I love the titles we have for newspapers! The Sun: the beacon of light in our miserable world. The Guardian: protects us from the dangers of ignorance. The Daily Mirror: truly reflects our culture and society for what we are. The Evening Standard: flies the flag for high quality journalism. Each and every one, visionary; each deserving their own grand aptronym.
We are truly in a Renaissance time for artful journalistic-ism. While literature such as Catch-22 by Joseph Heller took an astonishing eight years to produce, journalists today are capable of making readable, credible stories in just a matter of hours. Not only that, but the resultant article proves its readability by taking approximately 45 fewer hours to read. The Heller estate, it is alleged, has been so shamed by this statistic that they tweeted: “We cannot apologise enough for the amount of time Yossarian has wasted.”
Like rich French cuisine, some people cannot take the concentration of such high quality and feel ‘bombarded’ by the media. But, I can’t count the number of times I’ve been grateful to know which Zac Efron film is about to be released, or which weather system is behind the flooding, or that the high-speed rail line from London to Birmingham will be expensive.
It’s refreshing every morning to be slotted into a new set of polarised opinions about things which really matter and that we have a say in. How much closer to paradise is the democracy where anyone is free to post their opinions about celebrities in ‘Comment’ boxes, so that editors have a range of quotes representative of all manner of extreme opinions?!
One thing I particularly enjoy about news is that an entire story can be built around a catchy headline which has little, if anything, to do with the topic covered in the article. ‘Minister Denies Allegations’ is the story of an MP who was asked at a press conference whether he was guilty of embezzlement, and with a confused look asked: “Where did you get that idea?” It isn’t until the final paragraph that you get the breathtaking twist as an authority in the matter is quoted saying there was no basis for the allegation.
In the future, speculative journalism will be a thing of the past, I think. If the ecological opinion writers are to be believed, (and as journalists, they must be, or else society crumbles) we simply won’t have enough trees left to be able to make paper, and it will become more valuable than the money that is printed on it. As a result, we will have to be careful how many false predictions of future events we’ll be able to print, which will be a detriment to us all. No longer will we be able to read about football managers saying: “It will be a hard game, but we are ready.”
That is not to say that all journalism in this Renaissance is good. There is some ‘journalism’ which takes a balanced view, seeks to avoid one single narrative, and spends far too much time in the meaningless pursuit of ‘rigour.’ Thankfully this culture is dying out like small pox, while statistics show that 80 per cent of facts are practically unreadable.
We must make the most of being able to read nonsense written about trivialities while we can, because it may not be long until the media crashes under the pressure of expectation. At this point, it will no longer produce the same high quality output and has to slow down, and it will be Catch-22 all over again.
Richard Woodall from threads has confirmed with the writer that this article is not under any circumstances to be taken seriously.