Monday, May 26, 2008

Daily News-Sance

Sitting in bed with the husband (sorry the novelty will wear off) on a nice bank holiday with a lovely cup of tea something was missing. I picked up my tome of a bedside book but that wasn’t what I needed, I love the Victorian era but I wanted something more tangible, more current dare I say more real?

‘You need a newspaper Baby’ Mr S said. ‘I don’t read the bloody news’ I said astonished he didn’t know me better.

‘No, I know, you don’t. You never watch it either; you complain it’s too miserable. The only time you ever pick up a paper is if it’s got the books section in it.’ This could have been our first marital domestic only we were both smirking, him with being right and me with a semi sulk. The thing is he was right. I avoid the news like the plague.

Part of it is down to childhood, when I was little and there was a break between watching neighbours with Alice, Caz and Matt and the latest from on the street there seemed to be a giant cavern which only contained people in suits talking about awful things that happened with a slightly happier story at the end. These days even that last bit of happy news seems to have vanished. When I was getting ready for school watching The Big Breakfast I wasn’t fooled, they might have been wearing day-glow and mentioning the odd celebrity… but it was still news and generally signalled time to leave for school. Maybe they should think about doing a happy news show, dare I say the 7pm ‘Good News’ show?

Mr S had a valid point however I don’t generally know what’s going on in current affairs, I mean I didn’t even know Billie Piper was pregnant. No seriously, Mr S loves the news and left News 24 on the other day and I was disgustingly out of touch with what was going on. Wearing my ‘Vote Hilary’ t-shirt at Lovers and Losers people kept saying I don’t think so now… I had no idea what she’d been up to or if she had even lost.

So I had to agree with Mr S, maybe a paper is just what I needed but which one I should choose I am clueless. My family expect me to vote Labour because they do, they therefore would also expect me to read The Guardian and The Observer. I pick up The Guardian at the weekend as it has an excellent review section, the weekend is a different matter all together and I pick up all the papers for their book review inserts.

I will never forget the face on Bong last year when we went shopping for the papers and I bought The Daily Tory-graph. He was outraged, until he read it and then he admitted secretly he liked it. The problem with the broadsheets is just that, they are too broad! I don’t want to have something that crowds me in. Should I try something more compact? Maybe The Times? I used to work for News International and we used to get The Times for free and it wasn’t bad but I flicked. For a while I bought The Sin, sorry The Sun, everyday I liked the entertainment but think its time I grew up a bit.

I even then devised a list of both what I do and don’t want here is a condensed list. Firstly what do I want?
- The latest news in a non sided honest factual way.
- To find out things I never knew and can use at a dinner party or two.
- A newspaper that’s about people, and has a human feel
- Good news thrown in, not just tales of woe or how awful the world is.

I don’t want;
- To be patronised, I’m not stupid (I am no genius)
- Over long or pompous wording, come on I am a commoner, let’s keep it real.
- One sided discussion
- Bigoted, homophobic, or backward thinking pieces.

I think I am searching for the impossible so have decided that for the next few weeks I will try a full week of a different paper. I have chosen my first one on the fact I know a few people who have written for it, some people I respect read it and its title suggests it should be just my cup of tea. ‘The Independent’ it is then. Lets see how I get on, I’ll keep you updated. Oh and if anyone has any recommendations let me know.

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