Saturday, 24 January 2009

Newspaper freebies are cool, too

Another cool thing about England is the freebies newspapers often offer to get you to part with some coin. Granted, all these alluring freebies wouldn't be necessary if more papers here didn't seem to think a National Enquirer-type reporting style was the way to go, but the freebies are still nice.

For instance, the Daily Mail may not be that great of a read, but it can get some great DVDs on offer as freebies. My particular favorite is when they offer costume dramas for the price of a newspaper (as in when they offered Pride and Prejudice, the wonderful Colin Firth version, as a two-parter). This week I nabbed Jane Eyre, and today's offering is Lady Chatterley.

The shame is that the better papers, the ones I'd much rather actually read, don't give out as many freebies. They probably focus more money onto design and better writers -- though that doesn't stop papers like even The Times from having a slew of typos and sometimes doing rather misleading reporting that's far beneath it.

It will be interesting to see how UK papers can survive changing reading habits that are putting the hurt on U.S. papers. Will freebies make the difference? Would you be more likely to buy a paper in the States if it cost 50 cents or so more but you got a free Bowie CD? Time will tell what papers have to resort to, to stay alive.

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