Toronto Star's distribution deal angers Canadian students


Concern over impact of commercial press reaches beyond U.S. borders





\nTORONTO -- Unlike their U.S. counterparts, student newspaper\neditors in Canada are fighting a plan by the Toronto Star to\ndistribute its newspapers on college campuses by filing a complaint\nwith a government agency.

"This could destroy the student press," said Tariq\nHassan-Gordon, president of the Canadian University Press, a student\npress cooperative, in a press release. "They are dumping\nfree papers into the student market to prop up their falling circulation."\n

Hassan-Gordon said CUP is preparing to make a formal complaint\nabout the distribution agreements to the Competitions Bureau,\na Canadian department that looks at predatory pricing and commercial\nproduct dumping.

So far, York University is the only school that has entered\ninto an agreement with the Toronto Star. Hassan-Gordon\nsaid the York administration has not released the details of the\nStar agreement, but said one of the most contentious issues\nis a provision prohibiting the student newspaper from placing\nits distribution racks within 15 feet of the Star's.

Hassan-Gordon said CUP is also concerned that student newspapers\nwill lose advertising revenue to the Star. He said that,\nif successful, the Star could publish "split-run editions,"\nin which a separate edition of the newspaper is published for\nthe student market, allowing companies to advertise exclusively\nin the student edition. Hassan-Gordon said the Toronto Star already\nran a split-run promotional piece in the 5,000 copies it distributes\nat York to promote the newspaper distribution program.

"It is not a question of readership, but advertising,"\nHassan-Gordon said. "We believe that national advertisers\nwill choose the Star if they can reach the student market"


reports, Winter 1999-2000