"..a bardy view!"

A Sign of the Times……..

The-times-111751I bought the Daily Universal Register last Saturday and I'm still reading it. Not the 1785 edition I hasten to add.

I've been so used to reading online newspapers that I'd almost forgotten the pleasure of having a real news paper in my physical grasp.

I haven't even began on the supplements yet, and whoever remarked that there's nothing more irrelevant than yesterday’s newspaper clearly said it before the internet was invented.

I'm rather tired of reading online news. It's okay for a quick fix, but I rarely go two pages deep.

The first page of most is the index of headlines. A quick scan will catch the eye of one, then a click to read the story, back to page one, another glance, perhaps another click, and then I'm bored. Off I go to another virtual paper and do the same thing. Throughout the process I have to navigate past the adverts and pop-up's which is an exercise in itself.  

Is there anything more annoying when you want to view a story and all of a sudden a little box pops up asking if you'd like to take a survey, or throw up some totally unconnected animation which detracts you? I spend my time just eliminating the little blighters and by the time I've reached the story I've forgotten why I was there in the first place.

This dissemination is very tedious, but I know that because the printed version is becoming less popular, online versions of national and international established newspapers must bombard us with advertising to keep them free. Few of us will pay for online content, especially when there are a plethora of news gatherers which just cherry pick stories and place them on their own websites.

Take Yahoo for example – that's what they do, and still they bombard us with trite advertising. They get free news, pass it onto us, and still manage to promote products, which is exactly what the original sources are doing – so why not go to the original sources in the first place? Especially as Yahoo articles attract the lowest and most ignorant comments, which almost all seem to emanate from the intellectually challenged – or in other words – idiots.

We are what we eat so to speak, and we want instant gratification. Our smart-phones, i-pads, netbooks and laptops are all designed to give us access to information, but we don't want a three course meal, we just want a Big Mac. A burger will give us some meat and dubious filling squashed into a bun. For a quick bite read sound bite. Fast food – fast news. It’s the same thing.

This phenomena has left us with knowledge without substance. It's the same when someone may start a story on Facebook. A picture, a headline, a short paragraph and it goes viral. It influences, it dictates opinion, but it doesn't delve, doesn't analyse, and creates misinformation.

The Times charges for online access, so only a few will subscribe, but the problem is that unless newspapers can recover their losses from the costs of hard copy production and diminishing sales, then journalism, particularly in-depth and investigative journalism will suffer. We could end up with carrion, and vulture news gathering sites, and be left with sub-standard sites producing sub-standard articles by amateurs or biased, ignorant citizen journalists which constitutes much of the rubbish available on sites like the Huffington Post.

Rupert Murdock said as much at his recent appearance at the Leveson Enquiry in Ethics in the Media, and love him or hate him, he knows that vulture sites are out there gathering news from respected sources, and playing with them to suit agendas. It's a dangerous development.

But that's a deeper discussion. To return to my point which was…hold on, I've forgotten…Oh yes, now I remember – I bought a hard copy of The Times.

I can carry it, fold it, roll it up, dip into it; go to the pub and read it, get on a bus or tube and peruse it; find the page I was at and continue it, take my pen out and do the crossword; sit on it if there’s a dirty seat, use it as a fan when it's stuffy, swat a fly with it, kill a wasp, write on it, cover my head with it when it's raining and even wipe my arse with some of it if I found myself in a poorly maintained public toilet.

I can even lose it without distress, and if I don't lose it I can even throw it in a bin when I'm finished with it. I don't have to worry about finding a wifi hotspot, and I can look smug at all the mugs who are glued to their electronic devices who always seem less content and more frustrated and stressed.

Carry a newspaper and you'll stand out from the crowd! And if you don’t stand out, then at least you can go out, and not look like a prat searching for a signal for a device which is useless without it.


July 9, 2012 - Posted by | Arts, Culture, Current Affairs, Education | , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Very good as usual. I never read an online newspaper, every two weeks my wife brings in the Sunday Independent which is about the only thing worth reading. Yesterdays was so bad I went straight back to Facebook. Not, however to read the news but for some fun. Dashed appalled I was, there was nothing but and endless tirade of photo’s of darling wee, loveable, little pussycats. It’s becoming dashed hard to find anything readable these days. Thank goodness for a blog such as this which combines all the elements, knowledgeable, controversial, intelligent and more importantly an underlying sense of humour. Long may it live and keep it up.


    Comment by Spook Moor | July 9, 2012 | Reply

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