Archive for May, 2012

The commercial director of London’s Evening Standard, Jon O’Donnell, was widely quoted this week when he said that newspapers, especially his own, had a healthy future:

 “The printed version has a healthy life ahead of it. The digital world is immense. But people still like the tangible asset of a newspaper. They like to tear them and dispose of them.”

Now, it would be a little odd if a commercial director for three newspapers – he also oversees the Independent and i – ran around saying “print is doomed”, but basing his optimism, at least in part, on people’s love of papier mache and recycling seemed a bit odd.

Those who run paper mills or provide them with equipment don’t seem quite so sanguine about the future.

Voith, a German company that makes paper mill machinery, announced this week that it will cut 710 jobs because demand for graphic paper (used for magazines or newspapers) has fallen. Voith says tablets are to blame:

“… the ongoing digitalization of everyday life through tablets like the iPad and the ensuing changes in consumer behavior is faster than expected having a negative impact on the demand for so-called graphic papers”

This message was backed up by RISI, an information service for the forest products industry, which said yesterday that world newsprint production would contract by 5.5 million tonnes over the next five years as newspaper demand shrank “due largely to media tablets and mobile devices”.

But possibly the most grimly amusing assessment of newspapers’ future came in a comment on Roy Greenslade’s blog:

“It [newsprint] definitely has more usage than you think. Here at Vernacare we buy all the available newsprint that is either recycled by the consumer or the newspaper that had not been sold by the retailer”

And what does this booming market for old newsprint produce? Disposable bedpans and urinal bottles.

Seems a step down from tomorrow’s fishwrap.

The Irish Independent has clearly spotted a gap in the market – incitement to racist violence. As the Irish Daily Mail doesn’t carry the execrable Richard Littlejohn column so beloved of English bigots, the Indo has decided to use his non-union Mexican equivalent, Ian O’Doherty, to offer Irish readers some old-fashioned race hate.

The irony of opening his latest link-bait “column” with one TD’s ridiculous comparison of laws against turf-cutting to the crimes of the Third Reich and then writing that “Romanian gypsies have been descending on the city [London] in advance of the games so they can engage in their traditional cultural practice — thieving and begging” seems lost on O’Doherty. On the first, he “squares things up” by pointing out the idiocy of comparing: “Six million dead in the Holocaust, a total of 50 million deaths in the war in total and the complete destruction of Europe and . . . a bunch of pissed-off culchies who can no longer cut their own turf”.

While Ming Flanagan’s outburst was ludicrous, the Holocaust refers only to the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis. Maybe O’Doherty missed the lesson on the gassing of homosexuals, Marxists, Christians and … gypsies.

In his ignorance, Little Littlejohn has an original and creative suggestion to deal with this menace (that he read about in the always reliable Daily Express last Tuesday):

“… send in the cops, round them all up, crack a few heads and put them on the next plane back to Bucharest”.

Hooray. Night sticks and forced repatriation. Because nobody has tried that before. But then, O’Doherty has form:

“… when you have a dispossessed, disenfranchised working class which, rightly or wrongly, feels that more consideration is given to immigrants and religious fanatics than to the indigenous population, then sooner or later things are going to get ugly.

And when you have a political class which states that anyone who has concerns about the Islamicisation of Europe is a racist, eventually people are going to say … OK, call me racist.”

OK. you’re a racist. And you’re not funny.