Anorak News | Times Papers At War Over The Bloody Paywall?

Times Papers At War Over The Bloody Paywall?

by | 6th, July 2010

TAKE a video tour of our new websites” is the invitation at the online Times, now fortressed with a paywall. No more freebie reads, you net liggers. In fact there are two video tours to embark on, one for The Times, the other for The Sunday Times.

So different are they in style, tone, content (and message) that Madame Arcati felt moved to comment.

“The biggest news in newspapers is the web,” announces The Times editor James Harding. Fashionistas will at once notice an eyepopping horizontal crease in his shirt collar, stylistically matching his askew blue tie: perhaps he’s one of us! More to the point, he’s there on the film. And he’s not alone. There’s annoying columnist Caitlin Moran delivering her usual amyl nitrate schtick and telling us how for her Beyoncé piece she was turned into the Single Ladies diva for an accompanying video. Ooh ooh ooh/ooh ooh ooh/, etc etc.

Raging restaurant crit Giles Coren tells how he’s addicted to Twitter and Chief Foreign Commentator Bronwen Maddox likens herself to a radio host as she fields “intelligent” readers’ questions and observations. Indeed, the central message is that the website offers a “depth and spontaneity” a mere newspaper “can only think of“.  We’re not just journalists, y’know. In fact, who are you calling a journalist?!

The Times vid may move you to stick pins in hack effigies. But at least it’s bold and brassy and engaging; and tries to sell the multi-media experience. In contrast, The Sunday Times is above it all and absent mindedly vogues its way through the tour. Editor John Witherow is nowhere to be seen, none of his editors or writers can be lured to give us talking head – not even the staff psycho bully who shall remain nameless for now.

The paper settles for a scroty rock anthem as it treats us to a wankery of impersonal layout snapshots and written messages. We’re so bee-oo-tiful. Rod Liddle and few other regular columnists get a name-check yet bizarrely its biggest writerly star AA Gill is AWOL. Will there be no footage of him picking at a baboon curry as a thought bubble graphic promises yet another incendiary witticism? A young Oxbridgy woman with enormous hair and early Jonathan King specs tells us she’s looking for a man called Jacob Rees-Mogg – this is to entice us into its video galleries. I resist.

You get the impression that the paper’s heart’s not in this internet malarkey – but here you are, more of the same, but on your pc.

I’m astonished the two papers could not agree on a common strategy to sell the paywall.  News International Chief Exec Rebekah Brooks (a Gemini) needs to bang some heads together.

Image: Paid Content

Posted: 6th, July 2010 | In: Key Posts Comments (5) | TrackBack | Permalink