Top British MPs Call London Broadsheets Slim on Substance Minister's Fedora Fetish Replaces Serious Newspaper Analysis, Say Lawmakers

By Alexander MacLeod, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, July 3, 1996 | Go to article overview

Top British MPs Call London Broadsheets Slim on Substance Minister's Fedora Fetish Replaces Serious Newspaper Analysis, Say Lawmakers


Alexander MacLeod, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


Former American Vice President Spiro Agnew once derided reporters as "nattering nabobs of negativism." Polls regularly bemoan the media's lack of objectivity. Indeed, a favorite pastime of people the world over, it seems, is slamming the press.

But Britain's Parliament has gone a step further. Led by senior members of Parliament, the House of Commons set forth a resolution last month criticizing London's most prestigious newspapers. It said serious reporting and analysis of politics in their pages are in "steep decline."

The attack on such entrenched broadsheets as The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Guardian asserted that the papers are focusing on "personalities rather than policies, and trivia rather than substance."

The Times has hit back, arguing that its coverage of House of Commons affairs is less than it used to be because "authority has seeped elsewhere" - a point generally conceded by many observers. Furthermore, government announcements, said the paper once known as "the Thunderer," now often take the form of statements made by politicians on radio or TV "rather than in long speeches in Parliament."

But the politicians were undeterred. Leading the attack on Britain's so-called "quality press" is Tim Renton, a former Conservative chief whip, who has the backing of several former senior cabinet ministers.

Mr. Renton has accused editors of failing to provide the public with serious coverage of important issues. He says The Times editorial rejecting his complaints showed that "our dart has hit a bull's-eye."

Using the crisis over British beef as an example of "trivialization," Renton says it is easier to write, "Is Douglas Hogg, the agriculture minister, going to get the chop?" than to talk about the reasons why the crisis occurred in the first place.

Renton adds: "We want to put over the heartfelt message that we think the serious stuff is being crowded out in the rush for circulation."

Indeed, overcrowding of the market could explain a shift in coverage. Currently 11 nationally circulating daily newspapers are available to British readers.

And this already intense competition is further exaggerated at the "respectable" end of the market, where four papers are in a savage battle for subscribers: The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, and The Guardian.

This competition can send papers searching for the most sensationally scintillating stories.

For instance, along with other British newspapers, during the beef crisis the Times made great play with Douglas Hogg's sour countenance and preference for fedora hats on his visits to Brussels. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Top British MPs Call London Broadsheets Slim on Substance Minister's Fedora Fetish Replaces Serious Newspaper Analysis, Say Lawmakers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.