With certain pressures coming into play with regards to free time, I have found that the newspapers this week have not been given the attention that they should. This morning then, rather than buy a couple of tabloids, I decided to hit the internet sites and see if they were detailed enough to fulfil my quota of news.
All the UK majors have updated news sites, and the varied coverage of topics was no surprise. The Sun and The Star both give prominence to Channel Four’s Big Brother, with the Sun also highlighting “Cheshire Housewife Marries Bin Laden”. Clearly an attention grabber, but tucked in underneath in smaller text is the disclaimer; not exactly Bin Laden himself, but his son. Surprisingly, the Times leads with the same headline, but clearly mentions the son situation in the title. Quite a contrast, but not an unsurprising one. The Mirror, Independent and Mail all lead with the prediction of a mortgage and property melt down. All three offer convincing cases for trouble ahead, and I cant help but fear that this could be the trigger for a major economic slump. The Guardian and the Telegraph lead with NHS reforms and the Salmon Rushdie revenge controversy respectively.
So who wins the battle on the web site front? All the sites were easy to use, and their content, whilst extensive, obviously does not have the degree of articles that a full paper would (why should it, we wouldn’t buy the paper if it did). I found the Telegraph site to have the best presentation; it “felt” like a paper.
At the rate web electronic media is progressing, the days of newspapers must be numbered. Downloads, pod casts, news alert emails, 24 hour/instantaneous news coverage and more detailed web sites will undoubtedly replace the traditional black and white print which has educated and enriched thousands of people across the centuries. However, two things must be remembered when contemplating the demise of the traditional rag; will fish and chips ever taste the same when not wrapped in the Gazette, and what will us fathers have to fall asleep behind on a Sunday afternoon?