Watching TV without a guide

Have you ever wondered how life could be different today without the television?
We wouldn’t have mini-series or long-running series, we wouldn’t have talk shows and everybody would not be talking about how a famous talk show host cheated on his wife with someone from his staff and how he apologized to his wife on public TV.

Have you ever wondered how life could be different today without the television?

We wouldn’t have mini-series or long-running series, we wouldn’t have talk shows and everybody would not be talking about how a famous talk show host cheated on his wife with someone from his staff and how he apologized to his wife on public TV. We wouldn’t have the Idol or the Star, or whatever you would like to call them, the shows that purportedly discover artistic talent from among lay people, and binding millions in the process to their seats placed across the high definition TV sets.

But there is no use speculating about how life would be without it, because TV is now an indispensable part of our life.

And of course, people do want to know what they will be able to watch and when.

That brings us to the question of TV guides, the guides that The Independent has not been printing for a few months now.

And we do receive visitors every now and then, residents and subscribers, inquiring as to why the TV guide is no longer available as part of the newspaper.

There are several reasons.

The most important one is that the scope of the TV services has expanded beyond the capacity to be managed as a side feature of a community newspaper. (Here I just should drop a note that according to latest information, more than two thirds of the community newspapers, members of the Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association have already stopped running TV guides.) Now there are not only the traditional TV channels, but also the cable packages and satellite TV programs. Needless to say, all these cable and satellite packages provide a total of thousands of hours of broadcasts, which require a special supplement rather than two pages in a newspaper.

True, there are resources that provide listings for all these channels and packages, but then again, these listings will have to be edited to appeal to readers in this region, something beyond our ability with our current editorial staff.

So, for the moment, what we are able to do is to provide, free of charge, the TV listings printed in Red Deer for the whole region of central Alberta.

All our readers and town resident can stop by our office to pick up their copy.

Having touched on the latest state of affairs regarding our operations, I would like to clarify one issue: that The Independent is still a locally produced newspaper.

The stories are written here, the pages are laid out by the local staff and all the pre-press work is completed in our office before the pages are sent to print.

In short, we remain your local community newspaper serving the residents of the town and county of Stettler.

— Mustafa Eric

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