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back to article Guardian's Robin Hood plan: Steal from everyone to give to us

The brother-in-law of the Guardian's editor - the paper's investigative reporter David Leigh - has floated an idea to save the newspaper industry. Every broadband subscriber in the country would pay a tax of £2 a month, whether they wanted to or not, with the money shared amongst news organisations according to how many UK …

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A radical new idea

I doubt it will catch on, but maybe - just maybe, if The Guardian and all its other "worthy" bedfellows started printing stuff that was interesting, popular, relevant, unbiased and informative then they'd be able to actually pay their way.

They possibly do produce one or two stories a year (between the lot of them: WMDs, expenses, etc.) that make their existence worthwhile. But not to the extent that they ALL deserve to be propped and subsidised by the whole country. Who do they think they are? the BBC?

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Anonymous Coward

The Guardian?

Will that mean we'd be forced to read all that leftie ***t they write?

I know it's expected reading for the public services, BBC and Civil Service but please..... Most of the population read the Sun and that's because the articles are short enough to be read during toilet breaks.

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WTF?

Re: The Guardian?

Most of the population do not read the Sun, quite a few do look at the pictures. It's a lads rag. Most of the population do not read a daily newspaper.

If you think that the Guardian and the BBC are left wing you be rather young.

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Re: A radical new idea

To be fair, most broadband users don't pay for the information/news content they use. That's an acceptable position whilst those who create that content choose to give it away or sell at a loss, but ultimately the freetards (self included) are depending upon the unrewarded efforts of others, and that's not a long term solution. Personally I like the idea of having largely "free" access to a wide range of content, so I'm not in favour of site specific paywalls - that's going to restrict my world view to the handful of sites I'd regularly use, rather than allowing me wider access.

Perhaps a solution is a universal pay per view system run by the ISPs that is opt in for both web users and for the content providers. So any organisation or individual can opt in to the (clearly flagged) pay system, or choose to remain outside it (eg genuinely free, or advert supported). However, the Guardian claims around 230m unique UK page views per month, say 2.8bn per year. It wants around £100m a year, so that's around 4 pence per page view that they want. That seems a bit steep to me - they used to flog the entire newspaper for a quid or so (what if they chucked away the print version - would that reduce the costs?).

I know they aren't proposing a pay per view system, but the maths still doesn't seem consistent with their proposed £2 a month levy, since that would only cover reading about 1.4 articles per day out of the Grauniad alone leaving nothing for other online services, when you work the numbers back to what they want (the £100m) and what they give (2.8 billion page views per year). Maybe their maths is as good as their type checking?

£2 a month seems acceptable to me, but that is presumably for free to web general news content only, excluding the BBC whilst it has the licence fee. Maybe that's the answer - use the licence fee to support all large scale bona fide UK based, UK employing news organisations, cap the amount to stop it inflating, and draconian claw back/fines for any cross subsidy to non-UK services, and similarly draconian fines for click fraud and related attempts to falsify readership data. Then change the licence fee to include any UK TV or satellite users and all UK broadband users. Most of us have TV's anyway, so whilst there would be some exceptionally vociferous whining from the few exceptions, the actual incidence of the licence fee would be largely unchanged, and there's a collection mechanism already in place.

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WTF?

Re: The Guardian?

"If you think that the Guardian and the BBC are left wing you be rather young."

Are you trolling or just genuinely that naive? The Guardian is a well known left wing rag and the reason that they're losing far more circulation compared to other papers is they're increasingly out of touch with the opinions of the country as a whole. Essentially they represent a tiny demographic of well off middle class north london liberal lefties. The BBC does get stick for being left wing, sometimes unfairly , but they do certainly have some left leaning opinions.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ledswinger

Why are you agreeing to pay the companies you are not getting media with? Why not pay them direct?

They are not giving it away for free, they advertise. If they don't wish to give it away for free then don't. Sell it.

If they setup a website for free, don't call us "freetards" for viewing it. They're the "drug pushers" giving away the free samples.

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Stop

Re: The Guardian?

"Will that mean we'd be forced to read all that leftie ***t they write?"

Of course not. Don't be so absurdly reactionary.

And I wouldn't even call the Guardian 'leftie': It's Liberal taken to absurd extremes, which makes most Liberals want to fire-bomb the building.

Most of the population read the Sun because it has a reading age of 7 and cuts past bothering to report news and instead simply tells readers what to think.... normally about fallballers and tits.

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Re: The Guardian?

" The Guardian is a well known left wing rag"

Errr...what?

Left Wing means Socialist, to my mind. I don't think they are that way inclined. They seem more Extremist-Liberal. That's a different thing.

I'd describe my own policies as Liberal, but definitely not Socialist or far-Left.

And for the record: Even I don't read the Guardian, because most of it seems to have been written by spoiled bastards who have never actually lived in the real world, or travelled more than 200 miles from London.

Maybe if they stopped writing shite, people would buy their paper.

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Re: The Guardian?

"Left Wing means Socialist, to my mind. I don't think they are that way inclined. They seem more Extremist-Liberal. That's a different thing."

Well there's old left , ie socialist , and new left/labour which is the liberal left. The old left is more about workers rights and economic policy , the new left is ... well I'm not quite sure what they're about apart from dismantling the fabric of society and a sneering disregard for popular opinion.

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Re: Ledswinger@ AC 09:53

"Why are you agreeing to pay the companies you are not getting media with?"

The revenue would be apportioned according to page views both in the graun's scheme, and in either of my proposals, so in net terms the errors would be of minimal value on a total bill of £2 a month. Also, whilst I do have a favoured news site, free to web at the moment, I do like occaisionally to read other sites, even if their editorial stance doesn't accord with my fairly strongly held views. You should try it.

"Why not pay them direct?"

Re-read my post, particularly the bit about not wanting site specific paywalls because that limits my wider choice. And most people are with me, that they do want access, but don't want to use an expensive paywall solution - look at how the Times lost 90% of its online readers after putting a paywall in. Many of those might still baulk at £2 a month for all UK news, I accept, many probably wouldn't. My suggestion of a universal ISP operated page view charging system would enable them to opt out.

"They are not giving it away for free, they advertise."

Err, you don't pay, it is free. Look up "free" in a dictionary. ITV is free, BBC isn't. Both have funding mechanisms, but I can avoid that for ITV if I so wish.

"If they don't wish to give it away for free then don't. Sell it."

Back to where I started, which is that custom paywalls restrict information flows that I'd like access to, and that the reduced viewing puts up the cost per user for those who choose to pay. You might say "good", but there is evidently insufficient money coming through paywalls to fund good journalism, and the free model you seem to support is not sustainable. I don't like the Graun much, but I think it is important that we have a range of views represented in the media, and they do occaisionally do some very good stuff. Maybe you think big media is dead, in which case good luck finding out all the top stories, well presented and written, updated regularly on Farcebook by amateurs. In terms of what news you get on the cheap, look at the BBC. Total news costs around £70m a year, and for what? No worthwhile investigative journalism since they had Blair and Campbell over their Hans Christian Andersen "Iraqi WMD dossier". ITN and Sky News aren't much better either.

"If they setup a website for free, don't call us "freetards" for viewing it. "

What's wrong with being a freetard? We're not paying El Reg for this. But you've got to live with the consequences of not paying for your content. Like that purely advert funded news gathering will gravitate towards what the advertisers want to be read. If you want the biggest advertisers, say Nestle. P&G or Unilever censoring your press so that you don't have to pay at point of use, then fair enough, but that's what'll happen. Look at how PC mags would usually skirt round any critcism of their biggest advertisers (back in the day, course), or how women's fashion mags never describe Laboratoire Ripoffeeay as overpriced shite that works no better than Boots number seven.

"They're the "drug pushers" giving away the free samples"

That makes the BBC the methadone of news, which I suppose is a valuable and accurate insight.

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Boffin

Re: Re: The Guardian?

".....And I wouldn't even call the Guardian 'leftie'...." Not REAL "worked-twenty-hours-down-pit" left, but "educated-and-pretending-to-be-caring-out-of-a-sense-of-moral-superiority" lefties. My old man used to refer to them as they type that have the mental equipment and opportuniy but prefer not to put it to a proper use. To paraphase a leftie luvvie that probably would pay the £2/month for the Guardian, George Bernard Shaw, those that can do, those that can't teach, and those that can't teach go into journalism or politics. Now, if the Guardian had some writers - maybe even just one - of the calibre of Mr Shaw then they wouldn't be in the pile of brown stuff they are in now. After all, I don't personally agree with half of Mr Shaw's politics, but he always delivered them in a manner that was both entertaining and insightful.

".....normally about fallballers and tits." You may think that unfortunate, but those are evidently the popular areas where people are still willing to pay for a paper. And before you get too high on your moral hobbyhorse, please do note that 90% of advertising, especially for "lifestyle" products such as perfume, cars, holidays, etc, are based on sex. Sex sells, even if it's in black-and-white and sold in high-brow circles as "art".

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FAIL

Re: The Guardian?

You anger at... whatever... appears to be making you unable to form coherent thoughts.

There are a couple of problems such as:

1) Why shouldn't I be able to sneer at popular opinion if I want to? Popular opinion says Eastenders and X Factor is worth my time to watch. I disagree.

2) In the concept of reporting "things that happen" where does "things I wish had happened" come into it?

Please go away and sit quietly and have a little think about what you're actually trying to say and it might make some sort of sense.

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Re: The Guardian?

"losing far more circulation compared to other papers".

Not trolling, but where did you get this information? Genuinely interested.

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Re: @Ledswinger

"ITV is free, BBC isn't. Both have funding mechanisms, but I can avoid that for ITV if I so wish."

I realise this is something of a digression but this statement really is not true.

The cost of the advertising is paid by the consumer of the advertised item or service.

So even if you eschew television altogether (and stop paying the licence fee) you'd still be funding ITV assuming you drive a car, shop in a supermarket, heat your home with gas or main electricity etc

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WTF?

@Gnomalarta 09:33

"If you think that the Guardian and the BBC are left wing you be rather young."

Not at all, old lad.

I'm well into my sixties, and still view the Grauniad as Pravda or Isvastia.

As Mr Orlowski writes, "Leigh doesn't quite see it like that. As far as he's concerned, his work has a higher moral purpose - so any taxation to keep him in work can be justified."

This smug arrogant conceit, matched with an overwhelming but misplaced sense of entitlement - shared in spades by Ms Toynbee & other Grauniad writers - could well be the reason why its circulation is moving like a lemming at the seaside.

There are enough taxes spent on twats already, without adding to them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Guardian?

The guardian's target audience is, as you state, a small number of north London types, well paid, middle class, middle brow. But not remotely left wing.

They like the idea of "poor people" even "multiculturalism" as long as they can be viewed, and patronised, at arms length. And doesn't prevent them going on long haul holidays, eating at expensive restaurants etc.

About as left wing as Clarkson, though unlike him, painfully deceitful about it.

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Re: A radical new idea

strange that i get my news from the beeb which i pay for, IT side from reg and others which are ad supported so pay with my eye balls. why should everyone pay for an industry that won't modernize? should there be (another) tax on petrol to pay for horse and buggy operators? what about a big tax on TV to make up for the loss of radio audience?

boo hoo your golden days are behind you, do you think IBM would still be in business if they demanded everyone making these new fangled electronic computers pay them for continuing to manufacture mechanical ones? modernise or die off

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Pint

Re: The Guardian?

"Well there's old left , ie socialist , and new left/labour which is the liberal left. The old left is more about workers rights and economic policy , the new left is ... well I'm not quite sure what they're about apart from dismantling the fabric of society and a sneering disregard for popular opinion."

What the current Labour policies are has no bearing on what Socialism/Leftism and Liberalism is, no more than changing winds have any influence on Where North and East are. Just because the Labour Party are doing it, it doesn't mean it's Left Wing. It generally means that it's more moderate-Right, these days. You might think New Labour Liberal Left, but the idea of National ID cards and kicking off two wars isn't very Liberal to my mind.

I believe there's actually a political wordy-thingy about just this kind of thing and the slippage of policies and definitions based on current trends. Buggered if I can remember what it is, though.

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Holmes

Re: The Guardian?

"Now, if the Guardian had some writers - maybe even just one - of the calibre of Mr Shaw"

The Guardian does do some amazing pieces of investigative journalism. I'm thinking of the Trafigura incident, and the oil company's attempts to mute them, in particular. These pieces are great journalism, and exactly the kind of thing that our media SHOULD be uncovering.

However, they tend to be vastly outnumbered by impractical rhetoric and opinion pieces with no bearing in reality. As a NEWSpaper, the Guardian is better than most. As a mouthpiece of opinion... it's whingy opinions suck balls and are totally divorced from the reality as experienced by most of the world's population.

I just can't bear to look at it any more.

"'educated-and-pretending-to-be-caring-out-of-a-sense-of-moral-superiority' lefties"

Again; it's more Liberal than Leftist. It pains me to admit any kind of personal tie to the Guardian, but their politics are much more Liberal than Socialist. Just very extreme Liberal.

"You may think that unfortunate, but those are evidently the popular areas where people are still willing to pay for a paper."

Yes: I do consider it unfortunate that much of the population gives far more of a shit about what colour shirt a ignorant, racist toss-pot will be wearing to kick a ball next year than actual real-world affairs. That said: Perhaps it's better that people *don't* get their news from lying butt-weasel tabloids which tell people what to think instead of telling them the truth and letting them decide.

I'm aware that sex sells, thanks.

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Stop

Re: @Gnomalarta 09:33

"I'm well into my sixties, and still view the Grauniad as Pravda or Isvastia."

That's not at all the case, though. Just because your own policies are perhaps neither Liberal nor Socialist, it isn't correct to lump both together in one political category of "Lefty-Hippy-shite stuff that I don't like".

"As Mr Orlowski writes"

Andrew's views are far from impartial or moderate and I personally find enormously conceited, too. So quoting him isn't going to win me over to anything.

That said: Fuck funding the Guardian from my pocket. Fuck it in it's whinging arsehole.

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Angel

Re: @Payx

"So quoting him isn't going to win me over to anything."

I can only quote Mr Rhett Butler - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn". I'm stating my point of view, not preaching to win converts. You disagree? - I am, like the esteemed Mr Mandelson, intensely relaxed about it.

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Re: @Ledswinger

Although if you go into the supermarket and explain that you don't watch ITV they will knock 2p off a mars bar.

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Alert

Re: The Guardian?@ Gnomalarta

"Most of the population do not read the Sun, quite a few do look at the pictures"

Which leads on to an interesting point, that grumble browsing is a very popular online pursuit, and as far as I can see several peta-tissues* of bongo are free. I know many of these sites have subscription offers, but I can't really see anyone needing to subscribe, so what's the real funding model there? Could the curious economics of the dark side be the saviour of the Graun?

* The SI unit for That Sort of Content

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Re: A radical new idea

I've just listened to the Media Show on Radio 4 (the other story covered was Keith Allen on drugs on Channel 4, shock horror) and the Guardian spokesman didn't make a convincing case, with large gaps in their plan just glossed over- such as, who decides who gets the cash?

Maybe a universal micro-payments scheme could work. But instead of buying the 'album', might people just buy the 'single'? I.e pay 50p a month to read the Steve Bell cartoon, and not bother with the rest of the newspaper.

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Pint

Re: @Payx

"I can only quote Mr Rhett Butler - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn". I'm stating my point of view, not preaching to win converts."

Oh, quite: If you want to receive your news from a biased viewpoint which merely reinforces your own opinions and seldom causes you consternation, that's totally your own business. As a rabid Liberal I totally respect and support your right to do so. Just as I respect the right of more insipid and 'right on' Liberals to read the crap printed in the Guardian, and for it to exist as an institution *As long as I don't have to pay for it to*.

It's just that I personally prefer to be fed facts in a fairly neutral way and then I make my own mind up. I like opinion pieces to consist of a small side-bar, clearly labelled, which I can avoid.

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Stop

Re: The Guardian?

You anger at... whatever... appears to be making you unable to form coherent thoughts.

There are a couple of problems such as:

1) Why shouldn't I be able to sneer at popular opinion if I want to? Popular opinion says Eastenders and X Factor is worth my time to watch. I disagree.

2) In the concept of reporting "things that happen" where does "things I wish had happened" come into it?

Please go away and sit quietly and have a little think about what you're actually trying to say and it might make some sort of sense."

You are free to sneer at whatever you want, and while I may (or may not) disagree with said sneering, I have no overt objection to it. So please, sneer away!

What I do vehemently object to, is being taxed to pay you to do said sneering. Either find someone who WANTs to pay you to sneer, or get a real job and fund your sneering yourself. In any event, I'd rather not have my options be "pay you for it" or "go to jail"

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Re: A radical new idea

"To be fair, most broadband users don't pay for the information/news content they use."

Yes they do. That's why there's advertising on the web pages they use.

Traditionally a newspaper was 100% paid from advertising revenue before the presses even started turning and the cover price was set because people value something they paid for more than something they get for free.

The fix for losing money is to raise the cover price or get more advertising (or both), not to be bailed out by the taxpayer because they're still making buggy whips in a world of automobiles.

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Re: A radical new idea

"pay 50p a month to read the Steve Bell cartoon, and not bother with the rest of the newspaper."

Which might just encourage Mr Bell to branch off into his own website where he can get all of that 50p, instead of 0.5p of it.

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Happy

Re: Re: @Payx

".....I like opinion pieces to consist of a small side-bar, clearly labelled......" I thought the whole "The Guardian" label at the top of every page was a pretty good indicator of what needed to be avoided.

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Boffin

Re: The Guardian?

The best definition of the difference between Right-wing and Left-wing politics that I know states that there are two fundamental competing political aims involved in running a society - freedom and equality.

These aims compete because, given absolute freedom, a society would soon end up with very unequal balances of wealth, opportunity, etc. But if you want to achieve absolute equality between people you will need to remove most of the freedoms they currently have, to force them to be equal according to some pre-defined set of rules.

In reality, of course, few people advocate an extreme of either position. But a right-wing view would hold that, in general, freedom is more important than equality, while a left-wing view would hold the opposite.

This is why a typical left wing approach to the issue of failing newspapers suggests maintaining 'equality' of income by enforcing a tax, while a typical right wing approach would be to point out their 'freedom' to develop new business models, and let them fail if they were unwilling to do so...

Using this definition, the Guardian is certainly left-wing.

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Re: The Guardian?

"Not trolling, but where did you get this information? Genuinely interested."

Ever heard of google?

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Flame

Re: @Payx

"..It's just that I personally prefer to be fed facts in a fairly neutral way and then I make my own mind up. I like opinion pieces to consist of a small side-bar, clearly labelled, which I can avoid..."

Alas, this world was not made for one as simplistic as you..

If I want to support the Climate Change hypothesis I can easily marshal one set of facts to 'prove' my opinions. And if I disbelieve in it I can easily find another set of facts that proves the opposite. Both those sets of facts have been provided to me courtesy of the OPINION of the person who created the paper.

What you are saying in practice is that you would like to be fed facts with which you agree, and not hear anything else.

You will very soon find. if you really want to make up your mind in a 'neutral' way, that you need to read both the facts and opinions you agree with AND the ones you disagree with. Having let both sides make their cases, you are in a position to understand where each are coming from and balance their competing assertions. Since opinions are the things which drive the collection of facts, you really do need to read those so you can see why you are being presented with a particular sub-set of facts.

As someone possibly more to the right of the political spectrum than you, who values the freedom to make up my own mind, I find that it is essential that I listen to both sides of an argument. If I just accept one side's 'facts', then I really have no mind of my own and am just repeating someone else's prejudices...

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Re: A radical new idea@Dave 126

"Maybe a universal micro-payments scheme could work. But instead of buying the 'album', might people just buy the 'single'? I.e pay 50p a month to read the Steve Bell cartoon, and not bother with the rest of the newspaper."

They certainly would buy the single, which is the whole magic of it. And that 50p the Graun get is still ten shillings that otherwise they didn't have. Makes all the content PAYG, so if few people really want to read the Graun opinionistas output (as most of us commentards believe), then they'll soon find themselves being offered less money or even shown the door. Likewise I'd guess that the Scum's columnists will find that they are out of a job in days. And since, as I conceive it, the scheme would be pay per page view, you wouldn't pay a 50p per month sub for Steve Bell, you would pay however much per page view that includes Steve Bell, and thus don't pay for those days you don't view.

There's a dilemma for relatively higher cost reporting. Take personal finance coverage, which probably gets far fewer views than news, sport or tattle. But that's for the providers to resolve - reduce the cost, split articles across pages to increase the revenue, better and more targeted advertising as a supplement to the page view income, etc

Where this might lead, who knows? Although the cost per page might be low enough that it won't have any impact on reading patterns, the publishers will have the hard facts about how much revenue they make per page or article and that will certainly lead to changes. At the moment they probably are in denial about the fact that certain columnists are read by nobodyat all.

So I guess few people will want to pay for detailed political coverage, unless there's some scandal of some sort, and in the medium term that might lead to a democratic issue. A welcome benefit of a more discriminating (or simply better understood) readership would be that the useless padding bits of publications would bite the dust - like the FT's sickmaking "How to spend it" supplements, the Graun and Torygraph's fashion sections, the property sections of most papers, and so forth. Sport fans could have their poison, and I could avoid it.

I think, on the basis of the debate thus far, that the Graun £2 levy is indeed something that suits them not us. A standard PPV solution would certainly give them and others an income stream, so nobody who doesn't want to pay has to use it (freetards rejoice!), anybody who does want to read stuff can do, and publishers who wish to remain free to web could stay that way. But, like the music industry, I suspect the news media will be busy trying to preserve the old world, rather than to adapt to the new.

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Holmes

Re: @Payx

"Alas, this world was not made for one as simplistic as you."

Quite. But that should not stifle my ideals or desires.

"What you are saying in practice is that you would like to be fed facts with which you agree, and not hear anything else."

That's not what I said, if you care to read it and gain inference from my opinion of news which merely confirms existing opinion or bias. I want facts, and I don't mind my opinions being challenged, so long as the factual content is there to back it up. If I merely want to feel great and have my opinions reinforced, then I'll just cut out the effort of reading and go and have a wank.

"You will very soon find. if you really want to make up your mind in a 'neutral' way, that you need to read both the facts and opinions you agree with AND the ones you disagree with... [lecture on how to form rational opinions et al]"

Yeah: I know. I inferred that. And I have a hard sciences background.

I'm also 40, so there's no real need to patronise me.

Taking it a stage further; in my opinion, the best way to form an opinion is to get off the couch and experience the sharp-end for oneself, instead of making judgements from the sofa. Doing so will also provide a very stark illustration about how selective, biased and outright dishonest the media is in reporting. I mistrust the media so much mainly because every time major events unfurled around me, what was reporting in the news bore no bearing to the actuality. Thus - to my perception - the media has a 100% fault rate.

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FAIL

Uh... NO!

I already object to being forced to pay a fee to the BBC for their unmitigated tripe.

(Doctor Who excluded, of course)

I'll be damned if I'm paying an enforced tax to keep papers like the Sun and Mail afloat.

David Leigh... kiss my shiny metal ass!!!

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Trollface

Re: Uh... NO!

"(Doctor Who excluded, of course)" -- Not been watching the latest series then, it's terrible.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uh... NO!

If I thought it would kill the Grauniad, I'd even be prepared to cancel my broadband for 6 months...

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Happy

Re: Uh... NO!

Another use for some copypasta:

It may or may not be a tax, but the important thing is that it's voluntary.

I have no TV, and no licence (TVL) either (although neither of those facts necessarily implies the other).

Some (possibly) interesting facts:

Most of what is on broadcast TV is available on iplayer, or similar services.

Having a TV without a TVL is perfectly legal.

Only watching or recording TV programmes as they are being broadcast requires a TVL.

Letters demanding purchase of a TVL are full of descriptions of fines, court appearances and make much use of the words "could", "may", "up to", and "possibly"; but very rarely words such as "will", "at least", and "certainly".

The "enforcers" who go door-to-door to addresses without a TVL have no right to force entry to buildings - if they are told to go away, they should. (A better response is probably "No thank you, I don't need one." or something similar.)

Their questions have no legal requirement to be answered.

They receive commission on every TVL they sell.

To actually enter a building without the consent of its owners or residents they need to have the police with them.

They cannot do this without evidence that TV is being watched or recorded as it is being broadcast at that address. This evidence could be as trivial as something stupid admitted by one of the occupants in response to insistent questioning.

In summary, you probably don't need to pay for a TV Licence.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Uh... NO!

Do you watch anything on iplayer or other similar online TV systems ?

If so you need a TV license

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Boffin

Re: Uh... NO!

Only if it's live.

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Headmaster

Re: Uh... NO!

You do not need a TV license to watch catch up programmes on the BBC I-player. From the BBC website:

"You do not need a television licence to catch-up on television programmes in BBC iPlayer, only when you watch or record at the same time (or virtually the same time) as it is being broadcast or otherwise distributed to the public. In BBC iPlayer, this is through the Watch Live simulcast option.

Anyone in the UK watching or recording television as it's being broadcast or simulcast on any device - including mobiles, laptops and PCs - must, by law, be covered by a valid TV licence."

So no live Olympics without a TV license but you can still get all the Doctor Who once it's up.

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dak
FAIL

Re: Uh... NO!

No you don't, as long as you don't watch or record live transmissions.

Viewing recorded material is free from any licensing.

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Re: Uh... NO!

On the contrary sir, whilst last week's resorted to the tired old "sonic screwdriver'll fix this!" ending, so far this season has been a BIG improvement on the last!

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::sighs::

The old guard(ian) just don't get it.

Bottom line: My screen, my rules. Adverts don't work as a source of income in this medium, at least over the long-haul.

If you have content that nobody else does[1], I'll purchase a subscription to your "magazine".

[1] Hint: You don't. Nobody does.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ::sighs::

Adverts do work, the problem is most adverts are for nothing I would buy, and that IS when I don't clean cookies...

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Unique content

The news is (mostly) copy/pasted from Reuters, AFP, etc (and ElReg from time to time) - you may as well go there direct if that's what you want. But there is still investigative journalism, which (if you want it) needs to be paid for somehow, and unique content in the form of editorial comment, which is why (some) people pay for the Grauniad rather than the Times/Sun/Mail.

The real purpose of the proposed levy is to allow GMG to keep Rusbridger, Polly Twaddle, Old Uncle Moonbat and all in fine wines and Tuscan villas, while churning out hypocritical why-oh-why pieces about the rich and tax evaders. Personally, I'd be happy to pay £2 a month never to hear from them again.

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Re: ::sighs::

"Adverts don't work as a source of income in this medium, at least over the long-haul."

Works just fine for the Daily Fail.

They figured out that they can get just as many page views by posting extremist bile trolling as they can by encouraging a loyal readership.

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Re: ::sighs::

"If you have content that nobody else does[1], I'll purchase a subscription to your "magazine".

[1] Hint: You don't. Nobody does."

Well, they do, of course. I imagine you don't have the opportunity to read that newspaper so you ignorance is understandable.

Some of it is even worse reading.

So I think you are right (by accident) in this case - the money is there and the will to spend is there but there's no desire to fund the existence of the institution as a whole.

I buy a weekend newspaper and enough parts of it are of value to me that I consider the price of the whole worth paying.

However I would much prefer a tailored version that omitted the majority of the newspaper that does not get read.

Online systems allow this, of course, and if there was a suitable micropayment process would fund those parts of the organisation that enough people considered worth reading.

The Reg makes a perfectly valid point that it deserves funding at least as much as any other commercial information / opinion provider and if there was some way of funding this fairly I'd be all for it.

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