It's been a week now since the new and improved Montreal Gazette got delivered to its few remaining subscribers. Can you see the difference? I can't. But let's give them credit for not quitting and giving up on old-fashioned print media.
Unfortunately the decline will continue. I think the National Post and Maclean's magazine do a better job of survival tactics - sensational headlines, attention grabbing photos combined with high-quality journalism and provocative commentary. That works for me. But maybe only for a few other stubborn traditionalists who want to browse, digest and share a printed product.
At $30 a month the Gazette is losing its appeal. It's not enough to shuffle the format and add some colour. Cost cutting by out-sourcing printing may help, but maybe delivery to the door of every subscriber is another issue. Canada Post has already decided it cannot be done economically. (Although the postal worker is clearly higher paid than the newspaper carrier.)
I'm trying to be supportive of the local paper because it's an important alternative source of news and views on our community and the world around us. But I'm not optimistic for the business model. And certainly not proposing a taxpayer funded CBC model. We may be looking at another example of creative destruction and the Gazette will only survive by evolving to a more effective digital media hybrid. The plan just needs to be more creative.