Sun Media, which owns the Sun papers, Journal de Montréal/Québec, London Free Press, 24 heures and the Osprey chain (Kingston Whig-Standard, Sudbury Star et al), has signed a deal with NewspaperDirect to make electronic versions of the papers available to subscribers. No word on when this is going to start.
The NewspaperDirect service, which is used by the entire Canwest chain including The Gazette, produces exact copies of the paper, almost like PDFs, except with DRM so you can’t save them (at least on a Mac) and only two levels of zoon (my personal pet peeve). On the other hand, it provides some bells and whistles like having an automated reader read articles aloud.
With Transcontinental also working with NewspaperDirect (and over 700 publications in their repertoire), it’s clear that the Vancouver-based company provides a service that is either too hard or too expensive to try to duplicate.
I used it for about a year in order to save on recycling hassle, save the environment and save on subscription price. Though the saving on paper was fun (especially as I look around my living room now), reading the newspaper on my computer screen (and having to manipulate it with my laptop trackpad) and then watching TV and doing other stuff on my computer screen all day can put stress on the eyes, not to mention my posture.
Sure, I could go outside and have a life or something, but let’s be realistic…