In the seconds after someone’s announcement that they’ve read an article in The Sun there is always a quite moment of baited breath before the conversation goes one way or another; the first option is a dismissal by both parties that “The Sun is a bit stupid” or an outraged remark by one party that “The Sun is a load of rubbish! What are you reading that for!?”. I have never understood the argument that The Sun is something as easily cast aside as the wrappings your Fish and Chips come in; it is, after all, one of the biggest selling publications in the country (millions of people buy it daily) and is renowned for having a tongue in cheek lighter look at the news of the day. What, I ask you, is so bad with having a bit of a laugh? Should we always treat the News as a chore?
The fact of the matter is, The Sun is a damned good newspaper. Don’t get me wrong, it’s as fallible as any other newspaper (like all things run by humans) so it makes the odd mistake but if you take the time to read it you’ll find a hilarious, informative and easy to read paper. Look at today’s front page; not many papers are willing to just have a good laugh and reflect the fact that not all of life is serious,”important” and, let’s face it, depressing.
Too much of today’s news coverage is focusing on the negatives, the boring, the serious; it’s no wonder that our generation is spurning Newspapers in favour of a more varied and eclectic choice of news on the internet. You want to see politicians photoshopped to do funny things? It’s right here on the internet. You want amazing stories of survival against the odds? It’s right here on the internet. You want serious coverage of today’s events? It’s right here on the internet. I completely understand why newspaper sales are dropping, half of the papers are branded as being filled with lies and propaganda and the other half are expensive and long-winded. Why bother with those choices when you have the information highway at the wonderful price of a phone contract or broadband connection?
The problem is that we often take for granted where we get information from, it’s so easy for someone to falsify something on the internet and publish it; as Mark Twain famously said: “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes”. Can you honestly remember any of the websites you’ve read from in the last few days? How do you know they’re delivering good information? I understand that many people don’t trust The Sun (it has had a murky past which blots its reputation to this day) but at least I know that The Sun is something I can hold accountable for its errors; it at least has editors (something a surprising number of internet magazine/news sites lack). It’s something I can count on to deliver consistency and reliability, day in day out.
People can look their noses down at it if they want but in their pretension they are denying a unique spin on the news. It makes you laugh and if you get a free pasty and learn something on the way then you can’t say fairer than that.