Editors at the Britisher Liberalische Newspaper the Guardian have finally admitted what had long been feared - they've simply run out of ideas for news stories. The left-leaning quality newspaper - beloved of public sector workers and broadly progressive people the world over - has been reduced to issuing instructions to readers leaving comments referring to its Newsblog items as these are the only stories the paper can rely on anyone reading - partly because they are often written by members of the public and not established journalists.
Grauniad Newsroom: "No news is good news"
Said a spokesman,
"Guardian Unlimited's blogs have become a very popular way for readers to comment on what we're doing, and discuss the issues of the day. However, our blog comments have their limits - this post describes those limits.
Blog commenters are reminded of two things; our terms of service and our talk policy.
It's essential that commenters respect these rules, because without them our talk area, and the open blog comments here, simply wouldn't work.
Blog commenters are reminded that comments here are intended to relate directly to the post, rather than to veer off into unrelated subjects. Our blog system is ill-suited to that kind of discussion. Moreover, lengthy and involved discussions between a handful of people have a huge impact on usability for fellow users, and deter occasional posters from having their say.
Longer discussions on a wider range of topics are, of course, welcome on our talkboards, which are explained here. We urge blog users to take their broader conversations to Talk.
Occasionally, when discussions have become irrelevant to the post in question, we will close comments on that post, and we may delete comments already posted if they are unrelated to the topic, to reduce the size of the page for other users.
We will also close comments if we think it's likely a previous discussion will erupt in that newer post, or if we want a post to exist for information only (like this post).
Birmingham riots: "Kaiser Chiefs proved right"
When individual posters repeatedly abuse our talk policy, or seriously break our rules on acceptability and/or legality, we will take steps to prevent them posting to our blogs.
We always accept trackbacks from other blogs, even when comments are closed on a post, as long as those trackbacks are within our terms of service and talk policy.
We are always keen to hear ideas on how to improve comment facilities here - email me at email@example.com if you have any thoughts."
The paper, which recently relaunched itself in a smaller, tabloid form - presumably in order to disguise its rapidly-diminishing news content - is described by some insiders as having had "one almighty hissy-fit" because its forums have been commandeered by readers with opinions and attitudes of their own, some of which are unconventional and likely to be disagreed with by many other readers.
Street Porter: "You're un-be-liev-a-buw"
Executives at the Guardian's main broadly left-leaning rival, the Independent, were said to be gleeful that - at a time when civil liberties are increasingly being eroded - the left's most prominent forum was to be seen openly cajoling its readers about what they should or should not be posting in a supposedly "open" space. "It's just typical of the bloody Grauniad, isn't it?" said the Indy's Janet Street Porter. "The streets of Brum are awash with ethnic tensions, rioting and violence, and all they can worry about is whether people are leaving relevent comments on their Newsblog. It's just unbelievable." Rumours that the paper's online version is set to relaunch itself as "The Guardian Extremely Limited and Opposed to the Basic Tenets of Free-Speech" have yet to be confirmed.
Love on y'all,