People moaning about trash news really bores me. We need it. Yeah, I said it. Journalism needs it too.
I'm also convinced that a lot of you people that moan about it secretly love it, especially that particular kind of prick that pretends not to know who anyone in Made In Chelsea is. You know who they are, I know you know, you know you know, just admit it. It's horribly fascinating TV, just own up and be who you are.
Anyway, peers of mine may be quite shocked to see me coming to the defence of trash-celebrity-style news. Now I'm not really defending it as 'news', but I'm defending its use in the mainstream media.
The fact is that newspapers (or their online counterparts) are businesses, and businesses need to sell their product to make money and in turn, survive. Unfortunately what often sells a newspaper or brings in the clicks at the moment is trashy celeb news, and that's (probably) YOUR fault, not the newspaper's (unless you subscribe to the idea that the media control the thoughts and interests of the populace etc, etc, but that's really a conversation for another time).
So we need news outlets to produce these stories to exist in the first place, and then in turn be able to report on the things that do actually matter. And we definitely need a free press to exist; it's one of the most important institutions in a democracy because it's there to hold politicians and the like to account for their actions, and it should aid a fairly run democratic nation (unless you think that the press is all government controlled. But again, that's for another time).
Obviously in a perfect world people would only buy papers that report the things that really matter, but that isn't the case. It's a situation of 'don't hate the player, hate the game'. To be honest, even if the people that buy The Sun are buying it for the boobs and the stories about Coronation Street 'actors' doing a load of coke (lucky them); they are buying it. This means there is a chance that they might accidentally read about something important, and even if it is The Sun's terrible interpretation it's still a step in the right direction, so they might accidentally learn something, much to their own dismay.
I actually think that you shouldn't complain about The Sun or the red tops in the first place. Nobody is forcing you to buy them, they're not funded by taxes. If they want to print utter shite then let them, it's their prerogative. People aren't swiping £1 from your pocket and slapping you around until you read it. If you don't like The Sun, then don't buy The Sun. I really don't like religion, so I don't go to church. I don't go there and sit at the back sanctimoniously criticising everything (although there is a part of me that would like to).
I have a policy to never buy The Sun, It's always been my policy. Here are my stats:
Years in which I have lived with my never buying The Sun policy: 25
Number of times I've bought The Sun: 0
Total number of years in which I have lived and not bought The Sun: 25
I'm absolutely brilliant at not buying The Sun, I'd even use the word 'prolific' - I'm one of the best in the world. You really can't argue with those numbers. I'd be willing to advise anyone to adopt a similar policy.
So let's just take a minute and appreciate what trashy news does for us, it probably draws in enough capital to pay the real Journalist's wages, and we need them.
Newspapers: publish what you want, and if we don't like it then we shouldn't buy it. If we want trash news to die out entirely then it's our responsibility to not consume it, and to only consume news that really matters. Then the news outlets will have to adapt. If the hand that feeds you is feeding you something you don't like then find a new hand. Don't keep going back for more.
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