One reason newspapers are dying is that they suck at distributing their product


The thing about a webpage is, it’s up or its down. It’s there or it’s not. You either have a computer with an adequate web browser and internet connection or you don’t.

But papers? They show up missing and incomplete. They don’t show up at all.

For example: I recently attempted to subscribe to the Sunday Times. Who doesn’t like the Times Magazine, right?

Only one problem: the Gray Lady proved physically incapable of actually delivering a paper.

Two months ago we subscribed. For the first three weeks nothing came at all. I called. Nothing. I called again. Suddenly a paper arrived — but it was incomplete. No Times Magazine – just the parts of the paper a regular subscriber would get on Sunday after getting the rest of the paper Saturday. Twice in a row this happens.

Finally I gave up. The customer support reps were very nice. $9 a month for the next 6 months, they said!

But really, I could use the walk to the corner bodega. And even if I’m paying twice as much for the paper, well, at least it’s intact.

So much for ink on dead trees delivered by greenhouse gas-spewing trucks. And good riddance.

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