Reading the Sunday Paper used to be an energetic, messy but informative experience, which on completion made me feel well informed and slightly virtuous – it was a broadsheet after all. Nowadays things are different. First of all I read the paper on my ipad; this makes the experience cleaner (no newsprint to get all over me and my clothes) and easier…… but. And it is a big But…..
It is almost inevitable that newspapers have to change in this day of instant, rolling news, internet and twitter. News, for example of a celebrity’s death will be transmitted round the world in minutes rather than hours or days. So what is the role of the humble paper? It used to be about profit, and thus resulted in sensational stories which would sell lots of editions and make someone rich. Nowadays it is about influence in greater measure, and thus there is a lot of opining and sermonising and downright nastiness. The restraint shown by the press over the Duchess of Cambridge is offset by the strident calls for Andrew Mitchell, the Chief Whip, to resign because of his ill-advised display of bad temper.
That brings me to the sheer power of the press. It can be used for good as well as bad; it can be divisive or inclusive and it can lead to injustice as well as a call for fairness. There is a struggle going on in newsprint and only time will tell what we will end up with. I would predict that there will be a leaner press with more comment and posturing over political matters. Will I still be reading a regular newspaper? I doubt it. How about you?