A few months ago, The Gazette asked some of its readers about the stock listings in its business section. Every Saturday, it takes three whole broadsheet pages to list everything in the Toronto Stock Exchange, as well as important stocks in the NYSE and NASDAQ, currency markets and a bunch of other stuff. Tuesday to Friday, it’s just the highlights on a single page.
Expectedly, most of the respondents said they have little to no interest in the listings, printed in an impossibly-too-small-to-read font. Anyone with enough interest in daily stocks is going to go online to search for that information anyway.
As a result, starting next Saturday, the Saturday listings will be the same as the Tuesday to Friday ones, consisting of a single page.
This just plain makes sense. Newspapers need to maintain commonly used reference information like movie listings, but stock prices that are obsolete mere hours after they’re printed are kind of a waste of paper. And these two full pages can be better used producing editorial material.
One criticism however is in The Gazette’s note to readers, which points them to the Financial Post’s website (which doesn’t make it obvious where I can get individual stock information). I realize everyone knows that CanWest owns both papers, but would it have been really hard to create a page on the Gazette’s site for stock listing information? It’s just a matter of changing the logo at the top.