Thursday, August 11, 2016

What Happened to the Bird Cage Liner?

"Which Tampon brand do you most use?"

Don't have a bird?  They used to call it fish wrapping, or it's used to stuff packing boxes.  Have you
ever got a mail-order package and it had Chinese newsprint in it?

Talking about newspapers here, printed stuff, you know, what paper boys used to throw.

The demise of journalism, and especially print, is one of the two great threats to democracy in the 21st Century -- the other being unlimited, anonymous money to buy elected officials and thus public policy.

The Commercial Appeal's new corporate master, Gannett, is aggressively reshaping "content management" and "reader experiences," to cut out real people who write, photograph and edit the news we need to be an informed democracy.

Straddling the fence between building a solid pay wall between accessing content online are these odd little survey gatekeepers.  Like this one which asks, "Which Tampon brand do you most use?"

A reader who does not have a subscription must answer the survey before being allowed to view the story.  After so many views in a certain period of time, the user of a particular computer is blocked from content.  This is between requiring a paid subscription and having all content freely accessible.

Here is a link to a great segment from HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" that spoofs and examines our current state of affairs.  

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