Ever since I started work, I have always bought a daily newspaper. My parents took the Daily Express, which in those days was probably read by those who would read the Daily Mail these days. I started to take the Telegraph, mainly because, at the time, it was probably the best newspaper for jobs in my particular field, and indeed, I think that I secured all my jobs through their advertisements. So even when I became settled in a particular job, I continued to take it, probably more from habit than anything else. For the past few years, I have had a subscription, which offered the paper at roughly half price, but now, with it due for renewal, I am wondering whether I should continue.
During the past year I have realised that my daily paper contains less and less real news. The Telegraph, which used to pride itself in its foreign news coverage now has very little. We are in Europe (whether we like it or not), but where is the European news? Well there is a bit from Italy at the moment, but only because of the antics of Silvio Berlusconi, which whilst being interesting, are hardly representative of the real Italian news. What's happening in Australia - something must be taking place, but since the Queensland floods, I haven't seen a mention. As for New Zealand (or Canada), do they still exist?
So I am now finding that of a weekday, I am probably interested in probably less than a third of the paper. The leading articles no longer exhibit the quality they once did, and the only other part that I find worth reading are the financial pages.
Weekends, the situation is far worse with the largely unread (advertising) supplements.
Property (beyond my class), motoring (marginal interest), travel (exotic places and more adverts), Cruise Style (the same), gardening (Mrs EP might glance at it), "Review" (the TV & Radio listings are useful), Money (the same advice each week, better advice generally available on the web) and "Weekend" (the odd bit of interest). There is also a glossy magazine both on Saturday and Sunday, again mainly advertising, and certainty not items that I would buy if sold separately. I haven't mentioned sport, I'm not particularly interested in sport, but I accept that it would be unreasonable for a newspaper not to cover the subject in some detail; I just wish that there was more of other news.
The only advantage of the newspaper, is that it provides an incentive for me to go for my daily walk, and as I've paid a subscription, I'm determined to get my money's worth. Will I go for a walk without that incentive? Who knows, no doubt time will tell!
Meanwhile, I've taken to reading the news on my laptop at breakfast along with quite a few blogs, and I have a feeling that this is the future. Perhaps I can persuade Mrs EP that I should use to saving in the subscription to pay towards one of these latest tablet PCs, enabling me to read the news from the internet whilst sitting in the comfort of my armchair. I'll probably get away with it, provided that I go and buy the daily Mail on Saturday for its excellent TV supplement!