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How pleased are you with your national newspaper?

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#41 Methven Hornet

Methven Hornet
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Posted 09 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

How pleased am I with my national newspaper? Well, for a start I don't have a national newspaper. I haven't bought one regularly since I used to commute to Manchester, when I bought the Guardian, Independent, occasionally the Times, very rarely the Telegraph. On Sundays I used to buy Scotland on Sunday (the newsagent got one copy a week) and that is where I saw the job advert that took me to Perth.

When in Scotland my national became either the Scotsman or the Herald.

Nowadays I just don't bother. I don't know whether the standard of journalism has plummeted, the fact that we can get much more information elsewhere, or whether I am a lot more critical these days, but I just find that the quality of even the serious newspapers doesn't make them fit to be used as chip wrapping.

What I tend to do for news these days is have a quick look on BBC News website before setting off work to see what is being reported. I also do search for news stories on things that interest or affect me. I then listen to the news programme on Radio Scotland (more relevant for me than the Radio 4 offering - Farming Today) as I drive to work.

When I get home I check out a number of web-based news sources, mainly to get a more rounded view of the main news stories. All journalists misinform, either because of political bias, world-view, the views of their proprietors, the views of the market they are aiming for and the desire to sensationalise to achieve greater
sales. By checking newspaper reports against other, often independent, news sources, reading the views and comments of individuals and groups, and using my own judgement, I hope to obtain some sort of truth.

We all know that all newspapers take a particular political stance, and write their stories based upon their standpoint. You take that into account when you read them. What does get me is when they get things wrong, either as a result of incompetence or willingness to skew a debate. What is worse, if anything, is repeating the mistakes of others by just copying 'facts' from another publication or source without any investigation. One incident of this was from this years local elections in Scotland; the BBC made a mistake in the way they calculated and reported the results, yet the same figures appeared in many of the 'quality' newspapers. What is the point?
"There are now more Trident submarines based in Scotland than there are MPs to vote for them."