Opinion: Telegraaf Caribbean edition

POSTED: 10/7/13 12:59 PM

Anybody excited about the arrival of the Telegraaf in Sint Maarten? On Saturday the Caribbean edition of the latest newspaper in the Netherlands landed left right and center in bars and other places as a promotional item.

The paper was old (dated Wednesday October 2), but it proudly announced in the right hand top corner of the front page: Caribbean edition. The price for this old newspaper made us think that maybe this was a collector’s item: $3.35. That is 6.7 times the price of Today and almost 4.5 times the price of the Daily Herald.

We marveled at the price difference and we picked up the promotional copy for free. We were soon quite happy that we had not paid the extortionate price for the 26 pages on offer. We zipped through the headlines on the front page of the Caribbean edition. Ajax did not mage to win from AC Milan, the ANWB – a lobby club for motorists – attacks the government’s plans to increase the excise on fuel, the coalition and the opposition are stuck in their talks about the Dutch budget, the Pope believes in the Netherlands, the university in Delft builds a super computer and a sneaky great-nephew robbed his demented aunt blind.

That’s not all the Telegraaf put on the front page of its Caribbean edition, but you get the idea: not a single story about the Caribbean islands. Not about St. Maarten, not about Curacao, not about Aruba and not about the BES-islands. Most of the stories that appeared in print are available for free on the Telegraaf’s website.

We had to think about bakers selling cream pies without telling their customers there is no cream in the pie. About pub-owners selling tap water and making their customers belief this is the latest trend in beer. We also thought that selling cream pies that do not contain cream is called swindling.

But, we thought, the Telegraaf most likely desperately needs some additional income given the fact that the latest circulation data show that the newspaper lost 50,000 readers in the Netherlands in the second quarter of this year.

The price of waste paper is around $135 per metric ton – that’s one thousand kilos. The copy of the Telegraaf we received weighs approximately 200 grams, so basically as the old paper that it is, it’s worth 2.7 pennies – 124 times less than what unsuspecting Telegraaf-aficionados are going to pay for the Caribbean edition without Caribbean news.

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