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The Toronto Star’s archaic views killed Zerbs Blog, not Zerb.

I’ve a link to Antonia Zerbisias in my blogroll – the Toronto Star’s media columnist. The blog has been inactive since Christmas 2006, and I presumed it was because Zerb had experienced blog burnout from some of her inane commentators at her blog.

It turns out however, that she didnt pull the plug on it at all – it was the Toronto Star who did:

“The current management doesn’t see the economic value in it,” she explains, noting the paper’s bigwigs want to focus on the printed newspaper over the electronic one — a bizarro business strategy given Zerbisias is read by practically everyone who cares to stay informed about media issues in Canada. So, among other things, she’s keeping herself to a print column these days.

Zerb doesn’t make any bones about what she feels about that decision:

“It’s been awkward,” she says. “It’s kind of ludicrous that the media columnist for the biggest newspaper in Canada — in 2007 — doesn’t have a significant online presence.

…which just goes to prove that dinosaurs still are alive – in the media world at least, and they reside in Toronto. You have the Globe and Mail with its ridiculous scheme of trying to charge people to read “premium content”, which actually diminishes its web presence I’d argue.. and now the Star whose corporate boardroom apparently wants to go back to pre-internet times.

(H/T to Saskboy for pointing me to the original article)


6 comments to The Toronto Star’s archaic views killed Zerbs Blog, not Zerb.

  • Dana has a point that there are those who show up in the comments section of a politic blog looking for a fight. I only read progressive blogs so I don’t know if this applies in the same way to conservative blogs.

    What I have observed at times and consider to be a more serious problem is the appearance in the comments section of anonymous commenters who post umambiguous hate speech. How many times has “arthurdecco” been able to post one of his rants complete with links to sites like Jewish Tribal Review?

    I’m sure that managing both types of comments is difficult for bloggers, especially those who have high traffic. Maybe one solution is to accept comments only on a non-anonymous basis from registered users. You have to give a real name and address to submit a letter to the editor and perhaps blog comments should be handled in a similar fashion. Otherwise people aren’t accountable for what they say and the apparent cloak of anonymity seems to drive some people to post what they couldn’t otherwise have published.

  • _The Star still operates four other blogs and maintains links to two other off-website blogs of its writing staff. Plus another blog, Political Notebook, and a weekly Fashion Q&A page show their latest entries dated earlier this month. But I, too, fondly miss the Azerbic media blog.

  • If you spent much time at azerbic (Antonia’s blog) you’ll know that she became a favoured target for every slobber covered wacked out Canahoodian wingnut lurking in the oozy, slimy depths of the internets. It gets wearing being personally attacked. And I suspect that what got posted was only a fraction of what got sent – so imagine how much worse the shit was we never read.

    The Star is certainly looking for a way to insure their survival as the journalistic climate shifts and changes. I hope they take their time and do it well and thrive. On the other hand, I hope the Globe jumps on every bandwagon that passes within earshot and in the process loses what’s left of it’s integrity and fades into irrelevant history. Ditto NaPo.

    There are media oultets that take seriously their tacit mandate to serve the people and democracy and there are media outlets that serve political ideologies and power structures.

    I’ll reserve my contempt for the latter and allow the former the room to evolve.

  • Bailey

    I don’t really have a problem with the Globe charging for it’s premium coverage. It’s no different than paying extra for Tropicana OJ because it’s better than some frozen concentrate.

    But I can see where some people disagree and I understand the argument that they lose out on some influence in the web – much like all of those articles for CanWest Papers that you have to subscribe to.

    I think there is a difference for paying a premium for columnists/opinions than paying for the Globe’s investigation and reporting. As long as their main reporting is free, I don’t have a problem with paying a little extra to get their columnists.

  • I was shocked by that revelation too, but expanding on it didn’t fit with my article much.

  • hay

    This is the worst news I have heard since Heather Mallick left the Globe.

    Please tell us where we can send our vociferous objections.

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