Friday, February 26, 2021

Sun's web ads leave writer in shade (and reader incensed)

I subscribe to the Baltimore Sun for one reason: to read John E. McIntyre (@johnemcintyre on Twitter), longtime editor and exceedingly sensible commenter on our evolving usage. Since his language column is paywalled, I thought his fans ought to see how the Sun treats it (and us) on the web. Screenshots are from today's column. Further comment below, not that it will be necessary ...

I'm not sure how much the subscription costs me at the moment, since no price is listed in my account details; the Sun wants me to phone (or dig into my credit card statements) to find out. But whatever the price, all I'm buying is this column; I don't need Baltimore news or restaurant reviews.And this is how the Sun repays me.

 Several of the ads are live video; others bounce around or fade into new and different ads. My shots are not full size, but they show how the type—WHICH I CAME TO READ—is utterly overpowered by the ad display. 

Dear Sun, this is an abuse of your audience. It might be defensible if you allowed free access to the column. But to ask us to pay for this treatment is ridiculous, appalling, and insulting to both readers and your columnist.