Archive for the 'Media' Category


As we head into August the impact on holidays becomes the big pandemic story

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Have ministers panicked? Today’s front pages give a good representation of the main pandemic stories and what the papers think are the issues most likely to impact on their readers.

Order Tramadol 180 Cod Once again the Daily Star manages to produce the most striking front page and that paper is to my mind having the best pandemic. So often it is taking the most eye-catching and humorous approach which is very much in the spirit of the early days of the tabloid Sun.

see url After all the constraints that lockdown has had on people’s lives many were looking forward even more than usual to getting away on their holidays. Alas the moves against those who are holidaying now or are booked to go to mainland Spain is the big political news simply because of the number of people who will be affected. Under the headline go here The Spain quarantine decision shows No 10 is still in coronavirus panic mode Simon Jenkins in the Guardian notes:

Buy Prescription Tramadol Without “..when last Friday’s surge in “reported cases” from Spain flashed on the radar, ministers clearly panicked. They wrenched on the handbrake and imposed a two-week quarantine on those returning from the country. The Foreign Office clearly thought it hard to punish the detached and low-risk Balearics, but that was a subtlety too far for Johnson..The impression given by the cabinet throughout the pandemic has been constant. It is of a group of ministers and scientists in a bunker, all terrified for their headlines and reputations, blown hither and thither by unreliable data. They seem to lack any feel for the outside world, be it care homes, high streets, hospitality or entertainment. They are in thrall to Imperial College’s criticised modellers, and hostile to all regional or local differences. They know only the great god – statistics.” At least for the moment parliament is in recess so decisions are not subject to the same parliamentary scrutiny.

Mike Smithson

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Print journalism needs a revolution to avoid a slow death: micro-payments are the way forward

Saturday, July 25th, 2020

But it will only work with industry-wide collaboration

source link When did you last buy a newspaper? I’ve no idea when I did. It was certainly before this year and then will have been the local weekly; I haven’t bought a national paper in years – why would you? I do subscribe to a hard-copy weekly magazine (which also brings with it online access to their articles), but that’s a different thing I’m not alone. In the last ten years, The Times has lost 27% of its circulation and is comfortably the best performer. The Mail is down 44%, The Telegraph 53%, The Guardian 54%, The Sun 58% and The Mirror’s circulation is down by some 64%. Between them, the daily circulation of those seven titles has dropped from 8.4m to 4.0m. Buying newspapers is very much a minority pursuit.

go It’s not all bad news for them (as opposed to in them). Some 18% of UK adults were getting news from the Mail either on the web or in paper form, with 11% doing so from the Sun and the same number from the Guardian: figures way in excess of their paper-only circulations. Unfortunately, those internet platforms are free access so their income streams are restricted to the associated advertising. I’d also guess that readers’ interactions with news websites is a lot briefer than it is (or was) with the paper versions. What to do? Some papers have tried to combat the decline in direct sales by restricting internet access and introducing online subscriptions and the Times and Sunday Times might well have made it work.

source url Even so, subscriptions are a cumbersome solution: fine for those who would have bought the same paper every day but not for the casual reader. I think the industry could do a lot better with the willpower and the imagination.

Tramadol Bulario Anvisa watch What if, rather than everything being either free-to-read or paywalled but for subscriptions, it was possible to buy articles on a case-by-case basis, for a few pence each? Obviously, those who wanted to subscribe to a particular publication could do so and get unlimited access but people who just wanted the odd one now and again could get it without (1) committing to a contract, and (2) paying a lot, relatively speaking.

Cheap Tramadol Fast Shipping Further, what if it was possible to access these articles with a single account, a single password and a single monthly bill? Wouldn’t that be far more attractive to readers than a whole host of different systems?

Tramadol Online Cheapest There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be possible. Many industries work collaboratively across firms in order to provide win-win solutions. The music industry does so with royalties; the finance industry does so with (for example) how you can use just about any ATM to withdraw from your account at any bank. Why not have an industry-wide gateway to journalistic content, which keeps a track of what people read and distributes their fees to the respective outlets?

Buy Cheap Tramadol Online What is clear is that the current model is barely sustainable, if at all. People want news, analysis and reports but don’t have to pay for it – which is a problem as quality journalism costs money and as income streams decline (the classified as market is probably now lost forever), costs are being cut. That not only means there’s not likely to be the same amount of quality journalism (or indeed the same quality), but that stories that should be reported won’t be. The media can take too seriously its role in holding those in power to account – it is not a regulator, never mind an official opposition – but a vibrant press does play a vital part all the same.

click here It can have that future but will find it far easier if it works together. Micro-payments per article is my suggestion as to how it might do so but if not that, it will need to deliver on some other vision of life after newspapers.

David Herdson

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Dramatic front pages as life for many is put on hold

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

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Free speech, one each. The myth of the oppressed rightwinger and what it tells us about politics today

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

Order Tramadol Paypal Life has hardly been tough for Toby Young. Admitted to Oxford University with BBC at A level after his father (the leading academic, Baron Young) phoned up on his behalf, he has glided through lofty positions without visible means of propulsion like a flying squirrel, mainly using the high elevation from which he started off to maintain his position.  

Order Tramadol Cod Next Day Delivery In 2018, he suffered a rare setback. Despite having no obvious qualification for the role, he had been groomed to be a non-executive member of the Office for Students by Jo Johnson, the universities minister at the time, brother of his good friend Boris Johnson. Other candidates’ social media utterances had been pored over in detail, and one candidate was rejected as a result. Toby Young’s past did not receive the same attention: which, it turns out, was unfortunate. Maybe it was his advocating progressive eugenics, maybe it was his railing against inclusivity, maybe it was his frequent tweets about breasts he saw on television. Maybe it was the cumulative drip-drip effect of his many public utterances showing him to be a snobbish boor with no empathy for many of those for whom the Office for Students had been established.  In the end, he had to resign from the role. This evidently still rankles. While he kicks his heels waiting for his old friend the new Prime Minister to find him a sinecure, he is rolling the pitch for his own rehabilitation by launching a campaign supposedly in defence of freedom of speech. This has been taken up enthusiastically on the snowflake right. In the same vein, the Telegraph published an article by Kate Mulvey complaining that her Remainer friends were bullying her about her pro-Brexit views. The whole thrust of this campaign is completely misconceived. No one is stopping Toby Young from publicly critiquing the breasts of anyone who comes within his field of vision. He can broadcast his support for eugenics to the entire world. What he cannot stop people doing is judging him for his views and acting accordingly. Likewise, Ms Mulvey is entitled to her pro-Brexit views. She is not entitled to insist that others respect them. If she doesn’t like how her “friends” think about her, she should find new and more congenial friends. 

Arrested For Ordering Tramadol Online In truth, this is not complicated stuff.  You can say what you like. And others can say what they like about what you have just said.  In turn, you can say what you like about their perspective. Just as Ms Mulvey has done, in the columns of a national newspaper. It is odd that some of the Brexiteers who see themselves as the most iconoclastic want both to be able to trumpet their opinions and then not be judged for them (though I’m sure they would be happy to be judged approvingly).  It betrays an intellectual cringe on their part, a subconscious recognition that people whose opinions they esteem disdain their views. They should ask themselves why they esteem the opinions of those people and if they still want their esteem, why those people disdain their views.

Order Tramadol From Canada Free speech is not consequence-free speech.  It is important that received wisdoms are challenged, to test out their weaknesses.  That does not, however, give the challenger any form of sovereign immunity.  

If you want to argue that child pornography should be legalised, that is your right.  If you want to do so, you should not be surprised if others decide that view makes you an unsuitable foster parent.  If you want to argue that animal welfare legislation is too stringent, go right ahead. You’re unlikely to get a job as an RSPCA officer afterwards. Those who want to take up controversial stances are going to need to face the consequences of expressing those views.

This applies especially in public life.  If you are taking up a public position, you need to be able to command the confidence of a broad spectrum of the public that you are going to be representing.  If you are going to spout views that are not consensus, you are going to need to accept that if many find those views offensive and they are even tangentially relevant to the public role you will be performing, they may well prove disqualifying.

If there is a problem, it is not that free speech in Britain is under threat.  It is that there isn’t enough free listening. The public domain is becoming a series of heavily defended rival fortresses.  Each scarcely engages with most of the others, spending all their energies bombarding their nearest rivals to crowd out conflicting approaches.  Inconvenient facts and logic are simply ignored. Arguments are not fought by dashing cavalry but in testudo formation.

This has become possible in large part because of the way that we organise ourselves online.  Political tribes form on Twitter, on newspaper comments sections, on Facebook. We don’t need to hear anything that we don’t want to hear anymore.

Sometimes things that we don’t want are good for us.  Paleo-Conservatives would do well to think at length about the real problems those in poverty suffer, and come up with meaningful solutions.  Fully automated luxury communists should consider how they propose to encourage and secure the wealth creation they need to rebuild society. You’re not going to be able to raid your opponents’ best ideas if you’re not listening to them at all.

To do that properly, you need to understand not just what they have to say on specific subjects but how they think.  That requires humility, empathy and caution. At the end of the process, you may find that they have uncovered something to which you have been oblivious.  That may require you to revise your view of the world. Are you prepared to do that?  

see url Alastair Meeks


How GE2019 is being treated on the front pages

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

Here are some of today’s front pages and I don’t think there is anything as memorable as the Daily Mail at the same time in the process in 2017.  There is much less Tory triumphalism.  Its front page today is perhaps the most overtly political and highlights the twin worries for the Tories from the  Lib Dems and the Brexit party which both threaten Johnson’s party in different ways.

To the Sun and the  Daily Express this is all about finalising Brexit and no doubt that will be the theme of the coverage in the time 7 weeks. Their role will be in helping to be cheerleaders getting the vote out.

In many ways the weakest front page this morning is from the Daily Mirror which has the picture of Johnson as a turkey with the headline saying it’s time to stuff the turkey. There is no mention of Corbyn. This is anti the Tories and the PM and as yet not pro the current main opposition party.

The national newspapers, of course,  are nothing like as important as they were given the fact that their circulations are a fraction of what they were even at the 2010 General Election which brought the Tories into government for the first time since 1997.

But having said that they are influential in helping set the news agenda overall tone of the campaign for the broadcasters.

In the betting overnight a CON majority peaked at 54% chance and is now back at evens.

THe only poll we’ve seen is this constituency one for Cambridge.

Mike Smithson


The revolution will not be televised

Sunday, June 16th, 2019

The sleeper topic that will corrode the government’s ratings


Allow me to tell you the most middle class joke in existence.  Q: What do gay men do in bed? A: Eat biscuits and listen to Radio 4, same as everybody else.

OK, it’s all in the delivery.  Radio 4, and the rest of the BBC, have long term concerns about the delivery of their services too: where is the money going to come from to fund them?  This is a central problem for a broadcaster that does not take paid advertisements and that is dependent on public funding.

The BBC’s funding in large part comes from the revenues for the television licence fee.  In 1999, the government made licence fees for the over 75s free. It did so by the government meeting the cost and paying that sum over to the BBC.

In an era of burgeoning deficits, George Osborne could not afford such largesse.  When the BBC’s charter came to be renewed, it secured the BBC’s agreement in 2015 that the government would phase out this subsidy by 2020, leaving it to the BBC to consider whether it would continue to offer free licence fees for the over 75s.

The BBC duly consulted and earlier this month announced that it would be discontinuing free licences for all over 75s as from June 2020.  It would continue to provide free licences for those over 75s who were in a household where one person received the pension credit benefit.  However, this excludes most of the pensioners who previously enjoyed this benefit.

The news broke, the howls of disappointment were heard and the news cycle moved on.  It is far from clear, however, that the general public is as philosophical about the matter.  A Parliamentary petition to reverse this decision has already reached more than 160,000 signatures with little publicity, putting it comfortably in the top 10 for live petitions (four of those above it relate to Brexit).  Complaints about this decision are whistling around Facebook feeds – you might well have seen posts like the one at the top of the thread.

There is a certain irony about resistance to changes to television licence fees being organised online.  For the internet is one of the essential challenges to television’s future as a medium. It is, however, now much easier than ever before to see what really motivates voters (or at least what they are talking about).

It’s not necessarily that the BBC’s decision is a bad one as a general principle.  Pensioners are on average wealthier than the average and they are much more likely to be watching television in the first place – the average age of viewers of both BBC1 and BBC2 is over 60.  It isn’t immediately clear why wealthy old people should have their entertainment subsidised by younger poorer people. You can imagine their collective choking into the ovaltine if it were proposed that Netflix subscriptions for millennials were to be paid for free from the exchequer.

This is not a cheap subsidy.  The cost of providing free licences to the over 75s accounts for roughly a fifth of the BBC’s budget.  Contrary to the message in the tweet above, the cost is roughly £750 million a year.

However, the public rightly has a special tenderness for the needs of the elderly and a sizeable proportion of the public is hostile to the idea of exposing them specifically to any aspect of austerity, whether or not those being asked to pay could in fact afford it.  And the central point of British politics should not be forgotten: old people vote.

This decision is likely to be blamed on the government and there is a real prospect that it will help lose the Conservatives votes.  No wonder some of the Conservative leadership candidates, including that fluffy dewy-eyed liberal Esther McVey, were looking to reverse it.

In the longer term, the problem of funding the BBC remains.  One of the live petitions that has the most signatories advocates scrapping the licence fee completely.  That raises the question how the BBC should in fact be funded. Fewer and fewer people are watching TV (television viewing hours are dropping steeply at present) and young people are not in the habit in the same way as earlier generations.  The BBC remains relevant to all – for example, 81% of the public get news from it in one way or another. But if the licence fee itself is becoming an anachronism, how is the BBC to continue to thrive in an increasingly multi-media world?

And what of those gay men I mentioned at the outset?  Just 1% of 16-24 year olds get news from Radio 4 (52% of them get news from Facebook).  Unless the public’s habits evolve further, those gay men are soon going to have to start doing something else in bed instead after all.


source site Alastair Meeks


On the eve of the first ballot some of this morning’s front pages

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Will the rain dampen Boris’s chances?

Mike Smithson



Coming up at 2100 GMT on Channel 4 – Brexit the movie

Monday, January 7th, 2019

PBers in the UK, no doubt, will be glued to their TVs

Join the discussion while it happens here. I’ve little doubt it will cause controversy and maybe shape perceptions of what happened. It, of course, comes at the most critical time for the Government as it desperately tries to secure the agreement of the Commons on the Brexit deal.

The writer, James Graham, made a big name for himself a few years back with his National Theatre play “This House” about the 1974-79 LAB government which extraordinarily managed to last for nearly five years. It covered a period in my career when I was working at Westminster and I thought it brilliantly caught the drama and madness of that period.

I’ll be watching and the following thread looks set to be interesting.

Mike Smithson