More media

As you may have read earlier I am not a fan of The Sun newspaper. In fact it depresses me (slightly: I do have a life, see the post below for details) that there is a need or demand for a publication of this nature. This morning’s front page consists of a Yellow Card being shown to Tony Blair, earlier editions have had similarly sophisticated messages for the people of France and the manager of the English football team.

I do have more time for the Mirror, which seems to have principles. Those principles being clearly signposts as being a complete and utter alternative to what the other tabloids are saying. And even on the few occasions that opposing view to that espoused by the rest of the tabloid press is plainly stupid, the Mirror sticks to its principles. Unlike the Sun which pretends to change its spots at a moments notice.

You may not believe this, but writing for the Sun takes a lot of skill. Not in tailoring your prose to include the particular poison your proprietor has demanded this week. But in toning down the reading level of your English to be clear and interesting enough to your typical Sun reader. A poor writer would write lousy English, and average writer would instinctively use words that are too long and boring for Sun fans. It takes a good writer to write what a Sun reader wants to read (without vomiting), in words a Sun reader can understand.

Of course most readers want a newspaper that is sympathetic to their own beliefs; even the Guardian and Independent have a mild left wing slant. (Not that I as a Lib Dem believe in Left and Right wing any more 🙂 ). Sympathy for your reader’s values one thing, telling them what to think is another thing altogether. The level to which the Sun pushes its agenda is distasteful. Add that to hypocrisies like those over the Bruno story, and you have in the nutshell why many people dislike this publication.

Given the people I know read this blog, or who are likely to, I fear I am probably preaching to the choir. So as my friend Andy says you could make your views plain to the editor, if it makes you feel better.


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