Monday, February 28th, 2011
While stuck in the Sarasota airport on Friday, I downloaded the Wall Street Journal to my iPad. The notation on the app was FREE which was my only incentive because I had no intention of giving up the print version which is delivered to my door at 5:30 each morning. There are few things more pleasurable than curling up in a chair with my several newspapers while sipping a cup of tea. Newspapers in particular, it seems to me, are designed for visual exploration.
When the FREE online version of the Wall Street Journal wouldn’t upload in full, I called the telephone number provided with the application. The gentleman at the other end of call informed me that the FREE notation was an error and I would have to pay for the online subscription. But he promised that the iPad online edition was a complete and perfect replica of the printed newspaper. I reluctantly agreed to subscribe for $17 per month. It was my curiosity that now needed to be sated.
Over the weekend I spent a couple of hours comparing the two versions of the Wall Street Journal. Armed with the newspaper in my lap, I searched the iPad and after a bit of maneuvering I was indeed able to locate every article. Most importantly, the Opinions were given their own heading, which meant that Peggy Noonan was easy to find. She is the best reason for getting up on Saturday morning. An added bonus with the iPad version was the ability to adjust the font size. And I discovered that I could save as well as send articles to friends. Good old Apple Computer – once again it had scored a winner.
Admittedly, it was not a cozy way to read the newspaper, but it was efficient. And I still had my local newspaper and the New York Times to fall back on for “curling up in a chair with a cup of tea”.
I was now left with a dilemma. What should I do with my subscription to the print version of the Journal? Most assuredly I did not need to pay for both services, which would total around $600 per year. The answer was obvious but old habits die hard. I pondered the pros and the cons and came to the logical decision. I had crossed the Rubicon; there was no turning back. I would cancel my delivery of the Wall Street Journal to my front door. I counted the ancillary benefits: I would save money (the iPad version is half the cost of the printed paper); I would help the environment by saving at least a few trees. And from now on all those articles I cut out of the paper and save for future reference would no longer pile up on a table getting yellow and frayed.
And In March, when I go to China for two weeks, I will have the Wall Street Journal at my fingertips each morning and won’t have all that catch-up reading to do when I return home.
Maybe the New York Times will be next – who knows?
Patricia W. Chadwick
President, Ravengate Partners LLC