Friday, 6 November 2009

Peter Hill actually believes the Express is the 'world's greatest newspaper'

Ciar Byrne has a two page article about the Express and its Editor Peter Hill in the latest Press Gazette. As a former media correspondent at the Guardian and Independent, Byrne has produced a very disappointing piece which doesn't challenge Hill on his coverage of Diana and Madeleine McCann or the horrendous, biased and very often fictional coverage of immigration, Muslims and other minorities.

She writes:

Hill does not wish to give a 'set-piece interview' at present, but he is happy to defend the Express and its management against their critics.

Which implies she was restricted in what she was allowed to ask. In which case, ignore him. If he can't answer questions about the stream of lies his paper puts out, the racist propaganda, the huge court payouts, the ludicrous conspiracy theories, the adverts-as-editorial for which the paper has been rebuked four times, the fact so much of his dreadful paper is now advertising and the fact he and his proprietor are liars, then why bother talking to him at all?

What he does say is rubbish such as:

I believe the standards of writing have vastly improved

and isn't challenged on it. Most of the time, the question about any Express story is not whether it contains a good standard of writing (it usually doesn't) but whether it's even true (it often isn't). Exercise is good for you, it's going to be warm for a few days and the puppy who wasn't stamped to death have all been on the front page in the last week or so. This is a vastly improved standard of writing and journalism?

Apparently so. Hill is also allowed to say about the Express:

It's the world's greatest newspaper. That's what it says on the front. It must be true.

Yeh, like those 90 consecutive McCann stories which were all completely accurate. Or the puppy and EU income tax fictions.

But here's the thing - how can the Express write 'THE WORLD'S GREATEST NEWSPAPER' in caps on the masthead every day? It must surely rank only slightly above the Star and Sport as the third worst newspaper in Britain, let alone the world. It's not the greatest on sales, or on awards (unless that is libel awards, paid out...), or by any other criteria.

The ASA say it is not advertising so it can't do anything. Is it even worth asking the PCC...?


  1. Great post, I've wondered how they manage to label it with the greatest tag, guess the lawyers found it couldn't be legally challenged and its just an ad slogan, like Pepsi 'Choice of a New Generation' and the like.
    It means a lot more when a paper can run Newspaper of the Year (as awarded by journalist or news associations) and there wouldn't be many people outside the Express staff that really think it's the world's greatest.

  2. I totally agree with you... nice post.. I came across to your blog while searching to watch The Hills Online.. Anyway, i like your blog..


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