In the 1960’s and 70’s I was heavily involved in politics. I was Chairman of the Cumbria Liberal Party, I co-chaired the Britain in Europe campaign in 1975 with Willy Whitelaw (MP for Penrith & The Borders and Minister of State for Northern Ireland at the time), I was agent for Allan Beith when he was elected as Liberal MP to the Berwick Constituency in 1973.
I knew exactly which pubs in Newton-le-Willows, and later in Carlisle, to go to in order to meet up with the stringer for the Earlestown & Newton News, the Warrington Guardian, the St. Helens Reporter, the Cumberland News or the Westmorland Gazette.
Pay for a couple of pints of mild and you had a few inches in the following weeks newspaper, or a spot on BBC Radio Carlisle, or even Border Television (both of which required attendance at the Pinegrove Hotel on London Road, Carlisle).
Stringers have gone, reporters never get off their bums, they send a contract photographer to get a shot which they may, or may not, use.
People still buy local newspapers but these are available, free of charge, on line and the news on line changes nearly every hour. National papers are exactly the same. Most people read national daily’s on line, only commuters buy hard copies.
The exceptions are people who buy newspapers because they are deeply in to crosswords. And, of course, people who read the best newspaper available in the UK (very few pictures, no tat) the Financial Times.
The reason that TV and Radio programs never (ever) mention the FT is that the FT only reports facts and does not report speculation, therefore it lacks “public interest”. Personally I prefer straight up and down facts, I will then do the speculation on what the facts mean.
My rant is now over. But I would love to hear the opinions of all of you as to what it is you see or read which helps to form your opinions.