The Toronto Star Online: Should we have to pay for it?

Apparently the majority of feedback on this question has been savagely negative. Everyone thinks the Star should be available online for free. I disagree.

Conversely the statement is, if you get the Star on paper, you will have access to the online version as well. Allow me to express doubt on this matter. Exactly what password will come with my acknowledgement of my payment for my subscription? (There is no acknowledgement of payment, just the paper stops if they think they weren’t paid.)

There is one extra catch in the online version being paid-only. I frequently point to informed sources in this blog. The Star is one such informed source. A blog can be read anywhere in the world, some readers might not be Star readers.

On the other hand, I have noticed that the free online Star sometimes does Not contain today’s news; it catches up a day or two later. (I’ve looked for current stuff I wanted to point to, eh?)

I suggest a hybrid approach. Allow the Star archives, say anything a week old, to be available for free. Charge for the Star online if you want to see today’s news.

And, find a way to do three things:

  • Allow print subscribers to see the online articles, and point to them.
  • Make the articles freely available, once they are old news.
  • Keep the url’s of those articles the same, even after they are freely available.

I submit that I am, inadvertently, advertising for the Star and its quality when I point to it. Frequent link-followers will have noticed that I use other sources too, depending on where a decent covering of an issue is to be found (all rating opinions are mine, of course).

As for Rosie Dimanno’s article today, here I make few comments. First, emoticons can be done even by the challenged, as this one {8;^<} or this one 🙁    . Second, I agree that a comment section in a news outlet may not be useful (note that this blog can be commented on anywhere, and that most comments are self-advertising and for that reason do not get approved). Third, I recommend everyone read the article. Dimanno isn’t my favourite person, but I do deeply respect her courage (some really tough reporting assignments), unwavering integrity, and quality of writing. Fourth, I often disagree with Rosie Dimanno, but today is not one of those occasions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *