It’s been a bad month for the Globe & Mail, Canada’s supposed paper of record. First it tried to suppress the Margaret Wente plagiarism scandal. Then it let one of its home sales writers publish an article promoting the sale of her own home. Then it apparently did this (according to Media Culpa, anyhow). But somehow it’s latest strategic move will outweigh all of those little problems:
The Globe and Mail will roll out its digital subscription package on Oct. 22… Weekend-only subscribers will be asked to pay $4.99 a month for unlimited access, while those without a subscription will be charged $19.99 a month after a one-month, 99-cent trial.
Well. I guess that’s the end of my Wente expose, then. Sixth Estate can’t afford to subscribe to right-wing rags produced by shameless hacks.
Hilariously, the publisher claims that the Globe is now just following along what the others of the “world’s largest and most respected media outlets” have been doing, as though somehow the Globe deserves to be ranked alongside the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Times. But there are two questions I have.
First of all, the Globe claims that as long as you follow a link to an article from a “social media site such as Twitter and Facebook as well as search engines and blogs,” they’ll let you read it online for free, without a subscription. Um… okay. So really you’ll only be charging subscriptions to old people who are computer-illiterate? I suppose that is one of the Globe’s main target audiences, so maybe this obvious gap doesn’t need to be plugged. But it sounds unlikely to me.
Second, the Globe is going to charge $20/month for an online subscription. This is a ridiculous price. It’s even more ridiculous because a digital-only subscription to the New York Times only appears to cost $15/month. Um, yeah. I read the Globe regularly, but… no, it’s not the New York Times. (And don’t bother bashing the Times here; it’s just as easy to bash the Globe, easier even, since at the Globe apparently plagiarism is not a firing offence.) If that’s the price the Globe needs just to break even, then the newspaper business is in even more serious trouble than I thought it was.
Of course, I would pay the Globe $20 per month anyways, if they gave me something that was worth paying for.Tweet