As you know, it is very rare for me to pay for news via a printed newspaper. I was mighty impressed when The Guardian broke the story of the swindling members of parliament and then the phone hacking that saw the closure of the news of the (SCREWS) world. Absolutely no loss to the world at all.
But even the Guardian couldn't entice me back to being a full time reader of news through the medium of news print. It is only on occasion that I am drawn to them through their free to all, on-line news service still preferring to get my news from on-line newspaper articles suggested to me from others or the TV.
I am not alone in this, not reading newspapers, as the Internet has given us the choice not to need them. On my way home this evening I was listening to The Media Show on BBC Radio 4 and heard Mr David Lee, Investigations Editor of The Guardian newspaper pontificating on about his idea of introducing a Broadband Internet Levy to raise an annual fund to be handed out to all newspapers. You can listen to the new breed of street beggar here
Clearly we need choices in anything that is out there to be able to get different views and perspectives. First it was word of mouth and stories were passed along from person to person, village to village and town to town. Then came the written word or pictogram on rock, then slate then paper with one page news, then newspapers, then telegraph, radio and finally TV. Now, I understand that when papers where in their heyday they were making vast fortunes and creating rich dynasty's, so it's a bit rich when one of these dynasty's who year on year and in some cases decade after decade, are producing their very expensive and loss making pages, and I understand that the prats at the Guardian are losing about £100k per day are now suggesting that a £2.00 per month levy on broadband internet users and this should raise about £500 million per year to be used to bale out the newspaper industry? What a bloody nerve, if they can't operate profitably - close down. So, I don't read newspapers and if I did want to read one in paper form, I can walk to the local shop and pay across the counter for it, but what I shouldn't be asked for, is to pay a TAX that is going to prop up failing businesses that I can live without to pay people who cannot run a profitable business. Some may argue then that we should have left the banks to their own devices, but that is another argument all together, but, newspapers, NO, NOT NOW, NOT EVER!
We have TV, Radio and the Internet, if newspapers are a loss making medium how can they continue to pay, presumably high, salaries and dividends each year but expect to receive funding from the TaxPayer when it is not a company providing a critically required service to the nation, a bit like Channel 4, a commercial company, also funded by the Taxpayer. Just think how much we could shave of the license fee if we stopped funding A COMMERCIAL COMPANY.
So, to Mr Lee and The Guardian, start making a profit or shut up shop, but don't ever ask me for a hand out, I can watch the news or read one of the great blogs out there on the internet for my daily dose of news without baling you or any other commercially failing company!