EDITORIAL Pages: open letter

An open letter to The Toronto Star…

 

 

 

Toronto Star,

An open letter to you regarding two items:

  1. A subscription request;
  2. Your inevitable demise.

Subscription consideration
I am a Senior which means income and expenditures are a real concern in my life. My RT (Remaining Time) is unpredictable but I can predict that the longer I live, the more worrisome my finances will become. Costs rise everywhere, medications,  hospitalization, cost of living, housing costs, etc. etc. All government levels can carry the burgeoning costs only so far before they legislate the inevitable and cut programs, services and citizen assistance. The short of this very obvious lament is that seniors cannot treat budgeting lightly and it becomes a greater concern each of us with each passing year. Hence, a monthly subscription rate of $14.99 (plus tax) a seemingly insignificant amount becomes a serious expenditure in the light of our finite financial limits.

Additionally, many of us do not want a hard copy of The Star. Environmentally is is not justifiable, especially when much of the paper consists of discardable advertising. That notwithstanding, there are many sections of the paper which are of little interest to many seniors. Of course, this is a subjective matter as one person’s treasure is another’s trash and The Star has to appeal to the greatest number of potential subscribers as possible. Be that as it may, it still means that at week’s end there is a significant increase to the household trash because of the Star. For this reason, I prefer the digital form of the Toronto Star. Obviously, impact on the environment is significantly reduced with that form of the news.

However, $14.99 (plus tax) is not a price which I can justify or accept. As a Senior, though I may have earned enough money in my working life to live comfortably that money has a finite limit. It needs to be spent judiciously. $14.99 (plus tax) is not judicious spending.

Bottom line, I will subscribe to a monthly charge even paids as an annual fee but at a significantly lower level. Think about it. A lower price, guaranteed revenue, or a nebulous income at a higher price. Your call; it’s your demise that is at stake.

Your inevitable demise
Like many others, I too worry and are truly saddened by the decline of the printed news media. Thank goodness for Trump, an invaluable boon to all news media. However, he too will pass and the problem facing the media will remain. Much of our current generation uses digital sources for news and information about the world. That situation cannot be reversed or stopped. The declining support for news media in its old forms can only be slowed. Generating digital subscriptions may delay the inevitable but the malady is too serious, the demise inevitable.

Maclean’s magazine, gone. Time magazine, gone, Newsweek, gone…those are the magazines. The obituaries of local news media are longer and much worse, relentless and ongoing, day by day. Lamenting these deaths is irrelevant and inconsequential but the real disappointment is the loss of a vital safeguard to our society; a crucial intellectual bulwark which helps us understand and analyzes our situation with professionalism and intelligence. As more and more news publishers succumb, our society suffers priceless loss. Every journalist, regardless of skill, experience or ability, contributes significantly to our collective knowledge and opinion. As each one loses their job, our entire community suffers. We need you but can we afford you?

The bottom line, every member of our larger community needs to recognize the value and importance of the news media such as The Toronto Star and be willing to pay to keep the patient on life support for as long as possible. Many Seniors see the merit in such a cause but pragmatically speaking, we cannot afford to do only so much. What can you do?


The Toronto Star, like the Toronto Maple Leafs, love or hate it/them but don’t leave it/’em. Though your days may be numbered, as are the days for us all, still we should and want to support you. I know I am one who surely wants to do that and I will if I can afford to do so. Can you help?

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