sharpchick_2011: (Cat with lime)
[personal profile] sharpchick_2011
It would not usually be my custom to address this issue to you in a public forum, but alas, your people will not leave me alone.

Last Saturday, as well as today, I received a phone call from one of your subscription folks, earnestly pointing out to me that I have not renewed my subscription to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Although you apparently don't realize this, I am fully aware that I did not renew. It was not an oversight.

My failure to renew was one of those last straw moments, nurtured by decades of irritation that erupted into a calculated decision.

From your less-than-convincing protests in 1986 that you were not trying to run the Arkansas Gazette out of business, to your acquisition of the name to tag on to your newly formed "only daily statewide newspaper" in 1991, with its decided right-wing editorial stance, my irritation grew. Still, these were your choices, and as a staunch proponent of choice, I soldiered on. I maintained my subscription, even through the very lean financial years as a single mother.

In the last few years, I noted that the vast majority of the letters on your Voices page came from the religious right. As I stood back and looked, that page in your newspaper made it appear as if Arkansas was populated primarily by religious zealots determined to make everyone else in the state live, love, work and play by their own personal interpretation of the King James bible. (And where do you get those letters? Surely they are not the only ones coming across the editorial desk.)

The only representative of competing views - John Brummett - has limited page space in your newspaper. Perhaps that is by mutual agreement, or by his choice alone. Nonetheless, I found that your newspaper was less and less relevant to my life.

But the wrecking ball you heaved into our relationship came on June 1, 2012, when you published that letter to your readers announcing an increase in the cost of single issues of the newspaper.

Now why, you ask, would that affect me as a subscriber?

First, you failed to mention in that letter that you were not merely increasing the price of a single issue, you were doubling it. I have never been a fan of disingenuous announcements spun as heartfelt explanations.

Second, in your effort to entice non-subscribers to sign up, you failed to take into account that home delivery of your newspaper often isn't - as in the case of my parents, who live in rural Pope County, Arkansas, and have tried to pay for home delivery from you for years. For them, "home delivery" means a box on the highway several miles down the road, because it isn't cost efficient for you to pay a carrier to truly deliver to them (or their neighbors) at home.

Again, your choice.

And after I looked at your website to see if I - and they - could get a cut in the home delivery price if we had an online-only subscription, and found we could not, I made my choice.

Seriously, why should I pay you the same amount of money to cut out the carrier, the cost of newspaper and ink, and read the paper online?

I was already aware my subscription would expire on June 25.

I made a conscious choice not to renew.

I have now asked your people on two consecutive Saturday mornings not to call me again.

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

Not really - that's quite disingenuous. It will only become sorrowful if one of your folks awakens me again next Saturday morning.

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sharpchick_2011

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