Wednesday, January 30, 2013

When is News News?

Wednesday, 30th January 2013: It used to be that you got news almost a day late, a daily paper, sometimes an evening paper and the 9 o’ clock news at the end of the day (or Ten o’ clock).  Even the television tended to report “old” news – satellite broadcasts were far and few between and live inserts into news programs were also sparse and prone to failure. Before my time Newspapers seemed to overly respectful printing what was acceptable

Roll on the clock umpty years and we have all sorts of “news” clammering for our attention.  Broadcast TV now offers 24 hours news and live broadcasts from all over the world. We have the Internet, providing an outlet for the TV News organisations, Newspaper organisations and citizen news through Blogging and Microblogging. Last, but not least, we still have some news papers some keeping pace with the change.

So it is no surprise that the companies that supply the news are seeking their niche. The newspapers used to align themselves on a class basis. The Sun became infamous for Page Three, which was hardly news, but when I was a teenager it was quite an eye opener!  It seems that the fight for survival. The Internet is an important part of the battle with organisations such as The Times operating a paywall although that experiment has still to run. (I often linked to Times’ stories until the advent of their paywall.)

One of the more popular forays into the Internet has been that of the Daily Mail, which saw its number of unique browsers pass the million mark in August last year. Of course those eyeballs still need to be turned into revenue.

The other factor that has evolved is the way we receive our news, paper, computer, tablet and smartphone.

In my case I tend to reference The Times, Cycling Cities Fit for Cycling stuff, which is the bit not behind a paywall. It is good to see a national newspaper take a stand such as this one.  I also link to daily Mail stories. Now I have to admit I find the Daily Mail’s slant on things rather odd, but they have good pictures and amusing headlines. My perception is that they are general pro-motorist and ambivalent to slightly positive about cycling, but flip-flop around a bit.

I also link to the Cambridge News, they used to be the Cambridge Evening News – but that niche can’t have been very profitable. They are local and so topical and since cycling is an important feature of Cambridge life they feature it quite a lot. My perception is that they don’t have a position as such on cycling, They do, in common with many newspapers have a motoring feature and presumably make money from car advertisements. It seems to me that, judging from the comments that some of their news stories excite they seem to inflame the cyclist-motorist antipathy.

I do also read sites such as including the Cambridge Cycling Campaign, RTaylor, Radwagon, Cottenham Cyclist and Travelling the Cambridgeshire guided Busway to name a few local sites. Note the Busway cycle track is flooded again TtCGB.

No – you haven’t started reading he wrong blog. So why all this rabbiting on about the news. Well two posts – Cambridge News just don’t let up... and Boycott Cambridge News! Both bemoaning the way the local pay seems to stir up the cyclist-motorist antipathy. Now I have a lot of sympathy for local newspapers, life is tough however I am going to try to avoid linking to the Cambridge News for February.  I don’t dislike the paper, just the way in which they consider the issues of cycling. #boycottCN

So that means not looking at the website as well as not linking to it. What I can do is see what interesting stories they Tweet and then seek out other reports of the same news – or is that cheating?

To finish some snow pictures: (although the temperature is an un-seasonal 13oC).

Snowed on Snowman

We have had a lot of fine snow with little wind.

Thick layer of snow on a table

I hope this doesn’t die after the bad weather.

Tropical Snow?

Bleak fields

The “flatlands of Cambridgeshire”

Snow or cotton wool?

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