I know I have a very jaundiced view of the media, but that has never stopped me buying newspapers. Not that I consider myself a serious media commentator even if I do like poking fun at the more obvious hack banalities, usually to be found in the Daily Mail.
But I made a stand today.
A few months ago, I got one of those out of the blue phone calls asking if I read The Times or not and I said I did, at least on Sundays. The offer was to pay by direct debit in exchange for a year’s worth of Sunday Times vouchers saving me 10% and getting free access to The Times website.
Today I called them to cancel the arrangement. It was rather pointless as the terms and conditions commit me to a further nine months, but at least I was able to put on file that the direct debit would not be automatically renewed.
I could have lived with the arrangement if The Times hadn’t been so obviously part of News International’s damage limitation exercise. I won’t even justify their hypocrisy with a link to their “The Practice of Journalism Leader”, but you can read Damian Thompson’s appraisal of it in the Telegraph.
The woman on the other end of the phone didn’t sound particularly put out by my comments (I was polite) and she ended by asking if there was anything else she could do for me.
“Other that Rebecca Brooks’ immediate resignation, no there isn’t,” I replied.
But I doubt that this will happen any time soon, although I’m sure my protest will have been noted by the Murdochs and they will see sense and shut the News of the World down.
Meanwhile, below is the interview with Hugh Grant and former NoW hack Paul McCullen on the subject of hacking aired on the BBC on Tuesday. Mr Grant has gone up considerably in my estimation.
16:46 GMT Update: Obviously my action has had the desired effect. News International has just announced that this weekend’s News of the World will be the last. Ever.