Shooting The Star

Last Monday, the readership program between TorStar and Queen's kicked-off, and students are now able to get their hands on their first free copies of The Toronto Star. According to The Star, the program is not intended to expand their readership, but rather to keep people reading news in general. However, it appears that that means just more people reading The Star's news, and fewer people reading student publications.

Granted, people read The Star and The Journal for different reasons, but the presence of a free newspaper like The Star on campus undermines student media in a number of different ways. First, it hurts our publication's ability to secure advertising, when large companies know this demographic can be reached via a much larger paper. Second, dictating the location and manner in which we distribute our paper on our campus hurts our circulation — not to mention that it seems a little arrogant. Third, people only spend so much time reading newspapers, and this means that it is more likely people will spend more of their time reading The Star. While this is not a certainty, other universities like York and Laurier have noticed a decline in their readership after making similar agreements with TorStar. By inviting TorStar to Queen’s campus, the University administration has also undermined its students. Every Queen's student pays a mandatory fee to support The Journal. This fee has been kept mandatory in student referenda, which signals to us that The Journal is important to Queen's students and is worth their financial support. However, Queen's administration made a deal that undermines our ability to produce a newspaper you support.

Do you support the presence of a location-specific (neither Kingston nor Queen’s) newspaper on campus, or would you prefer one of the other two national dailies, the Post or the Globe?

On the other hand, perhaps we should be grateful that The Toronto Star has arrived on Queen's campus to save us all from the ugly grip of illiteracy — as if Queen's students didn't have enough reading to do. However, please keep in mind when you pick-up your free Star, that your intelligence isn't the only thing that has been insulted.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.