"Quality Journalism is Not Cheap"

HEEEENGHHHHH?

Amusing lead story today, folks, Rupert Murdoch has vowed to start charging for access to his “news” sites, reportedly saying that “quality journalism is not cheap.”

Yes, indeed, this means that such bastions of journalistic integrity like The News of the World, The Times, and the mother of all evil, the Least Reliable News Source on the Planet, The Sun are all going to start charging for content.

I have some Google alerts set up and one of them occasionally picks up an article from The Sun. Every so often the headline is so outrageous, the hatchet job so glaringly obvious, that I click the link anyway. Knowing full well that I am entering a realm of half-wits. (It’s good for a laugh isn’t it?)

If they started charging me for this occasional click I would get to their subscription page and just bounce. As would, I suspect, a large portion of their clicks and thus, they would be reduced to a small band of simpletons who are willing to pay to have their intelligence insulted with crap disguised as journalism.

OHPLEASEGODSLETTHISHAPPEN.

Those three papers are like that last bit of toilet paper that sticks to the edge of the bowl and won’t go away no matter how many times you stand there and flush it. I mean, you know you could totally get that down the bog, if you were just brave enough to stick your hand in there and play with the muck but sense wins out and you just leave it there for the next person. “Disgusting” you say? Exactly!

Nothing would flush these turds down the drain faster than if they started charging for their content. It would be the equivalent of a 5 gallon bucket dumped straight into the bowl.

Postcards from the Sounders v. Barcelona match

Seattle Sounders owner Drew Carey reportedly wants to model his team after Barcelona; he wants to play beautiful football. The only problem is that takes time, a lot of time, say 10-20 years. See, Barca didn’t buy Lionel Messi, they developed him from age 13.  And if you want to have a Barcelona in America, which I strongly encourage, you’re going to need to start right now with a world class international academy and get 9-16 year olds in and training 3x a week. Basically, you’re going to have to do what Arsene Wenger’s trying to do at Arsenal.

I think a team like that would clean up every trophy in the U.S. and even be a shining example of what football could be in America. So, again, Drew, if you’re listening, go for it. Look at your current team, your best player yesterday was Steve Zakuani; a product of Arsenal’s academy. What does that tell you?

Oh and while I’m at it, that pitch was terrible, again. They laid a temporary grass pitch over the top of the plastic pitch they normally play on and it looked shaggy and broken in places. Proper football is played on grass, not plastic. It’s another one of those things that just takes time. But if you want to do it right, you’ve got to take your time.

Transfers and stuff

Even though there wasn’t any real talk that he’d come in to the club this year, I’ve added Xabi Alonso to my list of players who didn’t sign for Arsenal owing to the fact that there was so much talk last year. It is a bit strange to see him go for a reported £32m this year when we were close to getting him last year for £14m. He undoubtedly had a decent season this year but no better than last, really, and certainly not 2x better. So, if there was ever any indication that the market is stupid overinflated it would be the fact that Alonso went for basically twice his value.

It was also funny to watch Liverpool turn right around and buy Aquilani right away. I say “funny” but what I really mean is “damn, that was a swift bit of business, Arsenal would never complete a sale and buy that fast.” Oh well, we’re learning lessons as Arsenal fans, right? What’s this year’s lesson, oh, uhh… patience.

As for Arsenal, I had a chance to watch the clips on the dot com of the Member’s Day Q&A session with some of the players and that was quite a treat. I mean just listening to them all agree that Arsenal need some leadership, like Vieira specifically, was interesting. Another thing that I found interesting is that our young, sweet faced, Theo isn’t so sweet and innocent anymore and has joined the Tattoo club at Arsenal. It’s a fairly large piece on his left arm and a clear indication that he’s ready to hop on his hog and drive the “old lady” out to Sturgis and get in a rumble.

One of my favorite moments came when a fan asked Djourou, Gibbs, and Walcott who their favorite player was growing up, he said specifically that it could be anyone and Gibbs went first and said “Dennis Bergkamp.” I’m a pretty good reader of when people are lying or making stuff up and I feel like this was an honest answer. I love seeing that kind of stuff, young lad, grows up idolizing an Arsenal player, makes the team, works hard and is now ready to burst on the scene and play for the club where his idol played…

Good stuff.

Interestingly, Theo mentioned growing up a Liverpool fan and idolizing Michael Owen. I thought it was specifically forbidden in the Christian bible to have balsa wood idols?

The Champions League draw takes place at 3am (PST) tomorrow and I suppose you’re all wondering who we’re going to get in 12 days time. Well, it’s one of the following: Celtic, Athletico Madrid, Anderlecht, Fiorentina and FC Timisoara. Personally, I’m hoping for an easy draw, like Celtic, and not some gang of grass rapers like FC Timisoara.

There is a weird story about Hangeland and how Fulham’s manager is not willing to let him go… unless the price is right… but no one has made a bid… especially not Arsenal. Why would the press print this? I don’t get it.

Later today I’ll be adding Klaus Janet Beststrikerever tot he list of players that Arsenal (thankfully) didn’t buy.  Thank the gods, I can finally stop hearing about how Arsenal should sign him (yes, I do realize that people will continue to say we need him.)

And finally (because the “Chesk is not leaving” story is a non-story) there’s a report that Rosicky has suffered a hamstring pull and will be out for 8 weeks. Funny thing is though, there have been numerous stories about injuries this pre-season which have all been wrong (Clichy, Rosicky) so I’m waiting for Wenger’s press conference ahead of the Valencia match for confirmation, rather than link to any of Rupert Murdoch’s toilet clinging crap.

Right, that’s it for today, see you tomorrow?

52 Comments on "Quality Journalism is Not Cheap"

  1. Well done Tim, another good post. Let me comment on the Rosicky injury 1st. The Czech Republic has a friendly that they had intended Rosicky to play in. He makes a statement (on the .com) that his next target is to play for his national team. Wenger had said (also on the .com) that he wants to be careful with Rosicky for the next 2 to 3 months; after which time he will consider the battle to be won. So then, how do you ensure that Rosicky does not play in that Czech friendly? Let slip some injury news, I suppose. By the way, goonertalk claims that the Arsenal official press room confirm to them that Rosicky is injured but would not give them any further details. See what I mean?

    As far as the News shits are concerned, any fool who wants to pay for their fabrications can go ahead.

    By the way Tim, did you read their latest about Arsenal and height? That rag, the “dimming Sun” do know how to come up with shitloads. If height was the primary criterion for winning the league, why isn’t Liverpuds winning every year?

  2. The Rosicky injury seems to be real, there are reports the Czech national coach has stated that he is but does not know the details, hanstring strain is whats being touted.

    I feel certain Wenger will do the usual and bring in a couple of players at the last minute that no one expected, I’ve given up on the Chammy deal even though the papers suggest that Arsenal have upped their price, if any deal will be made it will be last minute, Bordeaux will have to let him go but I think they’re trying to prize a little more money form Wenger.

    Here’s the link to the injury story.

    http://goonertalk.com/2009/08/06/arsenal-confirm-rosicky-injury/

  3. Dudes, Goonertalk is known to make things up in order to generate clicks, and also to come on this blog and talk shite.

    He doesn’t even know that there’s a press conference, FFS, how can you trust that he’s actually contacted the press office?

    Read the comments, that’s the king of the doom and gloom sites.

    There’s a reason he was kicked off Arseblog’s blog roll.

    • @Tim, That’s partly my point. The whole story stinks. In my opinion, it is a way to prevent the Czechs using Rosicky for a meaningless friendly, that’s all.

      • @LRV, Oh… well, I like your idea of the injury as decoy.

        We’ll have to wait and see. Maybe there’s a presser to report that Arsenal have signed someone!

        Blaise Matuidi?

      • @LRV, I tend to agree. It’s almost common practice for european clubs to fake injuries in order to deny a player for its national team. Right now, for instance, Citeh seems to be pulling one on Roque Santacruz. Thats why a local doctor will be travelling to confirm the alleged injury.

  4. Good post, I’m liking your blog more and more everytime I read it. You do seem reasonably clued up (for one of them Americans (I’m saying that in a very unpatronising way!)).
    As for talk of the Sun and NOTW, I would laugh at the thought of them charging for content on the web! That is I’d laugh IF it weren’t for the fact that they are two of the biggest selling newspapers in the country!!! How people still pay their money to read such utter Shit never ceases to amaze me. It really does make me embarrassed to be English.
    Wouldn’t surprise me if Rsicky is injured, tho I don’t think he’ll be out for the “6 weeks” that’s being banded about.
    I’m still hoping to see PV4 back at the club. Even if he only plays a handful of games, he’ll still have a big impact on the young ‘uns not to mention giving the fans a boost too.
    Anyway that’s all I have to say, except keep up the good work

  5. Looks like we have upped our bid for Chamakh by 1.5, bringing it to 7.5 million. Also, the Veloso rumor has come back up. How many times does he need to state he’s not leaving the continent before he will be withdrawn from potential deals with Arsenal?

  6. Here’s a “fantasy Football” Situation. If every player were 100% healthy and fit what lineup and bench would you choose with which (feasable) formation. Mine coming up later. ps Yan, free “boobs” we have some of the around here they are the ones that say the blog is crap yet come here anyway.

  7. The US cannot build a Barcelona unless they change their entire footballing philosophy. They make great atheletes but most of them are average footballers – lacking technical skills and footballing vision. Essentially they’d have to find about 3-4 Landon Donovans if they expect to even start a foundation for an American Barca and right now I don’t see any player who could remotely replace Lando in terms of skill, pace and ability.

    Rupert Murdoch is a businessman first and really he’s just trying to adapt to the inevitbale – the dying newspaper. Newspapers were a huge source information and still are, but the newspaper industry is slowly dying due to the internet providing the very same content more oncveniently and in larger quantities. Newspaper company revenues will eventually take a huge hit if newspaper disappear in favour of Twitter, news forums, RSS feeds etc. It’s mostly an issue of trying to keep profit margins in a changing news landscape.

    Lastly Hengeland is a great defender but I can see why Wenger hasn’t made a concerted effort. It would be a selection nightmare to have 3 top class defenders trying to occupy 2 spots on the field. Rotation policies don’t work well as we saw when Rafa first came to the EPL and who do you sit? Your most consistent defender Gallas? Your 10M Belgian or your 10M Norweigian? See the dilemma? I thought we could have gotten Bassong on the cheap and had him provide cover because he’s young and not established yet so there’s no real loss to not play him every week. However Wenger knows he needs at least another defender and he still needs a proper CM – rumours have it we’re looking at the older Diarra from Madrid – very good bargain if we got him.

    • @WC, I don’t agree with your last point there. First, I don’t think either Hangeland or Vermaelen have earned the “top class” tag just yet.
      Second, I think three top class options for two positions is exactly what is needed in today’s game, especially if you intend to compete for the cup in all competitions. There are more than enough games between the four competitions to give them all enough games, and if one suffers a prolonged injury (which, at Arsenal, is more of a rule than an exception) you need someone you can trust to step in. Sometimes you get lucky, like Sir Alex did with Evans last year or Arsene with Senderos in the Champs League run, but for the most part you need three solid options at the beginning of the season.

      Last year’s Barcelona had a good mix I think, with two established guys, Puyol and Marquez, and an undoubtedly world-class academy product in Pique. Vermaelen, for instance, would have been fourth-choice there, and he’ll likely be starting for Arsenal.

      • @b, Marquez is an injury machine. There’s almost a guarantee he’ll get injured for long spells every season.

        In terms of body count we still have Djourou and Silvestre and Song can play there if needed, which is why I can understand Wenger’s hesitation in buying Hangeland – I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I get it.

  8. Hi

    Always good to read articles with a US perspective.

    US football will have a long up-hill struggle until they adopt the European/S. American model of nurturing talent from a very early age within a club environment. Trying to following the American Footbal/baseball/basketball model of developing players through university scholarships will not work. It’s a level playing field for those 3 sports but football is a true international sport. Also, good players always gravitate to the best leagues (both in terms of money and ability) which means any decent player will want/need to play in Europe. For both these reasons, football in the US will struggle to make much short term impact, both at club and international level. And no, I don’t place much on the defeat of Spain in S. Africa! I expect to see an African country in the final of the World Cup long before the US. But, given time and a commitment to develop the game at the grass roots, the US will inevitably become a force in world football. It may take 50 years and will strain the patience of the fan base and the money men. But only through adversity and perseverance do you truly become strong.

    Cheers

  9. I respect Drew Carey for his passion. i think if any team has the funds to do it in the US it’s them.

    It will never thrive because youth players will go to high school and then college and not stick with the academy approach of England.

    It would be nice to see but don’t think it will happen, unless the high school and college programs work hand in hand with the clubs. So the players get a real education, along with the training that a real club gives. It’s not built up enough here that you can make the money a baseball, football or basketball player can make right now.

    I’d love to see that happen though.

  10. News of News Corp papers charging for online content is absolutely fantastic and hopefully will start a trend that most other major international newspapers will follow.

    The decline of journalism worldwide and in the united states has been inexorable following the development of the internet. Buyouts and paper closures risen and the pressure to put the emphasis on the bottom line has too, and the reason for this is people are getting content for free on the internet, not buying papers anymore, and the ad revenue is inadequate. It’s cost several jobs and lead to a decline in the standard of reportage and editorial (try and put aside your own politics for a minute, and your own understandable prejudices against tabloidism – we’re dealing with something bigger here).

    For these reasons, the introduction of a pricing system for news on the internet was actually somewhat inevitable and it makes sense that Murdoch be on the forefront of this, as he often is on the forefront of new developments in the media. I hope it takes off and I wouldn’t be surprised if it does.

    For a similar examination of the media from a dramatised point of view I recommend watching season 5 of The Wire (although it helps if you watch the first 4 seasons – all excellent). That show’s co-creator, David Simon (in no way aligned with Murdoch’s politics) used to write for the Baltimore Sun and is one of the more eminent voices on the decline of American journalism, and has long been an advocate of charging for online content. To paraphrase him: “How little must you think of your content if you’re giving it away for nothing?”.

    I don’t agree with the politics of the typical Murdoch media outlets (I’m generally apolitical), but, frankly, the man’s a bit of a genius. I doubt he and News Corp have rushed into this lightly and I’m sure their decision is backed with a lot of research. Not to disparage you too much, you seem to run a fine blog here, but some anonymous fellow on the internet questioning the business acumen of Rupert Murdoch? Well, I know whose side of the fence I’d fall on.

    This development could be a wonderful thing for journalism and one of its most significant developments this century.

  11. I’ve added a chat room off to the right. It’s a start, until I can get something similar to what Arseblog and Gunnerblog have.

    • @Bongo, Smoke usually means fire. Just means we’re a “new signing” short for a short time period. These lumps and bumps are apparently to be expected coming back from a long lay off.

      • @ctpa, He also said that the transfer market speeds up between the 26th and 31st of august so perhaps that’s a sign of things to come.

      • @ctpa, I am telling you, Arsene has a couple tricks up his sleeve. I get annoyed with the man like most others do too. but i feel it. He will come through. he has the $

    • @Tim, ANOTHER SPIN TO Tomas’s injury OR the suspicion of injury; maybe this is Arsene’s way of keeping Tomas’s recovery under Arsenal control, not allowing Tomas to play with his National Team. (Arsenal has paid his salary for the past 18 months – so there is some leverage for Arsenal to dictate his playing time & specific matches for his return to form.)

  12. SkySports yukking up Wenger’s response to a direct ? about his interest Hangeland. Interest yes, bid no.

    Rosicky has a ‘minor’ injury but Wenger offered no timetable on a return.

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