Some people are feeling betrayed by The Denver Post, or should I say its hedge fund owner, for putting its articles behind a paywall about a month before the newspaper decided to lay off a third of its news staff, meaning there’s no way The Post’s offerings will match what you expected when you bought your subscription.
It’s a bait-and-switch, even for someone like me who’s had a subscription to The Post for over 20 years.
So I called The Post to find out if you get your unused money back, if you cancel your annual subscription during the year.
You’d expect to get a partial refund, but with the hedge fund involved, and things being what they are, you don’t know.
You’ll be happy to read that, yes, if you cancel, you can claim your money for unused months.
So now what do those of us with subscriptions do?
You could argue, why give money to the hedge fund, which appears to be sucking money from the newspaper without any concern about journalism?
But you could have taken that position not only when the newspaper went behind the paywall in early January, but ever since Alden Global Capital acquired The Post in 2013.
Things look worse now, awful in fact, but if you subscribe to The Post because you wanted to support local journalism, you still should.
Don’t cancel your subscription.
I mean, there’s still hope. It’s hard to write it, but it’s true.
At some point, you have to expect that The Post will be sold, and maintaining as much journalism between then and now is worth it, so that the next owner can start off in the best place possible under horribly adverse conditions.
Yes, Alden Global Capital will eat some of your money, but not all of it. Or maybe not all of it.
Also, if you believe there’s hope in The Post’s subscription-only model, and I have an itsy bitsy amount of faith in it, then you want to give it a chance to succeed. Yesterday’s staff cuts, coming so soon after the wall was put up, are even more sad, because Alden didn’t give the subscription model a chance to succeed, and now it has much less of a chance.
But there’s still hope for it,
So I’m not canceling my Post subscription. The newspaper still deserves the best shot possible. That’s what it should get from its owners but is not getting. And that’s what we should give it.
Plus, I have no doubt that the dregs of the Post, the 70 stiffs who remain, will still churn out great stories that I will want to read.