Webometric Thoughts

May 20, 2009

Daily Mail v. the iPlayer

Filed under: Daily Mail,iPlayer,tv licence — admin @ 9:22 am

Back in January 2008, Ashley Highfield claimed that:

…the number of homes that currently have no television licence, but that do have broadband subscription is currently estimated to be infinitesimally small.

It didn’t take a genius to recognize that this group would increase; in fact I said as much in December when I no longer needed a TV licence myself (although I still buy one). Unsurprisingly, as the ‘infinitesimally small’ group shows signs of increasing suggestions are being made about needing a licence for iPlayer content. According to the Daily Mail:

BBC technology chief Erik Huggers said: ‘My view is that if you are using the iPlayer you have to be a television licence fee payer.

‘I don’t believe in a free ride. If you are consuming BBC services then you have to be a licence holder.’

A fairly reasonable position in my view. In the changing world of television and news production and consumption we rely increasingly on services like the BBC to produce high-quality content; the commercial models are increasingly failing. In fact I would personally go further, arguing for an increase in the licence fee.

However, such a position puts me in opposition to the always-irrational Daily Mail. Until the BBC replace the ONE show with ‘Asylum Criminals: The truth about illegal immigrants’, the Daily Mail will always hate the Beeb. Huggers suggestion that iPlayer viewers pay a licence fee quickly gets expanded upon:

If he were to have his way, possible changes to the fee could include:

* Viewers having to buy an extra licence just for the iPlayer
* Increasing the cost of the current TV licence to include the iPlayer
* Forcing viewers to pay a subscription to use the iPlayer service

If Huggers was suggesting any of these changes the Daily Mail failed to include the appropriate quotes. It would be equally meaningful to say possible changes could include “Hanging for watching iPlayer without TV licence”; possible, but highly unlikely. The second suggestion “Increasing the cost of the current TV licence to include the iPlayer” is particularly stupid as the current TV licence already includes the cost of the iPlayer!

Obviously the Daily Mail readers read the article rationally and take the Daily Mail bias into consideration:

Obviously not.
[Disclaimer: As a licence fee payer interested in quality TV and news I have a vested interested in the BBC. As a human being I have a vested interest in pointing out that the Daily Mail is a piece of crap written for idiots.]

March 30, 2009

Social Media MA: Only idiots/Daily-Mail-readers object

Filed under: Daily Mail,Social Media — admin @ 9:40 am

In a world of rapid change the Daily Mail and it’s reactionary readers provide a consistent rock of stupidity; today it’s their response to an MA in Social Media. I would have thought it was impossible to refute the importance of understanding the role of social media in today’s society, but both the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph manage to refute its importance with the comments of an idiotic student with obviously no understanding of academia:

Virtually all of the content of this course is so basic it can be self taught…In fact most people know all this stuff already. I think it’s a complete waste of university resources.

Being able to use blogs, social networks, twitter, wikis, podcasts etc, is obviously not the same as understanding the role they play in society, but acknowledging that would have got in the way of a ‘good’ story. Obviously it is only a good story for the ‘gone to hell in a handcart’ brigade, but those are idiots who read the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

What always amazes me about the Daily Mail is that the readers are actually worse than the journalists! Why do they think they are profound and witty when the comments merely express their own ignorance? Sometimes I join them in believing the world has gone to hell in a handcart, but that is due to my despairing at the ignorance of so many at a time of so much opportunity.

Personally my favourite comment is the one by Rick from Newcastle:

This is for humans with an IQ of less than 20 ??

I choose to believe he is referring to placing comments on the Daily Mail site rather than the MA course.

If you want to make your own mind up about the course there is a makeshift video introduction:

Obviously the Daily Mail didn’t link to the video, that would have been proper journalism.

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