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I buy The News daily for no other reason than that it is the local paper for Portsmouth and its surrounding area. That aside, the News is not bad as newspapers go. Obviously, being a "local rag" the emphasis is on local news stories, but you get a fair smattering of national and international news for your 30p. A colourful masthead above various featured contents introduce the paper. The front page usually carries headlines on big local issues, (eg the Millenium tower fiasco)or local human interest (For instance, the edition Saturday 30 June features a front page headline about a premature baby that was born not breathing and attribuing his miracle hearbeat to the skills of emergency crews). Page 2 gives a more detailed rundown of contents perhaps outlining 2 or 3 of the bigger stories. It tells you where to find the various features and a outlines the sports pages. This page also features weather forcasts, home and away and useful information to do with the paper, editor, web site, contact numbers etc. Local news is prominent until you reach page 4 where you will find a World News round-up. Usually a couple of full stories and the rest appear as "briefs". The Comment where the paper gets its say is found on page 6 above "Letters to the Editor". (My personal first read). Page 6 also features quotes of the day from various politicians and celebreties, "It happened today", (a list of various anniversaries) and "Dredge's Day" by the News cartoonist. After page 6 its back to News stories, some of which take the form of features and investigations especially if they are on major local issues. Many ongoing stories are accompanied by info boxes giving you background information and the story-so-far information. Very useful if you need reminding of what has been going on while you were away or have a bad memory li
ke myself. Further into the paper is "Essentials" and this is where you will find more useful info such as shipping movements (naval town), exchange rates, duty chemists, cinemas, gigs and events. If you are looking for long lost friends and relatives this is the place to address your mail to. The Friday edition of the News concentrates more on gigs and events in "The Guide" an 8 day guide to what's on and where. The middle pages are where you find the major feature columns, a different one everyday. Saturday is "Weekend" covering TV, cinema, gardening etc. An interesting part of the feature columns is "Nostalgia" especially if you have an interest in local history. During the week you will be able to read local business reports and various other advertising gumpf dressed up as features, eg, shopping in gosport or summer brides. The jobs section appears daily, but is at its best on Thursdays and Saturdays when you get several pages of jobs and employment opportunities. You can also find periodic features on educational opportunites. The small ads or "Active Ads" as the News prefers to call them are comprehensive and well presented. Want to sell Great Aunt Maud's aspidestra, advertise it here. Want to buy a second hand bicycle tyre, chances are pretty good. Local services, builders, carpet fitters, undertakers, etc etc can all be found in the small ads. Saturday editions are the place to find your new car and sell your old one. Lost something, found something? Advertise in the news. "Founds" are published free of charge. New partner? check the personals. Want to check on latest planning applications or changes to local notices to mariners (naval town) and who has been made bankrupt lately, then all this can be found in the back pages. On Wednesdays you get a pro
perty guide supplement if you are looking to buy or sell a home. Penultimately, hatched matched and dispatched can make interesting reading if you are that way inclinded. And lastly of course there are the sports pages, mainly concentrating on the trials and tribulations of Pompey FC, but a good all round read for fans of most sports. There is a lot more I could add about the News, the womens pages and resturant write-ups, cookery and campaigns. Important piece that,the campaigning. The News often catches onto important issues and campaigns on them. Stalking laws were one. Elected Mayor's another. A recent addition has been the "We can do it" campaign aimed at boosting community and individual involvement in various schemes and projects. On the whole a jolly good read and value for money. Yes, the News really does inform, entertain and educate.
The News is the local daily paper for the Portsmouth area. It is not the best place to read about matters of national interest, but a good source of information for people living or staying in the area. The paper carries a very good recruitment section in its Thursday and Saturday editions and comprehensive listings of local events, such as car boot sales, on a Friday. It also carries personal ads (Saturday), a property section (Wednesday) and a large motoring section, with loads of well organised ads for cars for sale (Friday). The classifieds are a good place to look for or sell second hand items, but the same ads often appear in consecutive editions and you need to be quick get anything good. All the usual helpful information such as weather forecasts and TV listings are included on a daily basis. News items are locally focused, but given the size of Portsmouth and its outlying areas, varied and often significant. Recent editions have included a plea for help in catching an attacker in the community and information on the impact of foot and mouth on the tourist industry. There is plenty of community news covering everything from unusual pets to school activities. One area which The News seems to cover really well is local history. The reminiscences of local people often appear as do more substantial articles on the history of the area, often illustrated with old photographs. The News has a lot of strengths as a local paper. I wouldn’t buy it every day, but it contains plenty of light reading and in particular, is probably the best place to find a local job or check out property prices.
For local news, you want a local paper. The News however, cannot quite define the line between important national news, local news and street gossip. On Tuesday we had news that a local lad has almost completed his naval training at a local establishment in Fareham. Considering Portsmouth, Gosport and Fareham are the ancestral home to Britain’s navy, is this really news worthy? Or the story of the elderly gent still delivering newspapers at 87 years. The themed sections are just as bad, with computer games "reviews" that simply state when the game is due to be launched and the theme, where is the content? To top it all, the comments about the recent channel 5 coverage of the football were completely misguided. The opening hook went something like "It is hard to believe that we are back in the dark ages: not the racial abuse at ethnic players or the coin throwing, but the poor camera work." Is it only me that finds this dumbing down of key issues too much. How can anyone show such a disregard for journalism and intregity for a cheap introduction. I am glad to say I am not a journalist, so if you find this difficult to read or is grammatically incorrect, then I shall expect a job offer from the News. You can also expect a two page spread that once again Bert from North End made it to work safely. Summary: Where is the content? The only paper for the Portsmouth area.