We don’t consume as much news as other nations, apparently.
People in the UK consume less news than those in the US and some European countries, according to a study.
Some 75% of people in the UK read, watch or listen to a news story every day, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism survey suggests.
By contrast, nine out of 10 Germans access the news every day.
It’s probably fair to say that I am one of the 75%. That said, I haven’t bought a newspaper for many years. Indeed, the first time I made a conscious decision to stop paying for my news was in 1979 in the lead up to the general election. My political views at the time were somewhat different, but the decision wasn’t based upon that. It was the effrontery of the newspaper magnates who thought it was okay for them to instruct me how to vote.
I was pretty young at the time, so I guess the naiveté was excusable, but I had assumed – hoped, perhaps – that the news was presented to me in an unbiased fashion so that I could make up my own mind. Okay, yes, even then, I didn’t really believe that to be the case. It was just that the naked partisanship going on, forced me to have nothing to do with them. Certainly I was not going to give them my money so that they could thrust their political viewpoint down my throat.
Maybe I am not alone. Maybe, though, many more just don’t care. Given that what is presented as “news” more often than not is thinly disguised propaganda, why should we? My own approach is to look at a variety of different sources and try to draw out the facts from the mix of partisan reports. Somewhere between the hysterical authoritarian Daily Mail and the statist, leftist, authoritarian Guardian and the BBC peddling their oppressive agenda of state control over our lives there are nuggets of fact. I dig for them. Many seem not to be bothered with the effort. The downside of this is an unwillingness to look beyond what government decrees. A sister-in-law the other year who parroted the line that it is the government’s place to make her and her family safe – no matter what liberties are trampled in the process – was a depressing glimpse of the reality. This was an intelligent woman that I have known for decades. There was no convincing her otherwise, either. She, I suspect, is the majority here. So, while it might be tempting to draw a positive conclusion from the headline, pessimism rules, I think.
The study also suggested that UK readers have less interest in politics, and more interest in celebrity news, than their European counterparts.