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Sunday 15 March 2020

Telegraph Hancock Paywall Shame

It is not for nothing that Zelo Street describes the Telegraph titles as increasingly desperate and downmarket. Because they are: downmarket because poorly-informed opinion has replaced the good, factual and informed journalism for which the papers were rightly famous, and desperate because there are few avenues the titles’ management will not explore in an effort to keep the money rolling in.
That includes the use of a paywall for what the Tel likes to tell its readers is “Premium” content, but all too often is no more than the rantings of piss-poor pundits like Christopher “No” Hope, failed politicians like Dan, Dan The Oratory Man, and the deeply intolerant Allison Pearson. It also included - briefly - an attempt to make money out of the latest advice from health secretary Matt Hancock in today’s paper.
Hancock had laid out the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic, telling readers “The coronavirus outbreak is the biggest public health emergency in a generation. It calls for dramatic action, at home and abroad, of the kind not normally seen in peacetime. Our goal is clear. The over-riding objective is to protect life”. There was more.
We have a plan, based on the expertise of world-leading scientists. Herd immunity is not a part of it. That is a scientific concept, not a goal or a strategy. Our goal is to protect life from this virus, our strategy is to protect the most vulnerable and protect the NHS through contain, delay, research and mitigate … We are working through our clear action plan”.
His article contained important information. So it was good that the Tel had given him a platform through which to disseminate it. What was not good was that the article was initially put behind the paywall. So when he Tweeted out “My Telegraph article on the next stage of our [Coronavirus] plan: We must all do everything in our power to protect lives”, there was immediate and severely adverse comment.
James Felton asked pointedly “Could you maybe write this somewhere without a fucking paywall? This is an explanation of a plan that could cost or save lives during a pandemic, not Premium Content”. Rachel Sweeney of ITV added, on a more mundane but highly relevant note, “I wish they'd address the nation on a more accessible platform. My Nana doesn't know how to access a pay wall article online”.
James O’Brien spoke for many when he observed “It has been rectified belatedly but asking us to give money to the Barclay brothers in order to read what the Health Secretary has to say about an unprecedented health crisis is inexpressibly awful”. Dead right it is. For starters, Hancock should have been making his information available on a public information website, or via the Government, not in the Telegraph.
And putting it behind a paywall - until the outcry forced the Tel’s hand and had it made available to all - was beyond the pale. But it shows why I call the paper desperate.

That other papers, and broadcasters, haven’t condemned the Tel just makes it worse.
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Anonymous said...

There's something really creepy-weird about the look and sound of Hancock.

Maybe he's just a fucked-up CGI creation like the suspected alien Mike Pence in the Land Of The Fee, Home Of The Knave.

Anonymous said...

Politicians still doing their bit for the media.
They are after all will in the phone hacking shit together - which is far from going away.

As for the Daily Mail journo approaching an infected MP - they should have the DM.office shutdown as a precautionary measure.

I'll request my MP to do it.

Let's see how serious they take it.

There is enough risk from them as it is.

As for Boris demanding sackings and pillaging his way through politics, they should a tell him to fuck off!

Why haven't they?
They'll continue taking it up the ass as they keep expecting the country to take it up the ass.

Arnold said...

First anon. Hancock always looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights.

Anonymous said...

"We must all do everything within our power to protect lives"

Please leave your message after the tone and somebody might get back to you.

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