Saturday, 8 June 2013

Newspapers should be read, not heard

 
I tried and failed to read the Ottawa Citizen -- again this morning.
The much ballyhooed digital edition takes two minutes to load. Once you finally get it on the screen, you must gingerly navigate the splash page lest you accidentally click on, or hover or, a stupid ad for new homes or Via Rail. Trying to read the damned thing feels like it's ten years ago and I'm on dial-up.
And I hated dial-up.
The other thing I hate about online newspapers is the video component. I go to a newspaper website to read. I don't want to be distracted by some video shot by a bored photographer who has been given video to do, double duty.
It's not horrible if the video starts when you click on it. I put videos on this blog all the time, but I don't expect anyone to have to watch them if they don't want to. The videos on these sites are distracting, badly shot, give no insight whatsoever, etc. etc.
The other annoying thing about online newspapers is The Journalist Interview.
Truly, I don't give a shit about how you got the story, or why you got the story.
I just want to read the damned story.
Leave me the fuck alone.
The trouble with print newspapers these days is that they are being run by people who don't know anything about multi-media, people who are being coached by kids who went to multimedia school just to annoy the rest of us.
If I want social media, I'll use social media.
That's why I subscribe to Twitter.
I don't want anything to interfere in my Saturday paper read.
I don't pay you a damned buck for video, so don't give me video.
That's why I have cable.
I pay good money to a security company to keep my Internet experience pop-up free. What gives newspapers the right to use pop-ups when I pay to keep them off my virtual lawn.
I'm going out to buy the damned paper.
Wait, oh, I get it.
The strategy is to make digital newspapers so annoying, the reader yearns for the Real McCoy. Right?
Clever.
Seriously. Stop the pop ups. Stop the videos. Maybe I'll come back.
Thank you.
A serious newspaper reader.

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