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We have this delivered every night but it's called the Birmingham Mail now because I think a lot of people stopped buying it when it got boring and stale. Now though it's loads better even though the paper is still laid out more or less the same way. It's all local news from round the Birmingham area but it does stretch out to cover the rest of the Midlands and the Black Country. The front page is always the main headline from the region and this week it's been mainly Ashley Blake and news about the Phoenix 4 who wrecked Longbridge and Rover. Ashley Blake is the newsreader from our local BBC news who has just been jailed for 2 years for hitting a teenager in the face with a parasol stand and the Mail has been telling his story this week like he's some kind of hero instead of a scumbag thug. The inside pages are about the rest of the stories from in and round Birmingham. I was a bit surprised that they didn't mention the kick off in town at the weekend much because it's major news when a bunch of right wingers start rioting with another bunch of Asian guys but it hardly got any column inches at all. I reckon the Mail were scared to report on it much because it's so sensitive and they didn't want to look like they were siding with anyone even though we can all see they should have been kicking the white racist idiots into touch rather than pandering to them. This is just a typical local paper and comes out every day of the week except for a Sunday when they print the Sunday Mercury instead. It costs about 30p and is in the shops from about 11am in town but later than that on the outskirts of Birmingham which is where I live. I like how nice it's written and all the journalists write in a nice friendly way. They don't go on about stressful or bad news stories and are just as likely to report on things that are good about the region instead of all the depressing stuff that the national newspapers go on about all the time. They have got something called a Chipper Club and me and my sisters (and my mum!) have been members since we were tiny babies. THis is a half page once a week for kids and has a cartoon and letters wishing kids a happy birthday from their mums and stuff like that. I love the competitions on this page and have won loads of them just for sending my name on a postcard. The Birmingham Mail is wicked and helps you find out what's going on in the area and it doesn't keep on about bad stories too much.
The Birmingham Evening Mail has been around for a very long time - 130 years in fact. The paper covers Birmingham and the area around it (Black Country, Warwickshire, Worcestershire etc). It is a very good paper that covers both local and national news. There are many editions availalble throughout the day starting with the Early and finishing with the late night final. Most editions have different front page stories (especially if a disaster has happened). It costs 32 pence and is availalble six days a week (Mon - Sat). The first half of the paper deals with the news both local and national and is covered exceptionally well. The Mail is very good at campaigning for issues in Birmingham thats it feel are unjust. For example it has recently campaigned for a new super hospital to replacing the aging Selly Oak and Queen Elizabeth hospitals. This is now going ahead. It is also covering the redevelopment of the Bull Ring which is happening at the moment and has given some very useful information on the plans, artists impressions etc of what the new 'Bull Ring' will look like. One of the most succesful campaigns of recent history was when BMW was going to close the Longbridge Rover plant. They provided the workers with information they weren't getting from the company. Carl Chinn who writes for The Mail was instrumental in getting John Towers to buy the company, therefore giving it a future. Its a well known fact among Rover workers that if you want to know whats going on in the comapny buy the Mail - it tells you everything. The mail also covers stories that 'make you smile' children recovering from major illnesses, pet rescues etc etc. There is a letters page that is widely read as Councillors from Birmingham City council often reply to readers with gripes. There is also a lady called Maureen Messant who's controversial views always fill up the letters page. There are lots of ad vertisements dotted around the news stories which can be annoying but you learn to ignore them. The middle pages deal with Whats On with a comprehensive television and radio guide and Molly Blake giving her opinions on different programmes. Friday's edition also gives a 'gig guide' to whats happening in the pubs and clubs around Brum. Then follows the Obituary page (I have had to use this unfortunately and the operators are very sympathetic) and the cost is not too expensive. The classified section is very well laid out in alphabetical order covering such items as cars, goods and services, articles for sale etc. The Mail will let you advertise anything under a tenner for free. They also use Teletext on channel 4 and the website www.icbirmingham.co.uk for the classifieds, so there is a wide coverage if you want to sell something. Every Thursday there is a big jobs section (smaller every other day of the week) with at least 30 pages dedicated to jobs. There are approximately 25 pages of large adverts with an alphabetical section (accounts/administration/engineering etc) at the end. The sports page mainly feature local teams and occasionally when someone gets to a final (like Blues in the Worthington Cup) they produce a special edition paper at extra cost dedicated to the team. Wednesdays list all the results of the Sunday Football Leagues in the area including goalscorers which is very good. There is a racing section each night giving the next days cards, and tipsters too. there is also a letters section for sports fans where they can airs their views on local sport. A very good local paper that is good value for money because you dont have to bother getting a national paper - all the news you will ever need is available every night with the Mail.