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The Week That Was: Which Way Are You Leaning?

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VATICAN NEW POPE
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It's nothing new for the British media to pass judgement on something it knows little to nothing about, and once the media commentators have had their say, for the British public to wade in in its opinionated droves. As a population, we're not exactly backward about coming forwards.

Still, Sheryl Sandberg might be forgiven for raising an eyebrow at the press coverage she's garnered in the past seven days, and the vast majority of that all before her new book had even been published this side of the Atlantic.

The COO of Facebook, and first female board member of the social media giants, admitted in a smattering of the pre-sale interviews she'd undertaken, that her debut book, Lean In, hadn't been much good in its first incarnation, but after friends and colleagues persuaded her to add some personal stories, it became a much stronger proposition.

The problem with adding the personal to anything in the digital age? The attacks become personal, too.

With my own copy still bookshelf fresh, I'll hold off before passing my own opinion, although I've been a huge fan of Sheryl's ever since I read an interview with her, in which she suggested it was absolutely fine for women to cry at work. In one passing comment she legitimised my handful of workplace meltdowns (handful, right, it's not an everyday occurance). Her insistence that women learn to negotiate better deals for themselves at work, whether that's financial or otherwise, gets my vote too. The list goes on and I'm not at the contents page yet.

The only person giving Sheryl a run for her declining Facebook shares in column inches this week? God, who thanks to the anointing of a new Pope, saw a sudden surge in interest, dare one say it, even popularity across the web.

If trends really are as simple as what's at the top of Twitter, then religion has never been so in vogue.

As any fashionista worth her salt would advise Pope Francis, when something's hot it's only a matter of time before the trend has passed and the fashion pack move onto something new. Here's hoping he capitalises on his talkability and uses his early days in office to do something tangible. (And I'm not talking about making cassocks and red hats runway worthy.) If we can't expect the head of the Catholic Church to embrace the gay community, abortion rights and contraception, then let's hope at the very least he'll be outspoken on the abuse accusations his church is so unwilling to face head on.

Where did you find out about the new Pope? Chances are it wasn't a newspaper. New figures out this week confirmed what most of us know already: the majority of us get our news online today (yesterday too, in fact) and are purchasing papers in ever decreasing numbers. Only 71% of men and women under 24 have read a daily newspaper in the past year. And the paper they read in the highest numbers is the Metro, so they're not parting with cash even when print does
provide their daily view of the news.

David Cameron might be spending his weekend worrying about Monday's press regulation vote in the Commons, but the population responsible for making him prime minister is moving at a far quicker pace online. At the rate things are going, there won't be any newspapers left to regulate by the time some decisions are made.

Short of requesting some divine intervention, maybe it's time for Cameron to ask Sheryl Sandberg to come and sort out his issues for him. Just don't be surprised if she suggests adding a few more women to the cabinet while she's at it.

Around the Web

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