Saturday, 3 March 2012

Ottawa Citizen's Kindle version blows big


I recently made the decision to eighty-six all the paper versions of the newspapers I read, in part to help save the environment, in part because newspapers are getting so damned expensive.

I've resisted moving to online papers because I find I miss a lot of stuff. If you read them for free, online, you don't get to see all the content. I also find online newspapers to be confusing, badly designed and too dependent on video. (Dudes! If I want video, I'll go to YouTube.)

At Christmas, the kids bought us a Kobo and a Kindle. Scott likes the Kobo because he's a devoted reader of fiction. I like the Kindle because I prefer non-fiction and news -- and because Amazon has great customer service.

Last month, I was noodling around and discovered I could buy the Globe and Mail on my Kindle for only fifteen bucks, so I ordered it. And I love it. The e-reader version is well organized and I can skip the sections I don't read, like sports and world news.

This week, I decided to make the leap from the print version of the Ottawa Citizen to the e-reader, mostly because it is much cheaper to buy the Citizen at sixteen bucks a month rather than twenty-five.

So today, I was sitting on the couch, dogs curled on my lap, looking forward to two hours of newspaper reading bliss.

I opened up the Citizen and the first thing I noticed was an abundance of typos. It was like the Citizen forgot to hire a proofreader.

By the time I reached entertainment, I was really annoyed. Here's what I'm talking about in a story about the 20th anniversary of Zaphod's, a Byward Market nightclub. (Italics mine. Typos theirs.)

"I had taken everything I knew about pubbing and put it into live music, so there was the sense of knowing the customer, knowing everyone," he says. People like the variety of music, he says. The lineup for the anniversary week demonstrates a typical Zaphod mi

? ? The weekly Trailer Park Bingo on Sunday with dabbers, drinks and "all the sick tunes."

? ? Eugene as DJ on Monday, playing "whatever I'm into now."

? ? Industrial Strength Tuesdays.

It goes on and on.

I have a question or three.

Is the Citizen selling me the paper cheaper because the Kindle version has no editor, just a bunch of free-basing weirdos who cannot write but who also cannot punctuate or proof read?

Is this what the Citizen is using its unpaid interns for?

Is the Citizen farming out the Kindle edition to some Third World fly-infested slum where everybody learns English online?

Or...

Was this just such a bad story that the editor couldn't be bothered reading it?

I'm going to give the Citizen a month. If the quality of its product doesn't improve, I'm tossing in my subscription on the e-reader and I'm not buying the print version, either, just on principle.

Anyone on my Facebook that works for the Citizen, please pass this on.

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