Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Pay-Per-View Local Newspaper

I've been to my local newspaper website - one of the six publications being trialled for pay-per-view by Johnston Press, but it doesn't quite work like that, they now let you read a snippet of ahem, news - then tell you in ‘jolly tones’ that if you want to read the rest of it, to go and buy the newspaper. How pointless is that? It's either an online news website [pay-per-view or free] or it's not.

Frankly, I wouldn't give it recycling bag room. I think the only people who buy it now are the over sixties [technologically challenged] or those who have always bought it so it's become a habit. Maybe pay-per-view online is the way to go, we'll see.

I don’t mind paying for things on the Internet, I have to pay for every other service and fully expect to - we don’t often get ‘owt for nowt’ in this life - we leave that to the bankers and their big bonuses [sorry I’m drifting off into an entirely different blog post here].

In the case of our local newspaper the ‘news’ content has got to improve - so someone get out there and do something worth reading about! - as I'm not thinking of paying £5 every three months for news that's boring. And as we're going to be PAYING for the service, I wouldn't expect to see advertising [I'm an eternal optimist].

Our local ‘news’paper is crammed with advertising, in the last copy I got my hands on, 26 of the 56 pages were full page adverts, with more ads dotted about on most other pages - fully expected in a free newspaper, but not one that costs 40p. Unless you want to buy a car or a house you can throw most of it away, oops sorry, recycle it.

There’s a bit of sport at the back, a few jobs advertised, classified ads, a ‘Find Romance’ page. Births, birthdays and anniversaries. District news, planning applications - the usual mixed bag that makes up a local paper. A crossword - hmm yes, the sort of thing I should be doing instead of being annoying.

Then there's the doom and gloom page, I suppose I'll soon be getting to an age - yes! even older than I am now - where this page would in normal circumstances be of interest to me and I'd say ‘Oh, I went to school with him’ or ‘Oooh, I remember her when we were little’ - being quite sad to read of their demise but also a little smug that I’m still here to read about them, while at the same time feeling the cold breath of mortality blowing on my neck … Ugh, sends shivers down your spine doesn’t it? But as I'm not from these parts, I have no old school chums to read about, so I'll carry on in my own little way and leave that to the grumpy old man ...

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Be nice, I'm very sensitive.