I consider it of some importance that I find out what is going on around me on a daily basis. Being a responsible citizen of the UK, Europe and the world I consider that it is my duty and a privilege to be able to gather information that affects me and those around me. At a time when at least one third of the worlds population are denied the freedom of both the press and the internet I am thankful that democracy allows me to openly access both tools.
A good part of my time is spent during the day in gathering information from news sources but I am a person of habit because to me it is just as important that I gather good news that I feel I can trust as opposed to bad news. It is also important that the information I receive is not just other people’s opinion or just plain gossip.
My day always starts with BBC Breakfast around the sofa, I always feel safe when getting the news from the Beeb, well I have been receiving news from them all of my life and you kind of get to trust them. I like the breakfast show because it’s not all hard news, there’s a bit of sport and culture talk slipped in as well. After breakfast I’ll turn on my computer and the first page to load on the internet is BBC online which is my home page, from there I can get the main news headlines and local news of the day as well as weather, sport, politics and everything else that’s happening in the world.
I don’t buy a newspaper everyday but if I am going into town for shopping or just out and about I will pick up a newspaper to read whilst enjoying a cup of coffee at one of our local café’s. I stopped buying newspapers like the mirror and the Sun or star many years ago, I want news about what affects me, what an X factor contestant or a professional footballer may get up to in his spare time doesn’t interest me in the slightest. The latest revelations of how the press has pried into peoples lives has disgusted me, yes we need a free press but that doesn’t give them the right to hack into telephone messages or use private investigators to dig out sensationalism just to sell papers. I have also tired of papers like the Mail and Express that take news and add a political slant to it, I want to make my own opinions instead of opinions of others who obviously want to persuade there readers that what happens is the fault of a certain person or group. I have over the last few months been reading the ‘I’ newspaper which is a part of the Independent group. For me it gives the news without adding opinion, there are editorials if you wish to read them but even these do not seem to be biased to any political party or doctrine, the paper is only 20p and it seems to be growing in popularity.
I also get our local newspaper the Skegness Standard every week which has a good coverage of local news, I only have one issue with it and that is why the front news story has to nearly always be sensationalism like a murder committed or robbery or mugging, which has no relation to the real things that affect every day life in Skegness, of course it is done to sell paper but it gives bad press to our visitors and residents alike, the truth is our town is a happy place to live and work so why not highlight that on the front page
There are journalists that I like to follow. I enjoy the Andrew Marr show every Sunday morning. I also like to watch BBC’s Question Time on a Thursday night because I like to see politicians put on the spot be members of the public and it gives a good indication of how public opinion is going, I’m not one of these people who like to spout on about politics at every opportunity but I do have an opinion should anyone wish to hear it.
By reading or watching what is going on in the world every day puts our own life into perspective and shows how individually insignificant we are, but at the same time it reveals that collectively we can make a difference.
I have little confidence in any group or organisation to be set up to regulate how the media will run. If we want good news like more truth and openness and less bad news full of lies and scandal the only that things are going to change is be people refusing to buy the kind of newspapers that peddle bad news, I guess we get the kind of news we ask for, whilst the public buys these newspapers they will keep printing them. I for one will not buy these papers again.