UK Newspapers

One of the great things about being in the UK was that they had almost a dozen daily national newspapers to choose from each day. In NZ we have basically no national daily newspaper, just a regional newspaper per city.

Every day at a minimum I would get The Times and the Daily Telegraph. Both had a good focus on politics and national news. The Financial Times also required reading.

Normally I would get the Guardian also, and The Independent. The latter was tiresome somewhat though with an obsession with Iraq.

When very bored I would also get the Mail, Mirror and the Express. The Scotsman was also a very good read I must say. Unlike in NZ when a lot of stories come centrally from NZPA, most stories are covered directly by each newspaper, so you get different perspectives on the same story.

Oh yes the Daily Star was an invaluable source of celebrity gossip and photos, but not much else.

It would be great to have true competition amongst daily newspapers here. The gallery teams tend to be competitive in terms of out-scooping each other, and the Sunday papers also work hard to make sure they have something worth reading. However at the end of the day the lack of competition is a bad thing. I much prefer the cities where you can choose from a leftie and rightie newspaper (New York Times vs Post) than having no choice.

The best summary of the UK newspapers though comes from the wonderful Yes Prime Minister:

Humphrey: […] The only way to understand the press is to remember that they pander to their readers’ prejudices.

Hacker: Don’t tell me about the press; I know exactly who reads the papers.
The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country.
The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country.
The Times is read by the people who actually do run the country.
The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country.
The Financial Times is read by people who own the country.
The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country.
And the Daily Telegraph is read by people who think that it is.

Humphrey: Oh, and Prime Minister, what about people who read the Sun?

Bernard: Sun readers don’t care who runs the country as long as she’s got big tits.

Heh – indeed!

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