Calling On the Jerusalem Post to Do the Right Thing

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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 have been given the option to “opt in”┬áto get the paper. Essentially, by decreasing their product without a similar decrease in cost they have essentially “opted out” of the agreement that I made with them 9 years ago. Having opted out, or ended that agreement, they should be reaching out to all their subscribers and asking them to renew their now-canceled subscription plan.

 

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.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Dikla Siedner

    Although I fully support your subscription cancelation and the reasoning behind it. I cannot support your call to cancel “every single subscription”. That request should be left to ‘every single subscriber’. It would also be ‘educational’ for the JPost to receive a phone call from ‘every single irate subscriber’.
    Many moons ago I canceled my subscription to the LA Times due to content slant. I called to cancel when asked ‘why’ I told them “you are biased…” I also informed them that if they ever become a balanced paper I would resume my own subscription (they did not and neither did I). I did not tell the LA Times to cancel every single subscription, that is simply not my right.

    1. I think the author of this post is suggesting that the Jerusalem Post canceled every subscription by breaking the fundamental conditions of the agreement. Subscribers contracted for a newspaper that had certain contents every day. The fact that it was 24 pages is secondary to the amount of subjects covered. By cutting the newspaper down by 30%, to including certain subjects (sports, for example) to a few times a week instead of daily, this would be equivalent to an employer changing the work conditions to part time (say 66%) versus the full salary. By law, changing the conditions of the work contract allows the employee to collect unemployment insurance.

      In this case, Jerusalem Post “voided” the condition and should be required to ask each subscriber if they are interested in a new contract in which they pay 100% but receive only 66% of the service. It may not be illegal, but it is certainly unethical for the JPost to simply deliver less without requiring subscribers to “opt in”.

      Requiring the subscriber to “opt out” when nothing has changed is accepted and normal. Requiring them to “opt out” in the hopes subscribers won’t notice or won’t bother, is just wrong.

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