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Whatever you think of the tabloids the News of the World has come up with some fabulous stings and scoops over the years. Their team of fake sheiks and seedy businessmen have nailed some big names and recently they are on a roll. A tabloids job is to uncover hypocrites by being hypocrites and it works to a treat. After the John Higgins scoop it was just fabulous to see the rather ridiculous and some what sad Sarah Ferguson greedily grasping at a bag full of money in that NY hotel room on a promise to offer access to her ex husband. She is clearly not very bright and a pile of loot placed on the table in front of her for a covert photo opportunity as she stuffs it into her briefcase must have raised some alarm bells. But oh no, not our Fergie, her grasping claw taking 40k up front and off she went into the night time.
I'm sure Prince Andrew knows nothing of his pathetic ex-wifes actions here but he, too, is in the same line of work, paid £500,000 a year by the government in expenses as a fixer for Gordon Brown [the] to grease foreign businessmen at lavish parties at the embassies to help British business. At the moment his currently project is to help BP and other multinationals to get influence in Azerbaijan, a grubby little oil and gas banana republic run by a seriously dodgy dictator, all part of the planned oil and gas infrastructure to pass from the old Russia Republics through Afghanistan and into Pakistan and Turkey to the west. That's the real story there and we all know the News of the World doesn't do real investigative stories of national importance, guffawing Fergie the way to sell their newspaper. I can just imagine what Murdoch said about Ferguson when he saw the tape. If you think she is skint then forget it. She donated her fee for the patronising ITV series about the Hull housing estate to her socialite friend's school fees! She is a rather sad individual yet carries on with her charity work regardless in America. They love here. I wonder if Fergie draws 'expenses' from that charity work through freebies?
On the snooker scoop it was right to set up Higgins as it exposed the bigger picture of possible wide spread fixing in the sport. The sting took three months to set up and involved intricate fake websites and many meetings. Higgins and his manager Paul Mooney were bang to rites. It's right to do these stings if they expose hypocrisy. I felt a little sorry for the England rugby captain Lawrence Delagio when he got done for admitting cocaine abuse and so losing the job but most of the time the scams work well. The secretive Mazer Mahmood was the man behind the earlier scams and Sven Goran Erickson was one of the best ones. Poor old Prince Edwards misses also got done and some of that one has been locked down under the official secrets act as it was that damaging to the royal family.
The paper its self is pretty dire and that's how it makes its money, aimed purely out a tacky working-class readership so under increasing pressure to get these celebrity scoops through nefarious and devious methods to keep them reading. There are few profits to be had through the printed press these days as advertising has moved online and so newspapers have to have online content and be 24.7 to keep going, which is expensive and also not producing profits. My local paper newspapers website is run by just two journalists who cut n paste the content up all day, spellchecking not on the agenda.
There just doesn't seem to be an easy way to generate the required revenue online and when Murdoch charged for his papers online content it was purely to force people to buy his printed papers. Why would you pay for the Sun online if you can get the Daily Star free online? The days of the broadsheet are nearly over. And when people go for their news online they go to the BBC first, an organisation drowning in money. My local paper in Northampton that I write for sells 21,000 copies a week which is pretty good but has seen its advertising revenue collapse by 40% in recent years. Its core earn is the housing and jobs edition. Enjoy your local and national papers while you can guys.
The content of the News of the World is predictable, brash and celebrity over genuine important news content. An up skirt shot of Jordan is more appreciated than the North-South Korea tensions to its readership. The website, like the paper, is stuffed full of this self-perpetuating celebrity nonsense that's almost a reciprocal deal to make the papers like this exist, the celebrities that moan about press intrusion and the paparazzi surely unlikely to exist without these rags and websites.
Menu wise for the website its able to be interactive of course and so can send readers elsewhere, the big attraction of websites to advertisers. Obviously you have all your celeb stuff and healthy sport, news, music, movies, travel, money and lifestyle. You then have the interactive bits like gaming, gadgets, mobile, video, bingo, casino, poker, and fantasy football, here the Suns very popular DreamTeam.
Some aspects of the site are more socially aware like campaigns to go green, find Madeline McCann and Sarah Payne's push for exposing paedophiles locations more. They have some noisy columnist (my dream job) and one or two agony aunt columns. I don't read any of them and only go here to try and get that dream columnist job and read up on these clever exposé's, my second dream job. One plus here is the nature of online and real-time news which allows you and me to sell newspapers stories and information much easier to them and effectively become a freelancer by default.
Their search facility for the online version isn't great and navigation fairly simple for it's likewise readership. Sadly, whether people want to admit it or not most are obsessed with celebrity and these 'news' sites carer for that. The most popular video searches here support that and sex and the need to be part of that world the heart of celebrities appeal. The only reason to visit the online redtops is limited as this news and type of content is syndicated around the web and so nothing new. But at least with the News of the World they are trying to catch the hypocrites with their reporters and as long as people like the rather pathetic Sarah Ferguson salivates over money then they always will exist. The only good news here is that they have tried to sting many famous people over the years and many of those covert tapings came to nothing as the people were not up for being naughty like John Higgins.
I didn't think there would be many takers but obviously costas is tempted!
rosebud2001 06.06.2010 15:51
Can't say I am a huge fan but there's something a bit more honest and down to earth about it then any of the "Mail" titles. I saw Sarah Ferguson in Harrods when my daughter was a baby - a fair assessment of her would be "hatchet faced".