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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Newspaper Politics

When I was growing up, my dad always bought the Daily Mail newspaper to read. He writes a weekly column for the Tanzanian national newspaper The Citizen, and also ghost writes for other people, so likes to have all sorts of information at hand. Up until I was about fifteen/sixteen I didn’t realise the Daily Mail was a ‘bad’, shitty, right-wing newspaper. (I also realise now that my dad reads all the national papers, tabloids and broadsheets). I used to read some of it and found it entertaining and funny because it had lots of interesting stories.

When I was a bit older and asked my dad why he read one of the least respected papers in the country, he said it was because he liked the stories and the information. (I’m pretty sure you can get shot in Hackney for reading the Daily Mail). He wanted to know what the demographic of the Mail – i.e. white ‘Middle England’ folk – were thinking and how they viewed things in the country. My dad always gives an example of the Stephen Lawrence murder, and that the
Mail was the first newspaper in the country to have a giant headline saying ‘MURDERERS!’ Stephen Lawrence’s mother has also thanked the Mail for backing the campaign against the men who murdered her son.

I am aware that the Mail is a very right wing paper; it is anti-immigration and pro-conservatives. I wouldn’t at all say its anti-women; there are female columnists that write for the Mail plus an entire ‘Femail’ magazine within the paper that is dedicated to women’s issues. I don’t read newspapers often, although I like to skim through the The Guardian and The Independent (or The i) but I am aware that all of the papers have a certain ‘political leaning.’ It goes something like this:

Guardian – left wing, pro-labour, broadsheet
Daily Mirror – centre left, pro-labour, tabloid
Independent – centre left, pro-lib dems/labour, broadsheet
The Times – centre right, pro conservatives/lib dems, broadsheet
The Telegraph - centre right, pro-conservatives, broadsheet
The Sun – right wing, pro-conservatives, tabloid
Daily Mail – right wing, pro-conservatives, tabloid

My personal ‘favourite’ is The Independent because it fits more with my views, being centrist/left of centre. My dad calls The Guardian an ‘opinion newspaper’ because what it is is mostly opinions. I find it a bit too left-wing/SJWish with its anti-islamophobia/pro-feminist/pro-LBGTQWRUNVXD rhetoric. Needless to say its very well-written and one of the more respected papers in the country, along with The Times and The Telegraph. The Independent is liberal as well, but more classic liberal rather than focusing on social justice and identity politics.

Which newspaper do you enjoy? Politics aside, papers should do what they’re supposed to do, and that’s deliver news. A thing the Mail can be given credit for is that it does deliver objective news when reporting a murder or stabbing or some generic sad shit. Who knows what the papers will be spouting when they deliver the election results...

2 comments:

  1. I guess I never thought of newspapers this way, I mean I've mostly used the Guardian as my pslam almost, interesting to read a new perspective. Never thought newspapers could be biased.

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    Replies
    1. Newspapers definitely have a political bias, it's part of what drives the perspectives behind their stories or articles. Lately I've noticed the Independent become more 'left leaning' and being pro 'gender neutral babies' and supporting identity politics.

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