Crap Journalism – Would you pay for it? (nudge, wink)


When I started this intended-to-be-a-running-feature, I was envisaging exploding at least once a week and more often at the crap that populates the Guardian these days. But perhaps I’ve become much mellower, or maybe it’s because I nowadays really don’t have any interest in most of what they pass off as journalism.

To take a current example, there’s a piece on the website today about ‘Critic-proof TV’, listing various shows that are slaughtered by the critics but which people not only watch and enjoy but, in the case of Mrs Brown’s Boys, have actually voted Best Sitcom.

That’s the peg for the article, but among these critic-proof shows is my own favourite, The Big Bang Theory. And I simply don’t give a toss that the critics don’t like it. I have made up my own mind about this, and that is good enough for me. I do not need or find validation in people agreeing with me, nor feel any threat from those who disagree.

And it’s like that about so many things. So many features and articles that are completely unnecessary, or which are nothing more than fluff that pretends to an authority that would be spurious if it were at all relevant. Think that way if you want (or if you really do and aren’t merely maintaining an attitude in order to generate clickbait for the advertisers).

But today I’ve become conscious of a seemingly new feature. At the bottom of many articles on the website there is a new exhortation. If you’ve used this, it suggests, why not support it? And there are a list of links ranging from £25 to £250.

Yes, the Guardian is now so desperate for money that it’s resorted to asking its web-page audience to pay for what it reads.

Maybe that’s understandable, but what is unbelievable is that all manner of useless, badly-written, off-key, skewed and inconsequential pieces are being rated as worth £25 – at least – to be read. And the notion that this ludicrous piece of celebrity-lite smoke-blowing is worth £250 – yes, just consider that for a second, £250 – is the very definition of crap journalism.

The Guardian was once a worth-while and valid paper. It has turned into a pandering, increasingly right-wing piece of birdcage lining, where only the sports section, and the crossword are worth perusing. I resent the payment I make for having a crossword to plug away at at lunch, and I certainly wouldn’t pay £25 for anything the Guardian has published since Hugo Young passed on.

If I’m being asked to read Crap Journalism, then it’s they who should be paying me.

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7 thoughts on “Crap Journalism – Would you pay for it? (nudge, wink)

  1. Sounds as if the Guardian’s take on The Big Bang Theory caused you to explode! I’ve never seen these requests for article payments – perhaps you’re using the app, whereas I only browse the desktop site. Think of it as just another advert – to be ignored!
    IMO It would be the end of the world if we lost the Guardian, frustrating / boring as it may sometimes be. Where else would one go for a daily, left-leaning newspaper, on paper? I don’t accept your ‘right-wing piece of birdcage lining”. Perhaps it’s not as left-leaning as you would like, but surely it’s leaning left, a bit.

  2. Actually, it didn’t. I genuinely do shrug such things off. TBBT’s been critically slaughtered for years now and it still makes me laugh uproariously, which is all the opinion I need.

    As for the Guardian generally, I have been reading it for 35 years now. It used to suit me perfectly, which is to say that it was ideal from a wet liberal perspective. Now, and ever since the 2010 election, it has failed spectacularly to challenge right-wing ideas that it would have once weighed against, it has accepted PR and propoganda from Government figures without question whilst challenging anything left of centre on any ground no matter how spurious, and its once wholly-admirable support for women’s issues has developed into a narrow-minded determination to treat the most minor of issues as the most heinous of chauvinistic backlash.

    I no longer see the Guardian as left-leaning: if it did collapse, I would miss the crosswords, the Killer Sudokus and the sports pages, but nothing else.

    I’m not even much enamoured of the arts and TV sections any more. Take the fool Stuart Heritage’s latest piece on Mrs Brown’s Boys, headed in a not-in-the-slightest-bit patronising fashion about how he tries to come to terms with people finding it funny. I don’t find it funny, but I don’t sneer at anyone who does.

    No, these pleas for money were on the desktop site, when I was checking in from work. Since then, on my laptop at home (on which I have Ad Blocker), I don’t see any figures, just a rather whiny little guilt trip, pointedly reminding me that now I’ve used this, I should pay for it. It’s only fair… In the case of the article about how to make the X-Factor more relevant, you’d have to be into the upper three figures before you could pay me to read it.

  3. I think the Guardian has given an awful lot of aid and comfort to the ‘enemy’ this decade, Mike, and it employs more right-oriented journalists that it ever did before. Rafael Behr worked for the coward Cameron, he’s not going to represent a left-liberal viewpoint, is he?

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