Since last year we have been mulling over canceling our Star subscription through our paper vendor but did not take the courageous step until last Sunday (April 1). The delivery man was at my gate the evening before to collect March's fee and I told him not to deliver papers until I call him. There was a look of disappointment and he asked in Mandarin, 'Going for holiday?' to which I sidestepped with an ambiguous reply. Never tell outsiders your plans including security guards. Trusted neighbors are ok.
The decision to cease our newspaper reading habit has been dictated by a squeeze of available time, poor quality news (lately the front page headlines are nothing but commentaries or opinionated views that are not objective reporting) and better choice of online news. I get to save close to RM 50 monthly but this is not the point. I get frustrated that I feel obligated, since I've paid for it, to flip through its pages, even before I go to bed. I get even more annoyed that the Star today has degenerated into a political propanganda tool publishing biased news, sports/fashion/education/healthcare/business/home magazine. In trying to do too much it has become irrelevant and out of focus and alienated faithful readers like myself (I was a Star reader since it was launched in 1976).
My wife look to Astro AEC channel for major news updates, I rely on TheMalaysianInsider and other news portals to stay abreast.
The past few mornings has freed us from collecting our previously regular paper from the gate or letterbox. No more paper awaiting me on the dining table and frankly I did not miss its presence nor subconsciously reach out to look for it. No need to pick up papers in the evening after the grandchildren have gone home to stack them away for sale once a month to the recycler. Although we still get occasional papers bought by our son-in-law we have learned that newspapers are no longer a necessity. Many of my friends have also stopped reading them. One reason I hesitated was to check out weekly supermarket and sales promotions but these are now coming in via SMS and emails.
And yes, the next time we travel we don't have to put up the tell tale brick on the gate pillar to alert the paper vendor (and meter readers, guards and suspicious strangers passing by the house).