Inequality of Information: When You Want to Read the News But Can’t

I want to read the news but I can’t. It’s behind a paywall.

I want to read a left leaning newspaper, The Globe and Mail, and a paper labeled as right wing, The Epoch Times. But I can’t read either because they are behind a paywall. I don’t think it is right to restrict those who cannot afford a subscription. That may not be me, but it may be a vast number who are living at the poverty level.

I could sacrifice and I could justify getting subscriptions, while living what is defined as just above the poverty level in Canada, but I think of the many others who may not have such a carefully crafted budget and who may not be able to keep the credit man at bay.

Lower income means a lower standard of living but when this effects knowing what is going on in the world, I think this is of concern. The trouble with poverty is that it can affect access to information in other ways, and reduce possibility of advancement. For instance, if you cannot afford college tuition then you can’t get a higher education and if you cannot get a higher education then you stand less chance of lifting yourself out of poverty. Today, however, education itself will cause poverty as tuitions escalate. A friend who finally received her Masters Degree stated she is now $60,000 in debt and that is low by comparison to others I’ve heard of.

But back to the topic. Is there not a way to allow everyone to simply access a newspaper, any newspaper? Sometimes the two newspapers I mentioned offer special subscription deals, but once they have your credit card information it can be difficult to “unsubscribe” after the offer runs up. With The Globe and Mail this has been an ongoing problem that many have complained about. You can subscribe online but you cannot unsubscribe without making a phone call. We have all experienced the hassle it is to get a real person who knows what they are doing on the other end of the line. I must add that it is demoralizing to go through this process, repeatedly, but that is a topic for another day.

With all the focus on misinformation and disinformation, are we finally supposed to content ourselves with no information?

Plane carrying Canadian evacuees out of China will stop at YVR – Andrew Weichel

February 3, 2020, Andrew Weichel

Commentary

It remains a mystery why the news media continues to give us updates while we continue to wait, day after day, for a plane to leave the ground from Canada to China to retrieve some 300 Canadians threatened by the coronavirus. Meanwhile China praises Canada as a “bulwark of calm”, for not “exploiting the situation” as it claims the U.S. has done by restricting travel to and from China. Asia correspondent Nathan Vanderklippe, in his Globe and Mail report, states the following:

Canadian Health Minister Patty Hajdu has said the risks to Canada are low and Ottawa sees no need to keep out travellers who have been to China. “Canada believes the entry ban has no basis, which is a sharp contrast to the U.S. behaviours,” Ms. Hua said in a news conference held on the WeChat app.

Ms. Hua is identified as a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

And the WHO (World Health Organization, United Nations) is confusing the situation further by urging the world not to limit travel due to the virus. So, this being the case, why can we not get a flight into China to rescue the Canadians who, according to the Globe and Mail are “trapped in a lockdown zone”?