- Do all newspapers provide reliable information? Why?
- What British newspapers do you know?What kind of informatiom do they provide?
All newspapers in Britain, daily or Sunday ones, can broadly be divided into the quality press and the popular press.
The quality newspapers are also known as “heavies” and they usually deal with home and overseas news, with detailed and extensive coverage of sports and cultural events. Besides they also carry financial reports, travel news and book and film reviews. The popular press or the “populars” are also known as tabloidsas they are smaller in size being halfsheet in format. Some people also call them the “gutter press” offering news for the people less interested in daily detailed news reports.
They are characterised by large headlines, carry a lot of big photographs, concentrate on the personal aspects of news, with reports of the recent sensational and juicy bits of events, not excluding the Royal family. The language of a tabloid is much more colloquial, if not specific, than that of quality newspapers. Here is a possibly witty though true classification of English newspapers:
“The Times” is read by the people who run the country;
“The Mirror” is read by the people who think they run the country;
“The Guardian” is read by the people who think about running the country;
“The Mail” is read by wives of the people who run the country;
“The Daily Telegraph” is read by the people who think the country ought to be run as it used to be;
“The Express” is read by the people who think it is still run as it used to be;
“The Sun” is read by the people who don’t care who runs the country as long as the naked girl at page three is attractive.
In Britain today there are four nationwide quality papers: “The Times”, “The Daily Telegraph”, “The Guardian” and “The Independent”. “The Daily Mail”, “The Daily Mirror”, “The Sun”, “The Daily Express” and “The Daily Star” are usually considered to be “populars”.
In general, however, English people themselves, though slightly sniffy and condescending about their “populars”, underline that the quality of newspapers in Great Britain of late is much better than 20 years ago. They argue that it is much lower if they take the example of “The Times” newspaper, which was taken over by Rupert Murdoch in the early eighties. He is the owner of News International and is among the people who have control over the press. Rupert Murdoch also owns “The Sun”, which is, as it has already been stressed, a very low quality newspaper. To increase readership into “The Times” he gradually increases a lot of techniques in it similar to those he introduced in “The Sun” paper.
Most people in Great Britain perceive the press in Great Britain as objective, since they claim that there is no overt censorship, no overt bias in reporting the news, and that there is a wide choice of newspapers apart from the national dailies.
There are a lot of different regional daily papers in Britain as well. One can mention the following “The Scotsman” and “The Yorkshire Post”. There are also local weekly papers and many London and local papers delivered or distributed free and paid for entirely from advertising. Thus in Britain one can find newspapers of every political colour, from the far left to the far right. There are several socialist newspapers on sale each week, for example, “Socialist Worker”, and many others. Most people are satisfied that there is a free and objective press. They say that the British press is also investigative, uncovers scandals in the governments, and if they are not satisfied with what they read in “The Times” and think it is not true, they have the opportunity to go and pick up another newspaper and compare reportings.