People are creatures of habit and it is only that so many people are habituated to buying the news papers that any are still being sold at all. Just take any kind of commute on public transport and consider how many people are reading a paper and how many are staring at a screen instead. Some certainly may be playing games or even watching video but I expect that they will be out numbering those who are still reading dead tree editions of the MSM.
Then there is the things in the paper that people buy them for, most papers are not exclusively about politics and current affairs anyway, so some readers will be buying the paper for its coverage of sport, lifestyle or even just for the crossword puzzles. My point is that the political classes (in particular those from the left ) just look at the raw sales figured and they think that every reader of the Herald Sun is in the thrall of Rupert Murdoch and that the owners dictate to their readers directing their opinions. The reality is that all media entities write to their audience. If they don’t their audience wither away quite quickly. With the coming of the internet this is even more how things work Online entities are even more in an endless quest for readers so you have to play to what your readers want rather than thinking that you can manipulate their thinking. I have been writing a blog for nearly a decade now and I have noticed just how quickly particular readers flit in and out its the same now with the way that people read things online from the likes of Murdoch, Fairfax or even the Guardian People don’t just get their news from one source any more no matter what the subject is they will read what several sources say about it and then make up their mind. This behaviour is the same when it comes to broadcast TV people flit form one channel to another seeking different perspectives. My argument is simple, if the media consumers have changed their habits then perhaps there is something in the notion that media diversity laws from the last century should perhaps reflect those changes as well.
Writing is a medium where wit and a good sense of humour can make reading a pleasure and one of the pleasures that I have recently found is James Delingpole. In nautical terms I would say that I like the cut of his jib which is why readers will now find a link to his regular column added to my side bar. His latest missive takes a most amusing slant on the travel woes of Britain Europe and the world and I commend it to my readers.
Has anyone else noticed that since the eruption of the Ejyerkslllbjorkscreeylllkkrctarslyllgrgleglugglug volcano not a single plane over Europe has crashed, been involved in a terrorist incident or caused any of passengers on board an aircraft any discomfort whatsoever?
I feel a Big Idea coming on. It’s a Big Idea right up there with David Cameron’s new Big Idea to corral all Britain’s old people into repainting youth centres, clearing up needles on drug estates, setting up new Green Job enterprises, and so forth.
I suggest we ground all passenger aircraft forever. On the Precautionary Principle.
Regular readers will know that I have an aversion to flying so I ask them to understand that this is not intended to be a gloating post about the virtual end of air travel in Britain and in Europe.
I was actually amazed to hear on the television news last night that there is actually an expectation that normal service may be resumed with in days even though the Volcano in Iceland continues to spew forth huge quantities of ash into the upper atmosphere.
Britain has extended its ban on most non-emergency flights in its airspace by six hours to 7pm local time (4am Saturday AEST) due to the ash.
Airports in France, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark and Poland have also closed air space.
Flights between North America and Europe face major disruptions, with half of all services expected to be cancelled today.
European flight coordinator Eurocontrol said planes could stay grounded for at least 48 hours.
The Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in southeast Iceland is showing no signs of abating after 40 hours of activity, University of Iceland geophysicist Pall Einarsson said.
“The seismographs are showing that since this morning the intensity of the eruption seems to be growing,” he said.
Although not visible from the ground, volcanic ash can be highly dangerous for aircraft, clogging up the engines and reducing visibility.
There is no reason to believe that the eruption will stop anytime soon so maybe those wishing to travel to and from Europe by air are in for a very much longer wait than is being predicted in the media. In fact it could possibly be months before it is safe to travel by jet aircraft if the volcano keeps going as it is now. Within Europe there is alway the possibility of rail travel but the world has become so dependant upon air travel that for many there is no alternative. Is this travel mode monopoly a good thing? I don’t think that it is actually.
Mass air travel and tourism is an artifact of a cheap energy economy and even if you dismiss the AGW alarmism (as I do) the finite nature of fossil fuels has to suggests that eventually mass travel by air would become unsustainable. Our lack of a viable alternative means that many thousands of travellers are basically stuck in the worlds departure lounges until further notice.
I just can’t shake the idea that maybe Lovelock was onto something and that Gaia is letting us know that she does not approve of mass air travel and that in one fell swoop she has put an end to it and that those particles of ash will cool the planet as well which is consistent with his theory that the planet will self regulate …