The Wright Stuff debated ‘Did press Bias go too far?’ during the General Election.
I probably shouldn’t be writing this because I’m no longer qualified, having given up on buying a newspaper a few years ago, but I’m going to anyway.
Where to start with newspapers. So much has gone on, but we’ll start with election bias.
The press bias probably is too much. Especially when you consider that television coverage of the election campaign is strictly regulated and are not supposed to be biased. If one party is talked about, equal coverage must be given to the others. If only this were the case for ‘newspapers’. They can be as biased as they like towards one party, and as ‘anti’ others as they wish. We even say ” ‘X’ newspaper is a Labour newspaper.” But we I think we all know this. It’s not a revelation.
Election information is important. So I think the last medium we should glean this information from is a partisan newspaper. After all, most are just telling you in a round about way or maybe not so round about, for which party you should vote, and this doesn’t sit well with me. I don’t even want parents telling their offspring how to vote. I want people to form their own opinions.
There are plenty of credible sources we can look to in deciding which party gets our vote. Each party’s manifesto is the main example, but if that’s too much reading for you there are really good programmes on TV that are on most days/weeks, and not just when an election is looming. I’ll spend the next five years trying to listen between the lines so I’m ready for the next bunch of manifestos! Anyway, I think we’ve all had enough of elections.
I think we should just ditch the newspapers. Unless someone brings one out that just prints facts. Actual facts. If I want fiction & pictures on paper I’ll buy a comic. The newspapers seem to have forgotten what the word ‘newspaper’ means. NEWS + PAPER. Not rocket science.
Was it an urban myth that articles in newspapers had to be confirmed as true by three sources before print? Or was it just in films? I LOVE that idea. Imagine. It wouldn’t sort out all of the ‘crimes’ newspapers commit, such as intrusions into privacy by many disgusting methods but at least we could rely on the news. Instead, It seems they are not even required to tell the truth. Newspapers can print whatever they like, or perhaps whatever their owner likes, with little or no consequences. Big front page headlines, that when proved to be untrue are ‘retracted’ by way of a tiny paragraph on page 6 of their rag. A Front Page lie should equal a Front Page apology imho.
But all of this is moot if us as the newspaper buying public really consider whether we actually need to buy a newspaper. Every time we buy a newspaper we are contributing to, and therefore condoning their grubby tactics. They think we want to see a super long range photo of a topless royal. Or an extreme close up of Mick Jagger moments after learning of his partner’s tragic death. The latter was the specific reason I stopped buying a newspaper. These examples of voyeurism are just disgusting and I don’t want the rags to think it’s okay to intrude, be it Matt paper or glossy.
There’s another point too. We’d save a few trees!