Where You Sit

by Dave Schuler on August 31, 2014

I was marginally aware of this but staying in a hotel in the UK has really brought it home for me. In the UK newspapers are aligned with political parties. The Telegraph (AKA “the Torygraph”) is a Conservative newspaper. The Daily Mirror tends to support Labour (although Labour’s fortunes are so weak at present that it’s hard to find its friends). Other newspapers switch back and forth.

My point here is that I can walk down the hall here and get a glimpse into the political views of my fellow-guests by glancing at the newspapers they’ve had delivered to their doors.

There are big differences between here and the States. A large number of dailies appear to be thriving. And most of the major newspapers at least lean a bit to the Conservatives.

What complicates things is that both of our major political parties approximate the UK’s Conservatives. Meanwhile, the big political news here is UKIP.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

steve August 31, 2014 at 6:25 am

I have speculated before that our newspapers might do better if they gave up trying to be neutral and just forthrightly endorsed a specific POV. There aren’t that many cities that are split 50-50, so they would capture the majority of the population in any given town.

Steve

Trumwill August 31, 2014 at 9:06 am

The main reason not to disclose is precisely how revealing it would likely be. Sort of like when the writer and editors at Slate disclosed who they were voting for. There are some inconvenient dynamics easier avoided with the veneer of neutrality.

jan August 31, 2014 at 12:54 pm

“Meanwhile, the big political news here is UKIP.”

Never even heard of UKIP until you mentioned it here. But, in doing some reading the surge of the Independence Party does seem to be the item of the day in the UK. Is this party more like a Rand Paul or a Teaparty group?

As far as one’s newspapers reads revealing the propensity of one’s politics, I think we have similar media gauges over here. If you swear by the NYT, LAT, Newsweek, Boston Globe, Washington Post, one tends to lean into liberal POVs. However, if the WSJ, Washington Times/Examiner, New York Post appears like a better truth teller, then you probably are at least center right in your political views.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: