COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Are Books Better? JANE WOLSTENHOLME TRUST THE POST
Byline: JANE WOLSTENHOLME
VALERIE HILL'S column has once again provoked debate among readers. Last week, she focused on a university study which revealed watching soap operas can impair the memory of older people.
She argued that watching Coronation Street had actually helped her memory over the years.
It prompted K Broadhurst, of Crosby, to write: "I'm really disappointed in Val Hill. I thought she was a woman of intellect, due to her frequent references to great works of literature, so I never dreamed she would watch such rubbish. Surely, sitting down with a Thomas Hardy is better for the brain."
S McDonnell, of Widnes, writes: "I was interested to read Valerie Hill's views on soap operas. It was not so much the idea that older women's memories could be harmed by watching them which interested me, but the place of soaps in our culture.
"It is generally argued, particularly in academic circles, that the standard of TV has declined in this country. Certainly, there is far more trash on the box, but then there are more programmes altogether on the proliferating stations. This means that the decent programmes are often overlooked in the general condemnation of standards.
"Those who write for TV are on a treadmill. Often excellent stories are quickly lost in the welter of shows. If they were taken as single offerings, the writing for such programmes as The Bill, Coronation Street, The Royal, Casualty and others, would be more sympathetically treated. …