Kanata Kourier-Standard -- A Free Paper That Isn't Worth What You Pay For It

I wanted to title this article "...completes its slide into irrelevance", but it was pretty irrelevant anyways.

The Kanata Kourier-Standard and I have a strange relationship. The K-S is a free community paper that is published once a week. Like all the other weekly community papers, it has a mix of op-ed, stale news, and community sporting information.

Oh, and advertising. But more on that later.

When we lived on Evanshen Crescent, the K-S showed up weekly on our doorstep. I made a point of going through the paper whenever it arrived, as it usually contained a weekly police report of the incidents reported in Kanata. This let me keep a feel for the pulse of the community and whether or not I needed to be concerned about anything.

When we moved to Klondike in 2002, the weekly delivery continued, and I continued to read the paper when it arrived.

Sometime in the first two years the paper stopped showing up. While the delivery had not been 100% reliable up to that point, it did show up more often than it it didn't. But it took a while before I clued in to the fact that it had not been showing up. At the time I wondered if it had something to do with the urban/rural boundary in the expanded City Of Ottawa, as we had occasionally received Ottawa Rural Community Updates in our mailboxes.

A year or two after that, I happened to be out on my front lawn getting my ass kicked by dandilions or the like, and a gentleman went by with a shopping-cart full of that week's K-S, and I though, oh maybe we're about to start getting them again. But we didn't that week, nor the vast majority of the weeks that followed.

In any case, I stopped caring.

A couple years ago we changed how we do groceries. And when we do groceries on Wednesday, there' a dump of this week's K-S in the store. Since it has been free, I have been picking it up again. And I found that little had changed, although perhaps the advertising content had increased as an absolute percentage of the total content provided. Oh, and there were fewer police items to be found.

Earlier this year, the K-S made a big deal of the fact that they were changing their publishing schedule, to a new format published a day earlier than they had been. I noted at the time that the new format seemed to include less content and (even) more advertising. Looking at the paper in following weeks did little to change that initial impression.

This week, the K-S is in a public fight with city councilor Wilkinson over the paper's decision to stop running a weekly column for each of the two councilors with wards covering urban Kanata. While there was little in the way of real content coming from the councillors that you couldn't get from elsewhere, it was a method that the councilors could use to communicate to their constituents.

While it is entirely the right of the paper to withdraw any free services that it is offering, I feel that this step completes the K-S's transition from weekly community paper to advertising circular. As such, I don't think the K-S is worth the time or effort on my part it costs.