It is not a good time to be an employee of the Jerusalem Post. They are bleeding out in terms of their staff, as they are letting many staffers go. There are even senior staffers that appear to be getting the boot after decades of service.
But that is merely half the problem. The other half is their subscribers and the print edition of the newspaper. Whereas the Post has been a newspaper with an internet presence for many years, they are now positioning themselves to be an internet site, with a newspaper presence.
To the reader this became crystal clear this morning.
I have been a faithful subscriber to the Post for almost nine years now. I begin my day after tefilla with the paper and often write letters to the editor. For many years, the newspaper has been 24 pages with the information in the paper generally following a certain pattern as to its layout. However, as I picked up the paper this morning, I thought that they had left out something–which in fact they did. They left out EIGHT PAGES. Yes, in a move to cut costs, besides by firing employees, the paper went from 24 pages down to 16 pages or a drop of 33.33% overnight.
Now, it is the right of the paper to do so. No one is holding a gun to their heads if they wish to make a strategic move in the market to become more visible online and less so in the print world. Without a doubt, they have every right to do that. It is a free market and a free world, so have at it.
The problem has to do with subscribers like me and the other tens of thousands out there. We pay for a subscription. We pay a flat fee every month for our paper, including a cost for delivery. To be honest, I have felt the cost very fair based on the product and the service. (Whether I do or do not like their politics is not a material issue for this post.) Suddenly, the amount I was paying for twenty-four pages of a newspaper was to be deducted from my credit card bill for only sixteen pages. In other words, as of this morning, I began to pay the same amount for 33.33% less product.
Again, they have a right to make any changes they wish. However, the subscribers just got taken for a ride. Months ago, every one of us should have received a notice telling us of the upcoming change.
We should not have been put in a position to pay MORE money for LESS product.
I have informed the Post that if they can not lower my price commensurate with the reduction in pages, then I want them to cancel my subscription. I have not yet heard back from them. But to be fair, I am sure they have received many similar requests today.
Barring them taking the above action, I call on the Jerusalem Post to cancel every single subscription along with giving each one of us the option to sign up again, at a price that genuinely reflects the value of the paper being produced.