Tuesday, 5 March 2013

You are what you read?

So I have a confession to make. Brace yourselves for this one.

Sometimes, I read The Daily Mail.

But here's the really big shocker. 

I'm not a racist. Nor am I a homophobe. And I actually have pretty lax views on immigration.

Obviously I have read the odd thing and had to laugh at the audacity of the paper. In one particular article on the UK's general perception of the Irish they decided to get a couple of comments from an Irish potato farmer. That made me laugh and grimace in equal measure. And the recent furore around their apparent sexualisation of children does confuse me. They got a really hard time recently for commenting on the legs of a celebrity's 10 year old daughter. I agree it was an ill-advised thing to say but at the same time I have always found to The Daily Mail to be at the forefront of tackling any kind of sexualisation of children. Probably the BIGGEST campaigner against it actually.

I think the problem with The Mail is who reads it. If someone likes to read over some of the articles but knows when a  slant is slightly questionable then that's one thing. It's the people who read it but aren't even slightly attuned to its occasional right wing direction that you should be worried about.

The reason I like to read The Mail is because I have always struggled to find a newspaper that works for me. I find papers like the Sun and the (now defunct) News of the world far too dumbed down. I've tried to read those papers but they hurt my brain. Don't get me wrong, I am the first person to spend my hard earned cash on salacious celebrity scandal but when I am paying for Closer magazine I know what I am getting. When I want to read the news then I want to read the proper news. Not look at tits and see another low rent celebrity falling out of Faces.

 On the other side of the coin I admit, I find broadsheets difficult too. Often I don't understand a lot of the articles and find myself skipping over them halfway through because my brain has given up. The Mail is the perfect gap for me. It's the perfect bridge between low brow and high brow. It often covers a story in two or three pages. It takes you right to the start, shows some excellent investigative journalism and explains a few finer points in a bit more detail. Meaning if you didn't really understand employment law or how to swindle shares then you can read the article with a bit more comprehension.

The people who judge others on what they read are often questionable too. I can handle a Times or Telegraph reader questioning my choice of newspaper. But often the people who cry on about 'The Daily Fail' the most are uneducated and more interested in jumping on a bandwagon than anything else. This is particularly apparent on Twitter. There are some real eejits on my timeline who are more than happy to slag the paper when the nearest thing to a newspaper they read is the sports pages from the person sitting opposite them on the train. 

In my lifetime I have genuinely met more narrow minded and bigoted Sun readers than I have Daily Mail readers. So what does that tell you?

Obviously one of the main issues people have with the paper are the controversial articles they publish as opposed to the actual news articles. The thing is, people are so busy getting incensed by the content of said articles that they are missing the point. Samantha Brick doesn't think she is a supermodel. Katie Hopkins probably does let her kids play with the children from the council estate. But they both get paid massive wads of cash to write things that will not only drive the public wild but create massive publicity for the newspaper. Its an amazingly clever ploy that I have nothing but admiration for. Do the people who write these things lack integrity? Yes. Have they sold their soul to the devil? Absolutely. Do they believe an inch of what they are writing? Not a fucking chance.

For all my ranting, I don't read the bloody thing that much. And by all means if you have links to articles that would really make me question having the app on my phone then send them to me. I am genuinely interested. But don't abuse others for their choices. Then you become exactly what you are claiming this paper to be.  

If it is true that you are what  you read then not only am I a racist bigot who wants to live in a country with closed walls but I am also a vacuous, shallow airhead who only cares about her looks (I buy Cosmo). So what's it to be?

Am I really all of those things?

I don't think so.


char said...

I love this post. I can never understand why people who make a big fuss about hating the Mail on twitter etc are ironically just generating the thing more publicity by publicly slating it.

I don't have any regular subscriptions to a paper as I don't often have enough time to read one, but I sometimes flick through the Times or the Telegraph in the week, and used to pick up the Sunday Times because I preferred it's inserts. Shallow I know, but I don't read any magazines so that was my 'fix'.

Dawn Young said...

Not shallow at all! I love a good supplement. And who cares what other people read as long as we are all being nice to one another :) xx

Unknown said...

I couldn't agree with this more!! I read the Daily Mail but it doesn't mean I agree with everything it says. I just find the same thing as you - it speaks about politics etc in a language that makes it simple enough for me to understand, without talking to me like I'm thick or sticking a pair of boobs next to the quote as some of the tabloids do. When reading the Daily Mail, I've seen articles that make me rage, but I just see them for what they are and go and read another article. I'm not interested in pushing my views on other people, nor getting into an argument, I just want to know - in general - what is going on in the world. xx

Dawn Young said...

I thought I'd get a lot of stick for this post but there's a lot more Mail readers out there than I realised! Xx

P said...

I'm not a big fan of newspapers but I totally agree with you on this. I think it's ridiculous when people use "Daily Mail reader" as a type of insult.

Dawn Young said...

And most of the people who do tend to not have a bloody clue what they are talking about!xx

dharmamonkey said...

"In my lifetime I have genuinely met more narrow minded and bigoted Sun readers than I have Daily Mail readers. So what does that tell you?"

That the average Sun reader is generally more bigoted than your average Mail reader.

For me it is more about the newspaper bias than the opinions of the readership. Newspapers have a responsibility to inform educate and entertain. Most tabloids focus on the latter and disregard the rest.

By the way, some of my best friends read tabloids ;)

Dawn Young said...

Ha. As do many of my friends and none are bigots.

I was merely pointing out the injustice of making a sweeping generalisation about Mail readers :)

dharmamonkey said...

Funny. I read the Mail for the first time in donkey and was amazed at the amount of sweeping generalisations their journalists make!