Friday, November 13, 2009

You Think It's Been Quiet Here?

Well, it may get even quieter in the near future. Not that we've totally lost interest in watching David Aaronovitch, but part of the point, as I see it, is that one of us reads his column (when we have time/can be bothered), posts a link to it so readers can do so too, and writes a critique for you to comment on as you see fit.

But Rupert Murdoch seems to be serious about getting people to pay to read his papers. Rupert Murdoch to remove News Corp's content from Google 'in months' and paywalls can't be far behind. Surely he won't risk the dip in reader numbers (which is inevitable, isn't it?) before the 2010 UK General Election?

I've been bending the brain to this, and I know that a lot of journalists think that paying for content is reasonable. But ITV and the US pre-cable networks get by purely on advertising. Demanding payment for content means fewer readers or viewers. I can see how charging for Sky works, you get the internet, and the box and stuff, and I'm happy to pay the BBC licence fee because the Beeb doesn't advertise at me. If Murdoch can somehow tie reading his prints into a Sky contract (because surely the audiences overlap), he may have a hope. Otherwise not. I wouldn't want to be committed to reading a paper for a year in advance. Suppose the Sun does another Hillsborough type story, and a lot of people reasonably decide to boycott it? (IMO, the Gordon Brown Janes/James mistake story is on a similar level of misjudgement.) Or Clarkson (the columnist most readers would pay for) retires? He doesn't need the money, and his columns (which I confess to reading) are all pretty much the same; I suspect he's bored by now. Won't subscribers get annoyed fairly soon?

Anyway, if it does come to that, and B2 can read Aaro in the Times, but most of you can't, would there be a point in watching? Don't even think of suggesting we follow Nick Cohen, Harry's Place, or Melanie Phillips instead.


Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

the World of Decency is surely still worth watching... though i don't think it includes Mad Mel.

Will be interesting to see if any of the contributors to the times will keep copyright for their own websites (I know Aaro doesn't have one, but still).

11/13/2009 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must confess to still reading Geras, though I don't enjoy it much.

Just don't think of following Damian Thompson. That's my patch, and I must confess you get more literate polemics from traditionalist Catholics than from Decents. BTW, if that Decent Racism post ever surfaces, I've been kicking around something on Decent Rationalism.

11/13/2009 01:11:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

my revised coverage is going to include Kamm, MacShane and maybe the Scoopies, as these are the Decents who I regard as still having some influence in the world.

11/13/2009 01:14:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

I'm a cohen obsessive so I'm biased but I think he'd need to be kept an eye on, since he is so beloved of so many of them.

Martin Bright as well...?

11/13/2009 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Rioja Kid said...

We also have some new team members coming along, whose identities will be revealed the moment I get my act together and send out the invites

11/13/2009 02:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Simon said...

"Martin Bright as well...?"

Not so much since he joined the Jewish Chronicle, especially since Pollard became editor and its credibility nosedived.

11/13/2009 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Unspeak had the well-known satirical columnist "Melanie Phillips" pretty well covered. As MacShane: it depends on how much damage he's capable of if Labour lose next year.


11/13/2009 06:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Worth having a semi-regular look at Private Eye, which over and above Nick's columns seems to function as a repository for stuff that Decent hacks can't get printed elsewhere. In particular, the obsessive bashing of Decent hate figures, often with little more research than a quick browse of HP Sauce.

11/13/2009 09:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Freshly Squeezed Cynic said...

"my revised coverage is going to include Kamm, MacShane and maybe the Scoopies, as these are the Decents who I regard as still having some influence in the world."

What's Gove's classification? I realise that as a Tory he's immediately ruled out of the "decent left", but him and the Decents do seem to share a commonality of purpose; Policy Exchange, too.

11/16/2009 11:51:00 AM  

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