May 17, 2006 was a sad day. That was the day on which the last paper edition of Dose was published. For months prior, Dose had been my happy morning companion: friendly, unpretentious fluff that still managed to inform. When it died, my morning coffee became a paperless experience.
Back to work on Tuesday, I encountered two newspaper boxes en route to Starbucks. It turns out the major publishing companies will be duking it out in Alberta, with Quebecor’s 24 Hours, CanWest’s Rush Hour, and Torstar Corp/Metro International’s Metro (due out in April)competing for eyeballs in the apparently lucrative Edmonton/Calgary markets.
I haven’t taken an extensive read through of either available paper, but quick scans through both of them were enough to let me know that neither quite hit the spot.
Rush Hour seems more interested in the 18-24 sect, with its heavy focus on pop culture and sensationalist news. For example, bold headlines from the March 1 edition included, “Park it: Paris Hilton in trouble again behind the wheel”, “Refs at Risk?” and “Ouch! Woman jailed in burnt penis attack”. With this content, it does remind me of some of the aspects of Dose that I liked, but I do prefer a side of more ‘serious’ news. A daily feature I do enjoy, however, is the “Dinner in a Flash” recipe. Though not always practical (today’s edition involved an outdoor grill), it’s another no-brainer exposure to cooking that piques my interest.
I’ve had less opportunities to read 24 Hours, but it appears to be more dry, with a lot of content packed onto the pages. 24 definitely leans towards the an older generation (24-45). I may have more to say in a week or two.
Regardless of the quality, the rise of the free daily is a sign that Edmonton is being recognized as a worthwhile market.