Feeds

Graun Aid: Don't They Know It's Christmas 2.0?

Reg readers pen charity single for troubled newspaper

Boost IT visibility and business value

Competition Earlier this week we reported Guardian veteran David Leigh's big idea to save his job the British newspaper industry.

The Seventies throwback proposed that every broadband subscriber in the country should pay ten per cent more for their internet, around £2 a month, with money going to dead tree media based on their web circulation. The evil Times newspaper, which is experimenting with the radical concept of making actual readers pay a little bit of money for their news, would be excluded.

The idea caused something very rare on the Guardian's comment forums: complete and utter agreement - against the idea.

Long-standing Guardian readers objected to money being raised to pay for the successful Daily Mail and Sun, while almost everyone else objected on the grounds that the general public should not be taxed to subsidise the Guardian's own incompetence. Leigh's kite was ridiculed on the internet, too, where the irony of the public bailing out "The One Per Cent" was not missed.

(There are 20 million households with broadband access in the UK who would face a price increase, yet the Graun's weekday newsprint circulation is under 180,000.)

Political blogger Guido called it the newspaper's "Poll Tax Moment" while Hugo Rifkind in the Spectator pointed out there is already a poll tax for news called the TV Licence.

"One has to wonder what David Leigh thinks the Guardian will do that the BBC won't. Other than, perhaps, employ David Leigh," he mused.

Twitter wit Celestial Weazel was on hand with a solution: this crisis called for a charity single, Graun Aid if you like, and so we set Reg readers the task of penning some updated lyrics to the Geldof classic.

Thanks to Anton Channing for making a decent stab at it, but there were two outstanding candidates. First, here's Rob Lyons:

Guardian website, there's no need for you to pay
Guardian website, they'll even let you have your say
Cos in this world of trendies, let's spread those liberal views
Give it all away for free, at log-on time

Polly Toynbee, George Monbi-oh-woah
At log-on time, they'll soon put paid to you having fun
There's a world outside the window
But it's an echo chamber in here
Where the only views allowed are
A bitter stream of PC-ers
Where the falling sales of papers
Are the clanging chimes of doom
But tonight, thank god they're still not charging you…

Well there won't be King's Place parties this Christmas time
The greatest gift they'll get this year is their jobs
Where sales figures never grow
Council job ads don't show
Do they know how the world works at all?

Here's to you, for whom this paper's made
Here's to them, leaching off the auto trade
Do they know how the world works at all?

Free those words!
(Do they know how the world works at all?) (to fade)

And here's one from Andy Harrison, down under:

It's Handout-Time, there's no need to be a maid.
At Handout-Time, just chillax, we'll all get paid.
And in your world of plenty, you can spare some pocket change
Throw all your Alms here at us, at Handout-Time

[Cue Phil Collins]

But spare a thought - think of the journalists
At Handout-time it's easy, just like readin' The Sun
There's a world inside your PC
And it's a world of freebie pr0n
Where the only traffic growing is the bots from Grayvoron*
And the Unicorn stopped grazing, 'cos grass isn't cheap to grow
[Who cares?!]  For us to-night there's steak, instead of stew

And there will be blow in King's Place this Handout-Time
The greatest gift they'll get this year's a line
[Oh ho]  Where rev-en-ue doesn't grow
Cos our ads have failed to show

Do you know it's Handout-Time at all?

Here's to us
Raise your taxes just for me
Here's to you
Just because you surf the net

Do you know it's Handout-Time at all?

Feed the press
Is El Reg getting cash from all of this?

Feed the press
[repeat until the dosh is handed over]

* Andy admits that he failed to rhyme "Toynbee" with "subside" (as stipulated), but he explains: "Be fair. Whilst you may not hear the Toynbee family-name in song very often, you don't get to hear of many towns in Belgorod Oblast, either."

So a bag of Naomi Wolf-brand artisan pasta is on its way to Mr Lyons and Mr Harrison.

Thanks to all who entered.

And cheer up Guardian staff - a great newspaper may be about to disappear, but you're the undisputed pioneers of News 3.0 using an Open Platform API. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.