Did you notice what you paid for The Sunday Mail this weekend? It’s just gone from $2 to $2.50! This 25% hike comes just weeks after the introduction of a paywall on the paper’s website. In this column, I will show you how to get newspapers - and music - for free. I’m also going to increase your chances of winning a prize at your next school, club or church fundraiser! After that introduction, just try skipping to the next page! You know you can’t!
The Courier-Mail and The Sunday Mail have
introduced what News Corp Australia (the
former News Limited) calls a ‘metered digital
subscription’. You get a limited number of articles
for free, more if you register, but after that you
must pay. Even News Corp Australia’s Quest
suburban newspapers – free when delivered to
your door – are part of this ‘metered’ paywall
when viewed online.
Around the country, it’s a similar story.
And not just the Murdoch press. Fairfax’s
Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have just
There’s a very good reason
for newspapers going down this path – with
fewer people paying for the physical newspaper,
and with revenue from the classifieds shifting to
various websites (real estate, cars, second-hand
goods, etc.), there is less money for journalists
and the quality of news is under threat.
Indeed, Jonathan Holmes used his final words
on Media Watch to suggest: “Whatever your
politics, or your preferences, start subscribing to
at least one media website. Pay just a little to keep
real journalism alive.”
But there is an alternative for
those who are steadfastly against
paying for news. All you need
is a Brisbane City Council
library card and you can
have unlimited free access to
over 2,000 newspapers and
magazines from around the
enter your card number and you’re away.
(Any resident of Queensland can join a Brisbane
City Council library – you don’t have to live in
Brisbane). You won’t get updates throughout
the day, as you would with online access, but for
someone who just wants to read the paper over
breakfast, it’s all you need.
Once you’re a member of a Brisbane City
Council library, there’s another online perk.
Every week, you can download three free songs.
Have that library card ready and click on www.
freegalmusic.com/users. Four library cards in
your house? That’s twelve free songs every week.
But wait, there’s more and this next tip comes
from a politician! You’re about to gain a huge
advantage next time you play Heads-and-Tails
at a fundraising event! Heads-and-Tails involves
someone tossing two coins and participants
guessing which way the coins will fall.
Everyone stands up to 'bet'. Hands on your
head for heads, hands on your backside for tails
and one hand on each (head and bum) means
you’re guessing one head and one tail. Anyone
who is incorrect is eliminated, then the coins are
tossed again, until there’s a winner.
At this year’s Graceville
State School trivia night,
we were on a table
with local state MP
Scott Emerson. Scott’s
obviously been studying
these games at the
myriad events he attends
so just before Heads-and-
Tails, he whispered to my
missus the secret that would
double her chances with every toss.
He explained there are four possible
combinations: Head-Head, Tail-Tail, Head-Tail
and Tail-Head. If you go for heads or tails, there’s
only a one-in-four chance you’ll be right. But if
you put one hand on your head and one on your
bum, you’ll have a two in four chance (you’re
covering both Head-Tail and Tail-Head)!
And that’s it.
Nikki did as Scott suggested and
won the prize – which happened to be a very
flash bottle of wine donated by the local federal
MP Graham Perrett. Now who would have
thought two politicians in a room could be so
Finally, Cheryl Stevenson’s email sums up
reaction to my column on John Murdoch and his
Happy Bus: “What a wonderful man! The world
needs more positive people like John”.
POST-SCRIPT by Doug Corner, Mount Ommaney
Hi Spencer, I have now found it via the following string:
1. Type elibcat.library.brisbane.qld.gov.au into your browser and hit ‘enter’. This should get you onto the eLibCat Library Catalogue page.
2. Click on ‘databases’ at the top of the eLibCat page. (Ignore the ‘log in to My eLibCat Account’ on the right hand side of the page).
3. O n the ‘databases’ page - click on ‘newspapers and journals’.
4. Under the ‘library press display’ heading, about halfway down the newspapers and journals page, click on ‘remote access. This should bring you to the library press display login page where you can type in your library bar code, using all the digits on the rear of your library card. Hit the ‘login’ tab and voila - enjoy! I’ll give the free songs a try when I next have a couple of hours to spare J Spencer, by the way, we love your bmag column!
Doug Corder, Mount Ommaney