Growing up we had at least three (maybe more?) newspaper subscriptions. We got the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, the Amherst Daily News, and the local weekly, the Citizen. This last is obviously gone, and I’m pretty sure the Amherst News is just a section of the Saltwire site now.
When I moved to Toronto I eventually subscribed to the Globe and Mail, then The Toronto Star, then both at once. (I loved newspapers and might have subscribed to more, but you couldn’t have paid me to read the National Post, and I don’t even consider The Sun to be a news source.) Reading my weekend paper(s) used to be a treasured Saturday morning ritual, but I let my both subscriptions lapse many years ago. I couldn’t really justify the paper usage or the cost versus free, high-quality, online alternatives.
Over time the thought of losing good journalism began weighing on me though, so I opened an online subscription. Granted it was the early days of the big media sources figuring out paywalls, but man was it clunky. I had a paid Globe subscription that never actually let me read pay-walled stories, so I gave up.
I’d always been more ideologically aligned to The Star than the others, and recently considered trying an online subscription again, but then they were purchased by a private equity firm. So we’ll see whether that ideological alignment lasts. In the meantime, I’ve hung fire on re-subscribing.
What I have begun paying for is newer, independent media, which doesn’t (as far as I know; I’m not invested enough to dig too hard) receive government funding for a dying business model (as opposed to receiving funding for journalism, which I would support). I have subscriptions to The Logic (for Canadian tech/innovation news) and The Athletic (for sports news), and have recently signed up for the West End Phoenix. I haven’t received my first issue yet, but I’m psyched. And while I don’t live in Nova Scotia anymore, much of my family does, so I might just sign up for the Halifax Examiner too.
It creates more things to manage, but I feel like my dollar goes further this way, and more directly to the people doing the work.