söndag 10 juli 2011

Good riddance News of the World

That the News of the World was Britain's best-selling newspaper says much about the British public, and none of it complimentary.

As an editorial headline in today's Observer puts it, "Murdoch's malign influence must die with the News of the World" However, Murdoch's is far from being the only malign influence in the British media. One the right, we have the pervasive "me" culture, that manifests in the championing of motorists' rights and home ownerism, whilst at the other end of the political spectrum, the discourse is permeated by a low level Marxism, typified by proposals for policies based on job creationism, and the championing of allegedly progressive causes such as "women's right to choose".

The Observer editorial continues "The scandal over phone hacking has exposed a rotten empire and the urgent need for stronger press regulation." That is an ill-judged comment. Whoever composed the sentence will come to regret it. The underlying problem is that much of the British population still identifies itself as belonging to one of two tribes, leading to a pervasive and destructive them-and-us culture. The newspapers simply reflect that culture and regulation is not going to stop it. I have never bought a copy of the News of the World and I do not even recall bothering to open one left on a train or bus. But if people did not buy and read newpapers filled up with salacious tit-bits, then they would not get published. The problem is the British public, not defects in regulation.

1 kommentar:

The Thirsty Gargoyle sa...

Sadly, all too true. There's a sense in which tripe like NotW is a symptom rather than a cause. On the other hand, that's not to say that it hasn't made matters worse, or that Murdoch's control over British politics isn't a real phenomenon.

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