Edmonton Journal – Letter to the Editor

Just so you know,
– Friday’s is the only Journal I buy unless a friend or relative has an article by them or about them in it.
– I don’t buy any other newspaper.
– I consider myself an online news junkie. I visit CNN.com and BBC.com at least three times a day.

Here’s what I did with the Edmonton Journal, Friday, August 21, 2009

Section A – (20 pages)
– Scanned from end to end. Read no complete articles.
All old news.
– Editorial page contained two pieces on American subjects,
    Health Reform by an Ottawa writer
    Conspiracy Theories by an L.A. Times writer.
    One piece on closing beds Alberta Hospital
– This is the output of your high-level thinkers?
– Saw no ads.

Section B – City – (12 pages)
Scanned from end to end. Read no complete articles.
Saw no ads.

Section C – Sports – (don’t know, straight to recycling)

Section D – Movies – (16 pages)
Scanned from end to end. Read with interest the title and number of stars for Inglourious Basterds. All old news. Saw no ads.

Section E – Business – (14 pages)
Scanned from end to end. Read no articles at all. All old news. Saw no ads. Did Crossword puzzle.

Section F – Driving – (don’t know, straight to recycling)

Section G – Driving – (don’t know, straight to recycling)

TV Times – (don’t know, straight to recycling)

Flier – (don’t know, straight to recycling)

So what conclusions can be drawn from this?
1. Businesses that advertise in the Journal are idiots. I don’t know if I’m typical, but in my ad-blindness, I’m pretty sure I am. If I gave my full attention to every billboard, TV commercial, store front sign and print ad, not only would I be functionally useless as a human being, I would be considered a clinical menace to others.

The only people who read all the ads in the Journal are stuck in psychiatrist waiting rooms with nothing else to read.

2. We all know that the newspaper business is dead. What happened to the classified section? It used to be half an inch thick all by itself. Well, first, print publications like the Bargain Finder Press killed it, and then online ads stomped on it’s corpse. Mega-corporations are not light of foot, so the meek inherited that piece of turf.

Because they’ve lost so much revenue to the competition and lost sight of their reason for being from endless consolidation, they’ve laid off all their writers and other talent.

Two decades ago, I was waiting for my "free wireless Kindle with every Journal subscription"l. (I would have subscribed even if it wasn’t wireless. Smart cards, even floppies would have worked.) They couldn’t get it together for whatever reason. Because of that, I consider print media’s death a suicide.

3. I’m an idiot for spending a toonie on this rag, week after week. But why do I do it? Some sense of loyalty to a (no-longer) local business? Nostalgia? Habit?

Yeah, well, all of the above. I have no excuse. I wouldn’t be the first person to drag around a relationship long after it has died and the meat fallen off.

But to be completely sober about this ostensibly unhealthy relationship, if we heaved every Wizard of Oz whose secret we found out, life would be pretty boring. That’s the real bottom line.