Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Cancelling print media

It might seem like heresy but we've started cancelling print media subscriptions. Not because we've become iPadified but because we find we've unread papers and magazines sitting around the house, and yet we both spend more and more time reading newsfeeds and other online sources.

First to go is the New Scientist - which is a wrench given that I've been a loyal subscriber since I was sixteen, when it was valuable as the only reliable source of science news and which has sustained me for years.

Nowadays there's more choice of news sources, and the New Scientist seems increasingly not to cut it as a backgrounder for new topics. Sad, but $300 a year for something that sits unread seems a lot of money.

Next to go will probably be the Canberra Times. It's always been one of these newspapers that looked as if it ought to be a heavyweight paper, but actually wasn't, relying on syndicated content most of which you can get online, while its local news coverage is increasingly trite. I had hopes that when Fairfax took it over it might turn into essentially a Canberra edition of the The Age or the SMH, but no such luck - it seems to get thinner and thinner and worse and worse.

I feel guilty as I've always enjoyed reading newspapers, but then I don't really read the Canberra Times, more flick through it at breakfast, and especially since I've taken to reading the Australian at lunchtime I've found it far too lightweight.

As to the Guardian Weekly - I'm still enjoying it and it's a nice foil to the Australian, so it'll be interesting to see how it lasts if we go newspaperless ...

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