Monday, 22 March 2010

Recommended read - Charlie Brooker

Charlie Brooker has an excellent column in the Guardian today in which he calls newspapers 'the biggest threat to the nation's mental wellbeing':

In its purest form, a newspaper consists of a collection of facts which, in controlled circumstances, can actively improve knowledge.

Unfortunately, facts are expensive, so to save costs and drive up sales, unscrupulous dealers often "cut" the basic contents with cheaper material, such as wild opinion, bullshit, empty hysteria, reheated press releases, advertorial padding and photographs of Lady Gaga with her bum hanging out.

The hapless user has little or no concept of the toxicity of the end product: they digest the contents in good faith, only to pay the price later when they find themselves raging incoherently in pubs, or – increasingly – on internet messageboards.


  1. So, what's his point? Is he trying to do himself out of a job? What's the solution to this endemic bullshit and mind-numbing banality? Newspapers make it impossible have a sensible debate about anything, not just drugs, surely? Take your pick - state of the economy? War on Terror? National Health Service? The Criminal Justice System?

    Best thing to do is to stop reading then, eh? A newspaper as a collection of facts has never existed, and never will. What approach would you take here, Mr MacGuffin? You think that media needs a complete overhaul? - a decent Press regulator would do nicely for a start...

  2. The 'point' is they're meant to be News papers - not 'might have been' papers - or 'probably' papers.
    I would pass the comment back to you 'Best thing to do is to stop reading then, eh?' but in regard to this blog and perhaps blogs that carry a similar message, that seems to wind you up so much.

  3. "A newspaper as a collection of facts has never existed, and never will."

    I think that's what Charlie Brooker's trying to point out.

    Christ Rob, just reading through some of these posts confirms one thing: you're pretty hell-bent on bringing down MacGuffin. Shame he's so bloody entertaining and accurate! It must make your piss boil.


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