Sometimes, it's just a cigar

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Black Friday, Mega Monday and the curse of churnalism

It was Black Friday in the USA on Friday. Here’s a good summary of how bad it was, and some good back story about how bad it can be.

This is what Black Friday looked like in Bristol.

Now the funny part is that, in the USA, when I first visited in the 80s, Black Friday was given that name because it was such an horrific shopping experience. Deep discounting was the predatory retailers response to the fact that no sane person who had a choice went shopping the day after Thanksgiving. So why did Asda introduce it in the UK? Because they’re retail predators. They don’t care about the retail experience as much as they care about taking sales off their competitors.

On Radio5 Live today they were plugging something they called Mega Monday, allegedly the busiest day for online shopping in the UK. My guess is that the source of this story was a press release from Amazon, or some other online retailer. The lazy, second rate BBC presenter did a kind of ironic snigger, as if to suggest she wasn’t taken in by the obviously self interested promotion inherent in the story, but the snigger didn’t lead to any journalistic interrogation of the story.

Here’s a question though. What is the news story in mega Monday? Seriously, think about it. Is the story ‘Don’t bother shopping on line today, it’ll be shit?’ Is the story ‘Buy it now, because the next ship from the far east is days away and it might be a week before you can get one?’ Is the story ‘Amazon will make millions and pay fuck all in taxes while treating the ordinary decent people who work for them as disposable cyber-serfs?’ Or is the story that publicly funded radio in the UK is so bad, so craven and so second rate that they won’t question the self interest and vested interests embedded in the press releases they read out as if they were news? If public sector broadcasting in the UK dies one of the accessories to the crime will be lazy churnalists who think that reading out a press release is radio journalism.

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This entry was posted on December 2, 2013 by in Uncategorized.

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