Ed ~ You can read Part 1 here.
The so-called third estate these days is seemingly inhabited by the products of one of Blair’s much-loved bog-standard comprehensive schools. Whatever these people learned at school or university, it certainly was not how to present quality researched articles based on fact. A little research or a look at their obligatory FaceBook page will open a few ‘quality’ newspapers readers’ eyes to the reality of the backgrounds and lack of subject experience of some national broadcast and print media professionals.
Local newspapers are now seemingly written by people who either failed to reach even that dismal standard or are drafted in at short notice to write on the various subjects that interest local people. Usually, it seems stories on domestic disturbances, drunks, speeding motorists and so on are often now written in some cases by something, artificial intelligence maybe, or somebody called a democracy reporter who has been embedded in local newsrooms courtesy of the BBC. Whether they have embedded broadcast journalists or just journalists, I’ve not been able to find out. But either way, there seems little difference in standards or what they expect me to pay to read. Why I should pay to read their assumptions or opinions? When I refuse, it seems to alarm them as is their fixation with so-called ‘fake news’. Maybe they have not heard of the alternatives readily available now on the internet. Articles are available to meet almost any taste and on any subject and any bias.
It’s not always been like this, local papers at one time had an element of respect from the readership (for example Michael Buerk started his journalistic life on a local newspaper ), even if they were affectionately referred to as the ‘local rag’. In the main, they didn’t push somebody’s particular point of view; they reported on what was happening locally, something also that T.V broadcasts did mainly, although that started to change as more left-wing staff were employed. And it must, of course, be remembered that the BBC has, since the time of Lord Reith, been the government mouthpiece at home and abroad and the arbiter of what was good taste. Its bias then not quite as obvious, or if it was ignored by most people
I recently viewed a couple of contemporary documentary reports by the long-defunct Thames Television; one looked at both sides of the miners’ strike and the industrial action being taken by railway unions. They were an eye-opener on just how far the broadcast media has travelled in the ensuing years. The interviewer asked questions, got answers and queried those answers … unlike the constant interruption and point-scoring that passes for in-depth investigative journalism today when the interviewer presumes that their opinion is the important thing and they are more important than the person being interviewed. It is celebrity news reporting at its worst and shows how far backward we have travelled.
And therein, for me at any rate, is the reason I’m very selective in what I purchase to read or watch these days. I can’t remember the last time I watched BBC or Sky News, I find most of the so-called quality broadsheets unreadable and have cancelled subscriptions to three magazines that I’d supported for years. These non-political magazines bought for the enjoyment of a hobby, suddenly, over the last three years started to employ journalists who apparently wanted to educate me on their views on Brexit. Presumably, the editors no longer read what journalists write in articles which should be totally removed from the political arena. Perhaps it’s something to do with working in Cambridgeshire where, for some reason, many magazines are based. A national club, of which I was a member for many years, suddenly started to carry letters and articles in its magazine from members or contributors on such subjects as political correctness, Brexit and politics in general. I’m no longer a member as I assumed the editor viewed these articles and letters favourably and sought to impose his views on members of an interest club as far as can be away from the world of politics.
Neither am I impressed by actors or so-called T.V celebrities who think I find their opinions on anything but their apparent skill set as remotely important; the fact that you can imitate somebody or speak words that somebody else wrote , or ‘writ’ as Ernie Wise may have said, or sell something or other is neither here nor there, something they may like to heed or even ask the people recently made redundant at CNN recently as viewers turned off in their thousands .
As for the hypocritical luvvies, supposedly supporting the climate change agenda while flying more in a month than many airline staff do, and then having the gall to admit they are hypocrites while expecting me to accept it, then they can all think on. Using children in their advertising and marketing strategies and advertising as the current B.T campaign does complete with what to me seems like a very intense Greta Thunberg type presentation from a young girl along with what looks to me like a ‘common purpose’ inspired slogan is something that I’m not inspired or happy about.
I’m reminded of some very old advice, each has a right to voice their own opinions, it’s a free country (well we mostly thought it was several years ago, now it seems that it is anything but ) so voice them at the right time and place, and if you want to keep friends, stay off religion and politics and keep children from both.