Government to “help” newspapers?

The US Free Trade Commission – yes, a wing of governemnt –  is thinking of stepping in to “help” out media companies, namely online newspapers which are having trouble turning a buck, namely ’cause most people don’t bother clicking on the ads. Still, reading the article, it may not be as bad as perhaps first reactions tell you it is – may. It seems a lot of it could be easing off on taxes, anti-trust leislation, and cross-media ownership. And that’s pretty good at first glance.

Of course the dinosaur of the industry, Rupert Murdoch,  thinks online newspapers will die unless people are made to pay.  He reckons readers should cough up the cash because, wait for it, “Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”

Why yes, Rupert, yes it is. And that’s why your papers should remain free. Apart from a few standout journalists here and there, most newspapers, and not just his, are riddled with propaganda, puff pieces, lazy investigative work, and stuff many non-journalists can do quite easily. Take bloggers for example.

Is Rupert jealous? Frustrated? That in many instances, the blogosphere has shown up the MSM? Either way, if all news outlets made us pay, it would spell the end of – or at best a very damaging blow to – blogging.  He realises bloggers feed off the media – for free – quite often, but doesn’t he also realise the media feeds of the blogosphere – for free -, too?

Ariana Huffington isn’t impressed.

“It’s time for traditional media companies to stop whining.”


PS Rupert, why don’t you charge more for the ads? Just like on TV, nobody really wants to look at them. So why do TV ads cost so much, yet online ads at major newspapers don’t comparitively? And besides, you’re not really short of a buck.

From my Death of Blogging post:

“The publisher of The Wall Street Journal, The Australian and Dow Jones Newswires posted a loss of $US203 million ($241m), or US8 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with earnings of $US1.1 billion, or US43c a share, a year ago.

So financial crisis aside, which screwed everyone, and when News Ltd was still providing a ‘free’ online news service, Rupert made 1.1 BILLION dollars… and yet he still wants to charge us! And when many of us work for free for his blogs!

I smell a rat, a rat so big Left-wing bloggers should be concerned, too.

If Murdoch wants to bury his own ‘newspapers’, fine. Actually… no, because it will bury a Golden Era where the public was no longer restricted to but a few news sources but could freely roam the globe thanks to the WWW and see this perspective up against that perspective in ways past generations could only have dreamed of.

And now Murdoch (if his business model is successful and other outlets follow suit [even though other outlets have FAILED already trying so]) wants to ruin that, which will ruin the blogosphere, and most likely, seriously hurt his business.

Mr Murdoch’s comments came as News Corp reported US$680 million in writedowns and other one-off charges largely related to the company’s social networking site, MySpace.
So get rid of MySpace. Facebook kicks its arse anyway.”

Posted in Media. Tags: . 9 Comments »

What More Needs To Be Said?

Via Rachel Lucas.


A Picture Says A Thousand Words

I present to you something which should be official campaign publications for McCain-Palin 2008, delivered to me from the truly excellent Captain Heinrichs.

Go Palin!

Sarah Palin riding her official vehicle

Sarah Palin riding her official vehicle

WA Goes To The Polls… And NSW Should

The great Australian State of Western Australia goes to the polls today to either re-elect the current Premier of Western Australia, Mr. Alan Carpenter, or to elect the Opposition into Government.

This election is going to be watched with close attention all across Australia, namely because it’s the first time that a Labor State Government may lose power in more than a decade. This election could result in a shift in political climate if the Liberals win, because they will now hold a position higher than Lord Mayor of Brisbane, the highest position held by a Liberal ever since the Liberals lost federal government in November last year.

The Greens are doing fairly well in the polls, but polls aren’t terribly reliable, and I’m taking the polls in WA with at least a jar of salt. The Greens stand against many of the activities that actually give WA money to run the State, such as mining and drilling, and WA is currently doing enough of both to not only run WA, but to subsidise the less-wealthy States such as Victoria and New South Wales.

WA is the only State wise enough to go to an election, although the only reason it’s going to an election this week is because the previous Liberal leader resigned, due to an overwhelming media campaign after he rather creepily sniffed womens’ seats after they’d gotten up. An election is a good idea, however WA isn’t the State I would have chosen the first election to have been in. I would have chosen NSW.

New South Wales would have been my first choice. I say this because NSW has a government allegedly entrenched in corruption, of which the Treasurer was yesterday fired, the Premier yesterday resigned, the Deputy Premier retires next Monday, and the Education Minister doesn’t look too clean either. All of this, and the NSW electorate doesn’t get to decide who will lead the State from now on, the Australian Labor Party (NSW Division) does, and it’s not looking like they have much to choose from. That’s not a fair and equitable democracy. Bring on an election!

Andrew Bolt, as usual, has a concise analysis.

Farming And Suicide

Farming is amongst the toughest jobs out there. The hours are long, there’s no guarantee of success, and there are a lot of factors at play that aren’t under the farmer’s control.

Farmers are reliant on the weather, which is something they have no control over, and often fields of crops fail due to a variety of things, such as too little rain, too much rain, hurricanes, pests, insects, wild animals (kangaroos and deer especially) and a whole host of different factors. And because of these crop failures, farmers are unable to repay their debts to suppliers and banks, and get deeper and deeper into debt. It’s a very tough situation.

Another problem which compounds the debt issues, is the big chain stores, such as Safeway/Woolworths, IGA (Independant Grocers of Australia), Coles and all the other big chain stores don’t pay farmers as much as they should for the quality of farmer’s produce. One figure which I’ve heard quoted (and which I’m unable to verify) is that farmers are paid 10c for every dollar that the chain stores sell the produce for. That’s incredibly low. Should grocery stores really be able to receive a 90% profit on goods they only have the responsibility to sell? I know it’s the market at work, but it still seems highly unfair.

The weather, failure of crops, increasing debt, long hours and minimal profit (if any) would lead any person to dispair, and it frequently does. In fact, it leads farmers to such depths of despair that many see suicide as the only option, and take their own lives. It’s a terrible situation, and there should be more community and governmental support for those who provide us with food.
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When I am King…

In comments to our SwinishCapitalist’s post on local government, Angus Dei & Yojimbo had some definite ideas on what they will do when they rule the world.  Given that, I thought now was as good a time as any to reprise a post Ash did back in February on what Skippy will do when he is king.

Some of the highlights:

Declaration #1: Being an asshole will be considered a form of violent assault. As such, violent retribution will be considered self-defense. In other words, as long as you can convince a jury of your peers that the son of a bitch had it coming, it’s kosher.

Declaration #3: All juvenile crimes will be punished with use of the stocks. Nothing amends teenage behavior faster than public embarrassment.

Declaration #4: The definition of the crime of pedophilia will be amended to include all acts of terrorism. This way anytime a terrorist is named on the news, they will be described as a pedophile.

Declaration #6: People who go on killing sprees to get attention (See V- Tech, NIU, Columbine, etc.) will not ever be mentioned by name in the press. They will only be referred to by silly emasculating names such as “Darling Princess Poofiness the Third”. All pictures of them will be modified to put them in ridiculous outfits. Once a year there will be a holiday where small children gather to laugh at these people. This will do more to reduce school violence than any amount of dress codes or banned music.

There are more here.

We’ll add to those Yojimbo’s Declaration #12:  the Universities of Arizona and Kansas alternating national championships in every sport; and Angus Dei’s Declaration #13:  “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

Anyone else want to get in on this?  We could always make it a rotating position 😉

Do You Feel Your (Aussie) Government Is Not Inclusive Enough?

Well here is your opportunity to tell them what you think.
The Social Inclusion Survey.

(I hope the link works. I am teh craptasticest at this on wordpress.)

Answering the Obama Challenge

What Is the Right Change to Help All Americans Pursue Happiness and Create Prosperity? Newt responds to Senator Obama’s speech in Philadelphia by warning of the destructive cost of bad government and bad culture, how it leads to poverty, decay, and destroys lives.

Transcript and Video…available on the link.

Newt Gingrich.Org

More here:

Human Events

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