The End of Newspaper Delivery

We’ve been getting The Guardian delivered on Saturdays for several years. Not any other days, because who has time to read paper newspapers except at the weekend? But it’s great to get up and have the paper there to read over breakfast.

Sadly, a couple of weeks back we got a note with our delivery:

Sorry, we are stopping deliveries from the 1st of October.

Not too surprising, I suppose. It’s hard to imagine that enough people get deliveries to make it worth’s their time and effort. And it’s not like they’re going out of business: they’ll still be selling papers, just not delivering them.

So I suppose we’ll have to go out and buy the paper on Saturday mornings, like it’s the — actually, not like it’s the past at all. I’d bet that there have been newspaper deliveries as long as there have been newspapers.

Still, it’s not like they’ve stopped everywhere. I expect there are still a few places out there that still deliver. But what next? Will our milkman stop delivering?1

In this golden age of home deliveries, remember that we depend on people being willing and able.

  1. Yes, we get milk delivered three times a week, since you ask. 
The End of Newspaper Delivery

Boycott News International for life? I already did.

There’s a campaign on Facebook encouraging people to boycott News International papers for life. I’m way ahead of them. I don’t touch anything from the Murdoch empire.1

I haven’t ever since the days of the Tories. Err, the old days of the Tories, I mean: the eighties; Thatcher; all that stuff we thought we’d done away with in 1997.

My reasons are much the same as those I wrote about in my [fourth ever blog entry]( Then, I was talking about the Saatchis, and how their name was anathema to me, because of the fact that they had helped the Tories get in all through the Eighties.

I have long held a similar despite for the Murdoch papers; enhanced by the tabloid ones being such trivial pedlars of rubbish and prurience. 2

My kids occasionally complain about the fact that we don’t have Sky, but there are so many channels on Freeview (and Friends and My Name Is Earl are on E4 so often) that I don’t think they really mind.

And I must confess that, until the now-aborted bid to take 100% ownership of Sky, I thought Murdoch _did_ own all of it. Turns out we could have watched 60% of it for all those years.

No matter how negatively I feel towards the organisation and its organs, though, I would never have expected the degree of criminality that they were apparently practising; just as no matter how negatively I might sometimes have felt about the police, I wouldn’t have expected such casual corruption from them. In the end I think we’ll understand that the police taking money from journalists is the worst thing about all this.

And yet on some level I can’t say I’m that surprised; disappointed, certainly, but not really surprised.

It’s all unravelling now, though, and we watch with joy and bated breath.

  1. OK, I admit it: they own some book publishers, and I don’t avoid buying those. We can’t all be perfect. []
  2. Though all tabloids are like that, to be fair. []
Boycott News International for life? I already did.

World of the Newspaper

I’m sure we all use the word “disgusted” too easily. But I felt physically sick when I first heard about the News of the World (or someone working on its behalf) allegedly ‘hacking’ Milly Dowler’s phone.

It’s only a few days since her murderer was convicted, and now this comes down. It’s hard to believe that anyone, in any occupation can sink so low. But of course, it gets worse: they seem to have done it to the families of other murdered girls, too.

Oh, obviously they’re not as low as the bampots who actually did the murders. But not by much.

I’m a profound believer in free speech, and know that a free press is essential to a functioning democracy. But shit like this works against those noble ideals. It’s not exercising our freedoms to ensure that we keep them; it’s abusing them, and so making it more likely that they’ll be curtailed.

Because the backlash is coming, News Corp; already advertisers are starting to withdraw from your spiteful rag. (And I hope that some good can come of this: that the public will finally see what hideous, mean-spirited rags tabloid papers are, and start to boycott them.) But bigger than that is that fact there is now bound to be an inquiry.

And it seems to me that there is a strong chance that such an inquiry will recommend introducing some kind of statutory regulation of newspapers. And then we’d all suffer.

World of the Newspaper