"..a bardy view!"

Newspapers – Pressing Issues…..

If I said I was a Daily Mail reader it would be true. But then again I read all UK national newspapers. 
Daily star

I mention this because there is a notion with certain politicians, academics and charities that a right of centre view must be influenced by the right wing Daily Mail.

If it's flog 'em and hang 'em then its the Daily Mail; society and liberal centre-left it must be the Guardian; pretentious analysis must be the Times; Conservative values must be the DaiyTelegraph. These are the general perceptions.

Forget about the Red Tops, they're just comics. The Sun couldn't care less as long as it thinks it has the pulse of the nation. The Mirror still believes it is the paper of the working class Labour die-hards, and the Daily Sport, well…forget about journalism. Take today's headline there for instance – "Britain's Loudest Bonker – Courts give noisy sex woman lust chance". This is enhanced by "secret boob flash pics" of a soap opera star on the front page.

Anyway, where am I going with this? I've forgotten.

Oh yes I remember. I can't recall the last time I bought a newspaper because they can all be read online. Research has shown that the advertising displayed, with all their flashy gimmicks are subconsciously rejected by the reader. And that's the problem, because if the press, with their great Fleet Street traditions aren't selling their newspapers, and revenue cannot be generated by advertising, then sooner or later they will have to dumb down or charge subscriptions for content.

The great subscription debate is in full flow. How many people would be prepared to pay for news when they can get it for free in abundance from other sources? This big issue has severe consequences for impartial and accurate journalism. Newspapers may not be able to keep their staff journalists or afford to send them on assignment.

Quality journalism has a price, and its loss is detrimental to everyone. A free press is the hallmark of democracy. Take the BBC for example. From TV to radio to online there is no advertising save their own self promotion.

But as a public broadcaster it relies on the license paid by everyone in the UK who has a television set. By law it is an offence not to pay. Only those over 75 are exempt. Even the blind must pay (with concessions) although its significantly reduced for a black and white TV. (Though I fail to see how that can make a difference to a blind person. Maybe I'm missing something). A certificate from an ophthalmologist is a must.

The cost for everyone else is £145.50 per year. That equates to £2.78 per week or 0.40 per day. Put into that context I cannot see why there is such animosity toward it.

If that is the price for quality journalism and programming then it is a price worth paying.

The BBC provides that, and having travelled rather extensively around the world, I know there is nothing to match it. Radio 4 alone is worth at least 0.40p a day. It's only the price of a postage stamp.

You don't have to read the Daily Mail or any other newspaper to know what's going on in this world, but they and their ilk shine with in-depth investigative reporting. Digging deep for good or ill is their forté.

Their survival is our gain, and their loss would be a considerable pain.



July 1, 2010 - Posted by | Culture, Current Affairs, General, London, Politics, United Kingdom | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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