Sometimes, it's just a cigar

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Media Monday and useful legal principles for tabloid journalists

Have  a look at this article in the Sunday Sun. No. not the Sun on Sunday, the disgusting tabloid rag produced by Murdoch to replace the News of The World, but the Sunday Sun, a disgusting tabloid rag produced in Newcastle so that the local presses wouldn’t be silent on a Saturday afternoon and early evening. Arguably the only achievement of the Sunday Sun in recent decades is that it stopped Murdoch from having his preferred choice of name for his Sunday paper – although since some insiders suggest that prolonged the life of the News of the World by a few years, it’s not such a great achievement.

The legal principles?

The good people of Stanley could never be accused of being small minded. Oh no. They may object to other people dressing in ways they disapprove of while they’re queuing at the chippy, and they may object to caveman nights at a spa hotel (if they objected on grounds of taste and anachronism they’d probably have a good point) but they’re imaginative, creative people. They’ve given new life to two legal principles that have never actually existed but which are beloved of tabloid journalists and bigots everywhere; ‘it cannot be right’ and ‘something must be done’.

It doesn’t stop there of course. In an interesting approach to time and space, the good people of Stanley appear to believe that what happens in a spa hotel on a Friday night can influence the minds and learning experiences of children in a nearby school on a Monday morning. All that’s missing is a quote from Uri Geller testifying to the scientific truth of this theory.

It’s not just the good people of Stanley though. The journo from the Sunday Sun has added a staple from the journalist’s book of immutable laws of geography; distances are only measured in yards, and nothing can be learned by putting a number to the yards, or by explaining intervening geographical features. This helps explain why national papers think I’m interested in what happens in London, because it is only yards away. (Approximately 550,000 yards away.)

There is no shortage of people who think they should have the right to control and regulate the lives and behaviour of others. There is no shortage of people who think they should be able to regulate what others do in a property merely because it is adjacent to their own. That doesn’t make it news.

 

 

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One comment on “Media Monday and useful legal principles for tabloid journalists

  1. Pingback: Media Monday and journalistic principles, part two | Sometimes, it's just a cigar

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This entry was posted on September 23, 2013 by in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , .

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