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Posts Tagged ‘The Daily Mail Song’

When I was in London as a student in the mid-80’s I didn’t read newspapers much. I would sometimes pop into the newsagents near my university for some chocolate and a International Herald Tribune. I’m not sure why; I think another American student in my hostel recommended it as a good way to catch up on events at home.  It doesn’t really matter since the IHT like so many other papers was bought out is now published as the International New York Times.

I also bought one copy of the tabloid, The Sun – mainly because I wanted physical proof that British papers actually had topless women in them. The edition I bought featured Samantha Fox as the Page Three girl, if memory serves. Also they seemed fond of using the term “shock horror” with abandon.

*If I understand correctly, the practice of publishing topless photos in The Sun has pretty much been halted since earlier this year.

Now if I’d read the serious British broadsheets of the time I’m sure I would have discovered that The Guardian or The Independent (once it came along in 1986) had few nice things to say about Maggie Thatcher while The Times or Daily Telegraph might have be singing her praises. Please see the graphic below for the spectrum of political and social leanings among UK newspapers.

Orientation of UK Newspapers image credit The Atlantic

Orientation of UK Newspapers
image credit The Atlantic

 

Graphs are all well and good, but as you know, I prefer my British culture lessons in telly form. There have been more times than I can count when I’ve picked up on a passing comment about which newspaper a character reads. It serves as a subtle, yet very distinct, clue about that person’s political stance, education or even sophistication.

For example, here’s a rather succinct run down from Yes Prime Minister identifying each paper’s target readership.

 

And it’s not just a matter of political affiliation. Comedian Russell Howard has a humorous method for differentiating the unique journalistic styles of print media outlets in Great Britain today.

 

Finally here’s a song about The Daily Mail, the preferred news source of  Last Tango in Halifax’s Celia Dawson-Buttershaw …seeing as she’s so broad-minded and all.

 

These days my newspaper consumption is relegated almost exclusively to on-line versions. And even though I mostly read entertainment-related pieces (reviews and the like) you can often sense how conservative or liberal the paper is by it’s reaction to socially significant issues presented in a drama or comedy.

For news and general tone, I’d probably identify myself as a Guardian reader so I suppose that says something about me. I’m just not exactly sure what that message is. Feel free to tell me or share your print news source of choice in the comments.

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