point is often one of those columns.

It is with real regret that I will now avoid using the Star here as a matter of principle. This is small-minded of me, perhaps, but here’s why I am being so.

We have read the Star on a daily basis for decades. We pay by the three-month option. The Star is going digital (already is) and implementing a paywall (this is new). Once the paywall is in place, somehow one will be limited to ten pages. I think this is per month and likely per IP address. There are three computer users in this building but only one IP address. So, we’ll run out of pages at least some of the time.

The Star’s response is, pay by the year or pay by the month via credit card. Being small-minded, I don’t pay anything automatically on a credit card (or any other auto-payment.) Being cheap and small-minded, I don’t pay for anything by the year unless there is a significant discount for lending the money so far ahead.

I have had several eMails sent to the Star responded to in pretty much exactly the same wording: pay by pre-authorized credit card, or pay by the year. The fact that I am a long-time user doesn’t matter a damn.

Occasionally I will lapse and use the Star, especially if it is apparently the only easy source for the information. Often the same story appears elsewhere, and I will use that. Sometimes (as in the Brazil comment in the Police State blog entry) I will know what I read (maybe BBC News Online?) but not where, and keep googling until I find it. So you may notice some unusual sources being referenced. I check that the article I point to does cover the facts I was looking for.

As for the Toronto Star, it is a fine newspaper and we will continue to read it. You just won’t find it pointed to here as often as in the past.

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