During my first term I have become more aware of something I already knew about, but didn't fully grasp; the distaste some have for both the Sun and the Daily Mail. This confuses me, as, while not particularly to my taste, I don't understand the way these newspapers are looked down upon.
While a lot of content in these newspapers is, in my view, vapid and unimportant, this doesn't make them any worse than the other 'quality' papers. This shows only that the tabloids understand what news is at its core; entertainment. 'Quality' papers just appeal to, and try to entertain, a more 'serious' audience.
Let's look at today's headlines, specifically the Guardian's. No 1: Government accused of withholding £2.5bn of assets from charities, funds that would have been from the National Lottery. Interesting, a good read, and potentially a great scandal. But it is not important to me, and I would wager that it is not directly important to anybody reading this also. Granted, I am a student and only pay a very tiny bit of tax, meaning I am less invested in the running of the treasury than most, but this story is only directly relevant to maybe civil servants, charity employees and those who could be benfitting from this money. This doesn't diminish the story's quality; It is good, but only to most of the population as entertainment.
Next up, the New Year's honours list, with focus on Tory 1922 committee chair Graham Brady, and Nick Clegg. The article doesn't include the full list, instead dedicated just to the politicians that were given honours. It offers analysis of the selections, a quick jab at Cameron's, and now May's 'cronyism,' and a pre-emptive defence of Clegg's knighthood, dismissing criticism as partisan. Another good read, tilited to the Guardian's readership while remaining informative. However, this is actually important and relevant to very few people. These include the few actually given honours, their close friends, family, and colleagues. Everyone else is reading this for entertainment.
Lastly, 'Nepal bans blind people and double amputees from climbing Everest.' This one shows my point well. The first thing the introduction says is that solo climbers are also banned. Now, very few people are in with a good chance of climbing everest, even less would do it solo, or if they are double amputees or blind. The fact the headline chooses to focus on the disabled people being banned over the solo climbers shows that the story, interesting as it is, is entertainment for almost everyone reading. This conscious decision means that the story isn't aimed at people it is most likely to affect, and is instead targeted at the audience of the Guardian.
Tabloids can sometimes abandon the concept of news and instead focus on entertaining. Their audiences (for the most part) know this and buy the papers because of it. News is only a pretense for 'serious' entertainment, and tabloids just appeal to a different audience.
So next time you think about bashing the tabloids, think 'Is this for me?' There's a good chance its not.