Media Madness: The Race Is On

06/10/2011 14:52 BST | Updated 05/12/2011 10:12 GMT

Newspapers have a huge impact on the public; they have always been a primary source of information and now in this 21st century generation the news has become even more accessible due to the internet. This has caused the readership of global newspapers to continue to drop, which has both good and bad points, the bad being that the traditional source of information, the newspaper, is reducing but alternatively the growth of online media could be seen as an evolution to a 'new age' of instant news in which consumer demand is fulfilled quicker.

Therefore, the online newspapers have begun a sort of race in which winning is if you publish the story first. This increasingly quickening pace of receiving news, through a simple click, now means that to 'win' some journalists are even going to the length of writing multiple stories, with each possible outcome, then the second they know what the 'verdict' is (for example) they publish their reports online so it's the first source for the masses wanting answers. However, this can cause problems if what they post is not accurate or the most detailed account that they could have.

A recent incident in which this can be seen is the appeal case of Amanda Knox. The Sun, Sky News, The Daily Mail and other publications, all embarrassingly posted their already written stories, equipped with photos and quotes from the trail, claiming that Knox had been found guilty of murdering Meredith Kercher, when in fact she had been found innocent. This blunder is thought to have happened due to the judge's choice of words, as he declared Amanda Knox of being guilty... of slander - before clearing her of the murder but out of eagerness to be first with the breaking news the second some media publications heard guilty they clicked publish. Since then the reports have been rectified.

This particular example made me evaluate why newspapers are so competitive and who is currently winning. All newspapers have different journalists, sponsors and sources but they fundamentally report on, very often, the same thing. Therefore the way in which they report it and how fast they can produce a news item for the public is one of the clear differences between them and their competition and is therefore of high importance.

Currently, the newspaper 'winning' the race for highest readership, according to what the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported in 2011, is The Sun, which has a daily circulation of 3,001,82

2 readers. Following closely is The Daily Mail with 2,136,568 and then the Daily Mirror with 1,194,097.