11 July, 2010

news corp. trying a new scam for cash? no?

edmund burke once said, 'all that it necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.'. fair enough but, what is the result when evil men do something good? this conundrum has sprung from the recent decision, of news corporation head honcho rupert murdoch, to force our hands to our wallets in his latest new untested model for profit. the 'paywall' has, since the start of this month, started charging readers £1 per day for the online news pages of 'the times' and 'the sunday times'.

now, it is a fiercely held belief amongst liberal thinking people, that old rupert is a unscrupulous right-wing evil profit hungry bastard, i think this too, and that his latest scheme for profits is another example of his abject greed. morover that it also, won't work. why are people in the uk going to fork out money for something they have always been able to view, for free, when they can get equal if not better news journalism elsewhere? the answer is they won't. the guardian actually welcomed times readers the day the paywall was enacted.

here is my point, surely the guardian is shooting themselves in the foot. the day they realise that people aren't buying actual tangible newspapers anymore and they need some cash to you know, pay their employees. but also, maybe we should have to pay. rupert murdoch is most definitely evil but, that doesn't necessarily mean everything he does is evil. like most things television, books, movies, music, clothes, food (sex....ha nah just kidding), the things we spend our hard earned money on are treasured more. we enjoy them more due to the fact, we have sacrificed money and feel the need to savour the experience. maybe, because it is actually costing us something. news could be the same.

my other weird pro-rupert point (ok now i'm starting to scare myself), is that print media is a dying art form. yes, i do believe it is art and the publics willingness to go and view day-to-day events in an online environment has seen cut backs that directly affect the quality of the printed form. for example, the sydney morning herald last year was forced to sack all their sub-editors in an effort to cut costs. this has lead to a severe drop in the quality of the paper. typos and/or spelling errors on the front page of the oldest continuously published broadsheet newspaper in australia. disgusting! moreover, after these cut backs the paper has been accused of 'dumbing down' content and becoming far to akin to a tabloid magazine. as opposed to its previous status as a reputable port of call for serious news readers.

the internet is full of crap. lets be honest even my blog, that i love, is full of grammatical miss steps, spelling errors and unsubstantiated claims. we need experienced professional news sites to outweigh the amateur. still, i think we need both. but, if we aren't going to or even just open to the idea of paying for online content then we are to blame when the 4th estate can't afford to operate and there is no one on the front line of news, reporting to us as it's happening.

without real news reporting, who can we trust to tell us the truth? politicians? ha, yea ok.

murdoch's play for the british publics pounds sterling will probably crash and burn. his uk online newspaper sites are going to take a serious hit. not only because they don't want to pay for news content but, also because they are going to dismiss the idea out of hand as sheers profiteering on news corp.'s part then go read something else. this is not to say the idea is a bad one, it isn't, its quite a practical. to be honest, i don't think it's too much to ask for this service to be a paid one. we have got far too used to everything in the internet world being free.....

well kids, nothing worth having is free. maybe, its time we began to accept that in the online world as well.

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