Last week, after again reading some news article online and then rubbernecking at some of the moronic comments left at its footer, I decided that I would avoid reading newspapers online, save for the New York Times, which doesn't allow comments beneath its articles.
Why? Regular readers know I don't like a lot of online commenting (maybe that's why no one ever comments here....hmmmm....uh oh), and I've decided that maybe I should do something about it.
So far, going back to reading things in print has been a pretty pleasant experience. One's tastes tend to be more catholic - I find myself reading a lot of articles that I wouldn't bother with online, and, frankly, as an aesthetic experience, reading a paper is vastly more satisfying than reading on a desktop.
I still believe there's too much heft to most papers, especially on weekends. I do believe that there's a market in Toronto for a small "daily briefing" kind of paper, something cosmopolitan, that situates local news in a broader context alongside thoughtful, mixed commentary. In other words, something along the line of the Financial Times (still bar none my favourite paper), but closer to the size of the local free papers.
I believe that people starving for this kind of thing would pay well for it, just to avoid the ads. All that remains is for someone to start this paper!
By the way, if all this sounds familiar, it's because I've written on the same thing before. Think of it as online recycling.