Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Friday, 8 April 2011

Why buy a Daily Newspaper?

Ever since I started work, I have bought a daily newspaper. At first it was the Express ( a good paper in its time), then the Mail, and then for most of my life the Telegraph.
For the last few years, I have had an annual subscription to the Telegraph, which provided it, seven days a week, for little more than half price, but even with this reduction, I have reached the conclusion that it is no longer worth the money.
Now I realise that a newspaper can't compete with radio and television in terms of providing up-to-the-minute news, but until the last few years, my newspaper usually provided considerably more in-depth coverage and background information than the television, along with reasonably impartial informed comment. Of late, however, I have felt that the standard of news coverage had declined, particularly in respect of events outside this country and the proportion of non-news items, in which I have minimal interest, has been on the increase. This situation is at its worse on a Saturday, when the assorted supplements, none of which I would purchase if offered individually, amount to some 120 pages or so, plus a “magazine”, as compared with the 36 pages in the main paper of which approximately half is news.
Ever since I got broadband and have been able to read the news on line, I have become more aware of what is happening around the world, and the fact that much of it is not being reported in the UK . With only the Murdoch media empire making a charge, I can now read news from most countries around the world where frequently the local version differs considerably from that published here. Even in non-English speaking countries, the media frequently offers an English version on the internet, and if they don't, various bloggers do.
With the saving, I am considering a new laptop, or possibly one of these tablet PCs or iPads, which will enable me to sit in my arm chair and read the news exactly as I do now.

Mrs EP approves of the decision as long as I buy her the Radio Times or equivalent so that she can organise her TV viewing; she suggests the Daily Mail on Saturdays as she prefers their TV supplement. At 80p, its a considerable saving on the £2 for the Telegraph and its unwanted supplements!

Incidentally, when I first started to buy a daily newspaper, most cost 1d (one penny in the good old money), with the Telegraph and the Times costing 1½d. Now the Monday to Friday Telegraph costs £1,  which is 160 times more than it did back then! (an increase of 16000%).
Whilst I'm no friend of Royal Mail, it is worth noting that a postage stamp then cost 2½d and that it now costs 46p for a first class letter. So from a situation where a stamp cost 2½ times the cost of most morning newspapers, we now have one where it costs less than half the price of the Telegraph. Perhaps postage charges aren't as bad as we like to think!

So we'll see how things go; possibly I'll need to buy a book of crossword puzzles or Sudoku; or are these available on line and I've just not found them yet?


  1. I gave up on the Telegraph a while ago. First I stopped the Daily Telegraph because it was becoming so dumbed down but kept the Sunday Telegraph for Christopher Booker's column, which is an antidote to the total drivel of their official environment correspondents. Now I have stopped that too, as I get the article on the internet.

    But I have started buying the Daily Express. The articles are mostly a bit shorter but of similar yet rather sharper quality than the Telegraph - and it is the only national newspaper to be solidly behind Britain's leaving the EU.

    It has another great advantage. My wife says that the puzzles and crosswords are very good indeed. That makes for domestic harmony!

    So buy the Daily Express (even if only now and again)to give the editor a bit of encouragement.

  2. Likewise ES.I only buy the Express on a Saturday for a read while getting a bit of fresh air (I live in a flat)and for the TV pages.The news on the net is much more accurate.

  3. Does the Daily Express still have "Rupert the Bear"? I remember that from the days when my mother had to read it to me as soon as the paper arrived!Perhaps I could now do the same for my grandson!

  4. Apologies for being late to the party.

    If a lack of Sudokus is the only snag, and you plan to buy an iPad, then can I recommend the Sudoku Magic app? Keeps me out of mischief...