A copy of the Chicago Sun-Times was accidentally delivered to my office this morning instead of the Wall Street Journal. I was absolutely shocked to see what is left of this once great newspaper. It’s no larger than one of the tiny suburban newspapers that get’s mailed to me for free every week. Why bother printing this thing?
I used to subscribe to the Sun-Times and have it delivered to my house more than 20 years ago. I remember stopping my subscription because of the lack of stories and the increase in the amount of advertising. I would leaf through the paper trying to find something to read and invariably ended up getting frustrated. So I cancelled and kept my subscription to the Chicago Tribune.
Not that the Tribune is much better. I cancelled my daily print subscription to the Chicago Tribune probably around 3 years ago or so. I did this because there didn’t seem to be much new reporting and instead of taking about 30 minutes to read my morning paper I was done in about 10. Everything that I found in the daily Tribune I had already learned by reading online news sources as the Tribune seemed to be just a conduit for the Associated Press or reprinting stories from other newspapers that was under the Tribune’s ownership.
I continue to subscribe to the Sunday Chicago Tribune because I really like the slow Sunday morning activity of going through the paper with a pot of coffee next to me. Some weeks are better than others and there is usually something to read in the Sunday paper although the quality of this has also been quickly on the wane. For example, every Sunday I use to read the automotive section first because there were decent features and reviews by local auto reviewers. Jim Mateja (I think I’m spelling this correctly) retired some time ago and the Tribune has replaced his reviews with some rather generic reviewers that don’t seem to have a solid opinion. So, now, what I do is just start with the front page and work my way through the sections. I have no favorite part of the paper anymore and just use the Sunday paper as an anchor to a time long past.
I suspect I will abandon the print edition of the Sunday Tribune at some point as well. It’s hard to let go and old habits are hard to break. Especially the habits you don’t want to break. But honestly, what’s the point of printing a newspaper with so little content that can’t be obtained online? As tablet apps such as Flipboard, Zite, and Pulse get better the less I’ll need a printed paper to read on Sunday mornings.