Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dead Funny

I happened to be in the car for a few minutes this weekend. It was just short enough to not merit bothering to put a CD on, so instead I was listening to public radio, which at the time happened to be broadcasting Garrison Keillor’s  Prairie Home Companion. I was tuned in just long enough to hear a funny little musical ditty on “The Sunday New York Times” (click on the “Segment 2” link for the audio) – presented, of course, in the context that if you’re going to write a song about newspapers, you’d better do it soon (while some still exist). Not only is the lyrical wordplay funny (in all-too-much of a self-identifying kind of way for me), but the musical representations of the various sections of the paper are priceless.

Speaking of prices and The New York Times or, by extension, its poor (very poor) stepchild, The Boston Globe, I was taken aback today when I received a notice from the Globe informing me that our monthly home delivery prices are being increased by 64%. Now, I’m well aware that newspaper companies are in serious need of retooling their economic model. And, as a dedicated reader, I’m even willing (reluctantly) to foot more of the bill (if they can at least maintain, if not improve the quality of their offerings). But this is a very sizable jump for a publication that has been getting noticeably thinner and lost some of their better writers over the last year or two. Newspaper lovers that we are, this still has my wife and I seriously wondering whether we should continue our subscription, which we’ve had for close to two decades. 

One has to wonder, if the magnitude of this increase has newspaper diehards like us thinking twice about calling it a quits, what does that mean for the majority of subscribers? Sounds like a shot to the foot to me.  


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