Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The decline of mainstream print media

How many people bother to pick up and read a newspaper nowadays? I used to be an avid reader of the local press but my interest has waned in the last year or so.

The problem is that there is very little that is in any way challenging or interesting. Even when a decent story emerges coverage tends to be superficial.

I now glance at the printed papers on Sunday and occasionally flip through the weekday papers, usually a day or two late. The best thing in the Sunday papers are the Hit Ads; the Sunday Times is worth getting for this. The rest of the paper is worth glancing at, there are the occasional stories that are worth reading but the Hit Ads can be studied carefully over the whole week.

In a funny way things seem to have come full circle: I remember my parents saying that the Sunday Observer (and to some extent the Daily News)was bought mainly for the obituaries, the vacancy advertisements and sometimes the tender notices.

There is a major story that is breaking now: that of the Mannar mass grave, but it has (as far my limited reading allows me to judge) received scant attention in the mainstream press. Yesterday's Daily Mirror had banner headlines about a child being run over by a lawn roller in school but nothing on the mass grave.

The silence tells us something about the state of the media; either bought, controlled, mesmerised or kept; which in turn reflects on the health of our democracy.  

No comments: