Saturday, November 8, 2014

CBS , ABC , NBC , CTV , the web version of the Guardian newspaper and the Metro print newspaper : OPEN ACCESS ?

If 'OPEN ACCESS' means that one needn't pay to read, see or hear the contents of a serial or periodical , then it is an approach to journalism that is in much much wider general application than usually appreciated.

Almost all blogs of course fit this model --- either totally free or free-to-read but 'supported' by ads that the reader is free to ignore.

Just the same way as much of public and commercial 'over the air' Radio and TV has always worked.

Rename OPEN ACCESS as 'controlled circulation' newspapers and magazines and we see it deployed for the world-wide free commuter newspaper The Metro and in many locally oriented consumer or business magazines.

Many newspaper and magazines run their website editions the same way : 'supported' by ads the online reader can freely ignore.

But all these media present information - or entertainment - in relatively small chunks ,with the ads mostly coming before or after each chunk - rather than within it.

Think of the TV model of drama - with ads coming along at every seven minute mark.

But films, plays or concerts and books don't typically work this way.

Yes , in the 1890s , one found lots of ads for cocoa and soap etc in the beginning and end inside cover pages of otherwise conventional books, and Europe had a long tradition of ads at the beginnings of each movie 'program'.

But generally a 'free' model for books (or film) has never become conventional in the way it has for over-the-air radio and TV or for many print or web periodicals.

Free books are usually seen as worthless long ads for the author's money-making game and never get reviewed.

Genuinely non-profitseeking books are usually only produced by authors connected to a religious or political movement and so also dismissed as mere 'Tracts'.

Left Wing or Right Wing, it doesn't matter : all book reviewers seem to think that authors who don't charge for their books are mere blockheads.

Even in the age of costless (to author or reader) e-books, this tired bromide still holds a grip on their minds.

So on page 24 of your favourite daily rag, the TV critic can be found waxing about a (free) ITV documentary ( say on the many Swedish wartime generals seen as sympathetic to Hitler) that she greatly enjoyed.

But on page 26 , the book reviewer would not be caught dead reviewing the free ebook that the TV documentary was based upon.

Stupidity and rigidity : its a funny thing....

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