Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For Your Amusement

The Omaha World herald is going to start charging ten bucks a month for, "premium content". OK stop laughing, we all know how important it is to read whether Rainbow Rowell is going to wear denim shorts this season (oh please God, no). But it get so much better (in a seriously deluded way).

From the article by the paper's editor:

"This week, we are taking an important step toward digital subscriptions for our content. While some people believe that all content on the Internet should be free, this business model is changing across the world in a number of industries, including music, movies, television, books and magazines. Prominent news content originators, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News, have already successfully introduced digital subscriptions."

-But Hoss, your paper ain't the New York Times, nor The Wall Street Journal.

"Stories you cannot get elsewhere. Stories no one else knows to tell. Or stories no one else can tell with as much depth and sophistication. Content that makes us a valuable part of your busy day."

-You see, this is where all that, "building self esteem" crap they pushed in schools over the last forty years comes home to roost. Actually, these stories are available just about everywhere on the web for free, and on broadcast news, and radio. Unless we're talking about stories concerning denim shorts on Rainbow's well-fed flanks. Then, I guess it is an exclusive.

Here's the thing, if he just said, "we have to do this, or the paper will not survive, or we'll have to start sacking employees-I'd be cool with it. Instead, we get delusions of grandeur where the Omaha World Herald is the only place in the whole of the Internet to get these stories. Rubbish. What's more, after their refusal to print gay marriage announcements using the rationale that gay marriage hasn't been legalised in Nebraska (I mean, that's pretty bloody twisted. At first it was an outright refusal, no rationale offered but after public outcry they put the corporate lawyers on it and arrived at the convenient, The law's the law" cop-out.") they really lost any sort of credibility as far as I'm concerned.

So much as I said, "toodle-loo" to the Journal Star, I'm going to say the same to the World Herald. I've actually been reading much better coverage of the local flooding in the Americas section of the Guardian. You know, all that reporting you can't get anywhere else, except Britain. And sometimes Canada. You can always turn on the radio as well.

Besides, we all know those pay-walls can be breached ten seconds after they go up, and passwords passed around on Twitter. You know, in case you can't sleep without knowing what Rainbow is thinking.

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