When I first read David Leigh’s desperate plea to save the sinking ship known as the Guardian Group – which reported a year-end loss of £75.6m, and continues to lose readers – what struck me most was the comically self-important tone of the narrative.
Leigh, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger’s brother-in-law, in ‘A £2 a month levy on broadband could save our newspapers‘, Sept. 23, begins his piece, thus:
Having survived more than 40 years at the coalface of British journalism (longer than a term of service in the ancient Roman army), I have been feeling a bit depressed lately by the insistent predictions of media pundits that the internet is killing off quality newspapers
Yes, by “quality newspapers” he’s referring to the Guardian.
According to conventional wisdom, print is doomed. Circulations are collapsing because readers can get everything they want on the internet.
What does the end of print papers like the Guardian portend?
Yet when the day comes that the newspapers are forced to stop printing altogether, it will be a disaster for democracy
Yes, of course. The Guardian’s financial woes aren’t merely a problem for their shrinking staff and dwindling readers, but a dangerous omen for the future of the liberal West.
Leigh then offers a solution:
A small levy on UK broadband providers – no more than £2 a month on each subscriber’s bill – could be distributed to news providers in proportion to their UK online readership. This would solve the financial problems of quality newspapers, whose readers are not disappearing, but simply migrating online.
As The Sun so succinctly put it:
THOSE deluded and arrogant hand-wringers at The Guardian have come up with a bonkers scheme to impose a tax on broadband users to fund money-haemorrhaging publications like their own.
We have a more sensible proposal. Why not simply put together a product that excites and engages the British public.
Improve the product? Now there’s an idea.
They could begin by addressing their sloppy journalism and extreme left ideology, toning down their obsessive focus on one particular cause, and ceasing to rally to the defense of illiberal, racist activists – thus giving more credibility to their claim of being a “liberal” broadsheet.
But, this is the Guardian, after all – a media group with an institutional reluctance to engage in anything approaching introspection, self-examination or humility.
Indeed, evidence that the Guardian won’t soon engage in an organizational soul-searching can be found in this recent story published by the Press Gazette.
The story begins:
The Guardian today confirmed it is moving into the training business by offering a master’s degree in journalism with digital media in conjunction with Cardiff University.
The course is set to start in September 2013 and is likely to be based at The Guardian’s Kings Place HQ and at another central London location.
Guardian News and Media is continuing to cut staff in order to reduce losses…so it may be that the course makes use of vacant space at Kings Place.”
So, the Guardian’s hubris is such that, not only have they failed to recognize a need to radically change course, but are convinced that aspiring British journalists should heed their example and boldly follow their shining path towards complete irrelevance.
To those who are so inclined, please let us know, in our comment section, the following:
What courses would a Guardian masters degree offer?
What books would be included in the syllabus reading list?
And, which Guardian Left ‘experts’ can we expect to be appointed as lecturers?
- Guardian Wants Broadband Poll Tax Bailout (order-order.com)
- Sun Roasts Guardian Poll Tax (order-order.com)
- CNN responds to Greenwald Guardian article (cifwatch.com)
- AKUS’s take on recent Guardian reports and CiF commentaries (cifwatch.com)