Stab in back for station's loyal listeners

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 May, 1997, 12:00am

I am an RTHK Radio 4 listener and a subscriber to its free FM Magazine. On April 29, I received a letter from RTHK informing me that I would be charged a $100 subscription fee for the magazine.

While I agree that subscribers should pay for the postage, I find a charge of $100 for 12 issues to be excessive. RTHK is providing a public service and should only charge us enough to cover the costs of publication.

The letter informs me that to obtain a free copy of the magazine, I can pick up future issues at major URBTIX outlets at the beginning of each month on a first-come-first-served basis.

I was startled by this decision by RTHK.

Instead of sending copies of the magazine to those dedicated readers and Radio 4 listeners, who are most in need of them, RTHK has decided to let passers-by be given priority.

The latter might just flip through the pages and throw the magazine away. I think this amounts to a misallocation of resources on the part of RTHK. It has got its priorities wrong.

The letter goes on to remind me that it costs only $120 to join Friends of Radio 4 Society. One of the benefits of membership includes free magazine subscription. This is not a good bargain at all because - a) $100 is not a reasonable fee for an annual subscription, and, (b) one may not want to join the society and take part in its activities.

In my view the basic function of the magazine is to provide the broadcasting schedule to the station's loyal listeners. Considerable costs can be saved by printing it in black and white, on A-4 paper.

Alternatively RTHK should make the monthly schedule for Radio 4 available by fax or through the Internet, so that everyone can have free access to it.