Thursday, May 23, 2013

Come on News Ltd, first kill, maim, censor and delete the bloggers ...

(Above: quality journalism and for free).

Now the pond rarely gives advice for free, but here's some free advice for News Ltd as it embarks on the brave new world of persuading people to pay for tabloid junk.

Close the blogs or shut them off from the world.

It's the only way forward.

You see, you might get a warning inviting you to sign up and fork over the cash to read an opinion piece by the likes of Miranda the Devine, but right now there's an easy, cheap alternative.

Yes, you can get distilled essence of crazy, and disinformation and misuse and abuse of data, for free, by heading off to the Devine's blog.

Why just yesterday she was ranting on about the ABC in Their ABC, using impressive data proving that the ABC was full of greenies.

Now the wretched academic who did the survey admitted that the raw data - the actual numbers who responded in the ABC - were risible, down in the thirties as opposed to a guesstimate that there might be around a thousand journos in the ABC, as you can hear here in Are Coalition-supporting editors skewing the news?. He acknowledged that the data should be treated with caution, and that it had already been rampantly abused by people who should know better.

Which sort of lets the Devine off the hook, because she never knows better. She never knows sense or intelligent analysis, just shallow, shrill hysteria.

So you see, at the moment you can still get your distilled essence of distorting News Ltd crazy for free outside the paywall. With appropriate comments below the fold:

"Friends of the ABC" = socialist forum = communist party.

And that's just one, where the spelling is reasonable and never mind the caps. Essence of undiluted crazy, and all for free.

Repeat the experiment as many times as you like. Log into Piers "Akker Dakker" doing yet another tedious rant, Ideological rot is why ALP is losing touch, and it's free. Oh sure it's also dated late April because Akker Dakker loves his bludging and his breaks - no need to work on an assembly line if you're Akker Dakker - but he'll be back, and in blog form he'll be free.

Want your daily dose of Tim Bleaghism? You know, the usual wall to wall flurry of foam-flecked Islamophobia, climate denialsim, and ABC phobia? Not to worry, start here, and it's all free.

Feel like roaming the vast intertubes, but somehow, ineluctably find yourself drawn to the HUN?

Well you can't read the Bolter doing an opinion piece without paying to get behind the paywall, but you can blog with the Bolter here, and get your usual dose - better for mental health than multi-vitamins - of ABC phobia, paranoia, climate denalism, and ratbag right wing indignation. Why you too can be amused by the Bolter's attempt at humour, pretending he's an aging, fat white married journalist suffering the slings and arrows of prejudice, a veritable black, he's so suffused with suffering. And it's all free ... (just as you can souvenir free sick bags, handy if you happen to read the Bolter).

Now the pond knows why the rags do it and not just because it provides a wall to wall frenzy of distilled essence of crazy. It's because it drives traffic, and traffic is revenue, and the absent lord knows, the rags need digital revenue.

But it means the paywall isn't sticky enough. News is plentiful, easily available from any number of sources - including, oh the suffering, oh the indignation, the ABC - and it's only ratbag opinion pieces and sports stories that might persuade punters to tickle the till.

So the blogs have to go. Sorry, but they need to be spiked, stabbed in the heart, or hidden deep behind the bamboo curtain.

Now the pond has already provided this sort of advice for free before - long ago proposing that The Punch was a totally useless exercise in blogging, a distraction from the core business, and a mouthpiece for derelict refugees from both sides of politics, if perhaps notable for revealing the distilled essence of Sophie Mirabella craziness.

In due time - though long after the pond proposed, way too long - The Punch was shut down, terminated, and the logo and a few opinion writers who did the hard yards taken into the fold. Where their opinion pieces form part of the lure to get behind the vaguely porous paywall by splashing the cash ...

At a stroke, News Ltd can do the world a favour - terminating wretched blogs full of spite and spleen - while giving its paywall a go. But how long will it take them to work it out?

Then the rags can get down to the honest business of providing nonsensical banners saying EXCLUSIVE, like this story:

Now if you're prepared to go to the effort of googling the story, you discover that it wasn't an exclusive at all:

"The war on terror was fought in the wrong place," he told The Australian during a meeting with invited media, pointing to terrorist training camps and sanctuaries across the border in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Invited media? Does that sound like a press conference, with only the lizard Oz bothering to ask Karzai a question about the effectiveness of the Australian presence in Oruzgan province?

The rest of the piece is a desperate cobbling together of Stephen Smith saying something in March, a Tufts University study released in August, and general chit chat by Karzai, which concludes sounding like a press release for and by the man:

There would be no retreat back into an "obscurantist mindset", no reversal on the constitution, on women's rights or education advances.

Uh huh. Of course you can find the bulk of the story here in The New York Times, without the wretched local angle horn-shoed into the header.

And  the real story going the rounds right this minute isn't about the Australians packing up and heading home, leaving behind a mess, but the nature of the Karzai mess and in particular the mess in relation to the treatment of women, as you can read in Anger as Afghan MPs halt women's bill debate. Or in Afghan's women's rights in peril, as news that the jailing of women and girls for "moral crimes" has risen by 50% in the last year and a half ...

And there's the rub. It's a sorry business when you exclusively miss the point and exclusively quote Karzai exclusively putting a gloss on matters.

You need to do better than google if you want to label a story an "exclusive" and charge money for the pleasure ...

Meanwhile jolly Joe Hockey - please do not propose the pond should buy a used economy from this man - has set the cat amongst the pigeon by getting outraged and going gunning for Treasury, as you an read in a story about his valiant defence of Howard government tax cuts.

And naturally this immediately produced a fluttering and a cooing amongst the pigeons at the lizard Oz.

No need to provide links - google is your friend, at least in this matter - but whenever anyone asks the pond why it insists that the commentariat at the lizard Oz swirl in the sky and fart in unison, it's days like these that provide the evidence ...

Enough already, so let's end on a lighter note by once again celebrating David Pope, with more Pope available here:

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