Just canceled my print subscription to The New York Times. And since the pitch they made their wretched phone CSR throw at me to try to keep me in their clutches was so damned obnoxious, I canceled the online sub, too.
By the time I got off the phone, I was ready to wring that kid’s neck…and it wasn’t his fault, he being a schlep who was just doing his job. Thank heaven for small favors: I may go hungry, but I don’t have to do a job like that.
The cost used to be pretty reasonable, because I got it while I was teaching at ASU — way back in 2002, the kid said! — when they were practically giving it away to students and faculty. But prices being what they are, every year they’ve inched up the rates. It’s now $34 for print delivery with “free” online access included.
Problem is, often the thing isn’t delivered. A couple of weeks ago they failed to deliver the Saturday and the Sunday edition, even after I called (twice!) to complain.
When you do that — call to bellyache that the paper wasn’t delivered — their CSR will say they’re crediting your bill. But of course, they don’t.
The biggest problem with home delivery, though, is simply that I don’t have time to read a newspaper anymore. Much as I love the Times — and I do enjoy reading it — the only clear time available to read the paper is the ten minutes or so it takes to bolt down my breakfast. There’s usually a little coffee left after that, but nine times out of ten, I’m writing promotional copy, wrangling Amazon, or chasing e-mails over the last of the coffee. Two or three hours of work have already been done by then: only another ten or twelve to go.
Really: I don’t think ten minutes of hurried reading is worth $408 a year.
I can get the print AND digital versions of The New York Review of Books (which I dearly miss) for $75 a year. I can get The Economist for $52 a year. Both of these are delivered by mail, so one does not depend on the bums (not an exaggeration) to bring it to your door and drop it in a puddle of water.
Between you and me and the
lamp-post iPad, I think I can get by with the news reports and opinion that are available for free online.
Most of the time, instead of sitting down and reading a newspaper, I graze for news online during short breaks between projects. Best sources around:
- BBC News
- PBS News
- NPR News
- The Washington Post
- PR Watch (always entertaining!)
- Medpage Today
- Al Jazeera
- Smithsonian SmartNews
- Retraction Watch (amazing!)
- The Big Roundtable (quite possibly the best long-form reporting anywhere)
- Phoenix Business Journal
- KTAR Arizona News (headline service…better than other local news sources)
- Arizona Capitol Times
- Scientific American
- Astronomy Picture of the Day (how could anyone live without it?)
Hmh. No wonder I don’t have time to read the Times…
So, what are your favorite news sources? And BTW, while you’re at it, don’t miss this news flash. 😀