Thursday 3 May 2007

Newspapers - Is it still my country?

Internet Renewal Pains

I was having a chat to one of my colleagues after having renewed my subscription to The Economist over the phone. I could have easily done this over the Internet but it appears this service had been out-sourced as capitalists do to some outfit that made the job of renewal quite fraught, all sorts of errors that would make Einstein rethink the Theory of Relativity.

I then wrote to the Economist's Subscription office complaining about the problem and rather than resolve it and consequently invite me to use the service again, they automatically extended my subscription for a year without checking if that was what I wanted to do.

In fact, I was fed up of the yearly routine that I had decided to go for the 2-year deal; a second email upbraided them first and then requested an amendment to the subscription details, this elicited an apology, but I still had to arrange to pay for the deal.

Movable times

When I called at 09:10 yesterday morning, the call centre should have been running for at least 10 minutes in the UK, but I got the overnight message still running on the outgoing message system, I also realised that international calls were still barred on my home phone as a result of Bacchus's visit in March.

Anyway, my colleague was of the opinion that the Economist was quite left-leaning, though I can understand that they have attacked a few right-leaning people not so much for being right-wing but for their actions which could be inimical to progress and justice in their countries - Berlusconi and the twin brothers of Polish politics come to mind.

It was however interesting to note that I read the weekly Economist which my colleague considered left-leaning and read The Daily Telegraph which is quite conservative in its copy and opinion.

What do you read?

It reminded me of an analysis of readers of British newspapers in the 1980s as opined in the political satire drama of that time called Yes, Prime Minister.

In the A Conflict of Interest episode, the Prime Minister had this to say of the papers. "Don't tell me about the press. I know exactly who reads the papers: The Times is read by the people who run the country. The Daily Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country.

The Guardian is read by the people who think they ought to run the country. The Morning Star is read by the people who think the country ought to be run by another country. The Independent is read by people who don't know who runs the country but are sure they're doing it wrong.

The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country. The Financial Times is read by the people who own the country. The Daily Express is read by the people who think the country ought to be run as it used to be run. The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who still think it is their country". And The Sun's readers don't care who runs the country providing she has big tits.

Hmmm, I do wonder if this still fetches true 20 years on, mind you, we did not have the Internet then.

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