Wednesday, August 23, 2006

End of an Era

I grew up in a Daily Mail household with the Express, Times and Mirror around on a Sunday. When I left college in 1984 I thought I ought to read a 'proper' paper and started reading The Times.

In 1987, fed up of The Times' coverage of the General Election, I became an Independent reader. It has been an enjoyable relationship, not least in the period when Andrew Marr was editor and decided to put the best piece of writing on the front page regardless of the subject matter. Circulation fell but I often seem to support minority views.

Their photography has always been great, especially the moody black and whites. Their front pages imaginative and their posters, statistics and comment excellent. They led the way in tabloid-sizing the broadsheets.

Possibly because selling a house, changing a job and moving are concentration-sapping activities I have found the Indie hard to read recently and even dull.

So I have upped camp and moved to the Guardian. I have read it every Saturday anyway for the last couple of years and enjoyed it. This may be permanent. Apart from Johann Hari I can't think of a columnist I will really miss.

6 comments:

Sam said...

I think changing newspapers every now and then is a sign of good health. Sooner or later the party line just gets annoying. I bought the Economist for a few months because it is really international, before I realised I was being brainwashed by bankers. The Guardian Weekly is good for a summary of the news, but the megaleft agenda grated too. At the moment bbcnews.com does the trick... some might call me a cheapskate.

St said...

Cheapskate. Sorry. Open goal.

Stewart said...

I read the Guardian - because it covers a wide range of issues and opinions, and has very good international coverage - and the Telegraph - because I like to know what the other side of the political spectrum is thinking. Oh, and because I need a good laugh every now and again - the Telegraph is (unintentionally) an extremely amusing read.

Sam said...

but i get an assist :)

stew! a pleasure to be on the same comment box.. whenever I buy the telegraph (usually in a foreign train station) I sometimes laugh, but more often want to cry because I get the sense that the newspaper really thinks that it's a shame the british Empire crumbled: When the war broke out in Lebanon, I tried to get the lowdown. All I got was the plight of a few ex-pats who said their boat didn't turn up fast enough - and that after all the tax they paid! Rule Britannia! Who gives a ... about the rest of the world! Where can I invest my shares? How do I get Maximillian to Eton?

Ok I admit it I'm a dirty socialist :)

More comedy can be found at mailwatch

Stewart said...

Thanks for the kind words Sam - and being a socialist is nothing to be ashamed of (as long as you use a little 's'...).

Of course the Telegraph really does believe that it's a shame that the Empire crumbled - and it seems there are enough people out there who share that view to support the publication of a daily newspaper. It would make me want to cry as well... if it wasn't such an entertaining read. I particularly love the letters page, which offers an enlightening glimpse into the strange and alarming mindset of its readership...

"Sir,

I was perambulating down Oxford Street yesterday when I had the misfortune to chance across a woman who was not wearing a hat!

Is this what we fought the Boer War for? Now, more than ever, this country clearly needs Mrs Thatcher to return to power. And the reintroduction of the death penalty.

Yours,

Brigadier Hufton-Tufton (retd.)"

Sam said...

love it love it love it :)