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There Is No Nation Outside London
Member Name: kfingleton
Date: 20/06/01, updated on 20/06/01 (77 review reads)
Advantages: Blanaced politics, good writers, excellent news coverage, G2
Disadvantages: Not enough sport and far too interested in London
Every morning I follow the same pattern, after my lecture at 10:00 am, I go to the shop to pick up my 20p (student price) Guardian, read the front and back pages in that seventies style kitchen and go off to another lecture. I start reading the paper again at about 10:00 pm with the dark, gloomy Glasgow night staring at me coldly outside. In the morning I read the editorials, letters and business section at breakfast and the cycle continues...
On weekdays The Guardian is my guide to what is going on in the world around me. I spend most of my life within a five mile radius, so it would be all to easy to get colloquial. I read it because I agree with it on most of its editorials, because of its excellent coverage of world affairs and because it enlightens me on issues and shapes my politics further.
I presume that the reader of this article is aware that The Guardian is a London based national broadsheet and the most left-wing national paper too. It stands in stark contrast to the ‘little Englander’ philosophy of the Daily Mail, 'Third Reich' sentiments of the Torygraph and the 'Multinationals are good, but supranationalism is not' philosophy of The Times.
Every day it includes a different extra section, including G2 every day and special supplements such as Education, The Editor and Online on separate week days. Each different day also includes a job supplement complementing the supplement topic (e.g. Media jobs printed when the Media supplement is included). This is of course of great interest to the student reader.
G2 includes the wonderful ‘Pass Notes’ column, a sideways look at a topical personality. It is especially good for extended stories, such as investigative ones and interviews with important figures. It offers a lighter tabloid style to complement the rest of the paper. It’s similar to the Sunday Times’ News Review.
The Guardian is most notable for its pol
itics and this is where its writers excel. It outlines the coming political debates, looks back at the Commons’ work on the previous day and has superbly informative and argumentative left leaning editorials. You probably don’t need to agree with their politics to admire the quality of the writing, but it helps. But can Tories read?
When compared to the dull and tired letters to the editor in other papers such as The Times and The Irish Times (a completely different paper to the London Times and very pro-European), The Guardian offers a refreshing change. Coupled with serious argument and comment from readers, as well as MPs and people in positions of high authority, there are also moments of comic relief, showing the readership has a sense of humour.
More laughs and chuckles can come from the political cartoons, Simon Hoggart’s political column, the Diary and the Corrections column. The Guardian is the only paper to offer corrections to previous editions, which often leads to humorous mistakes. A lump of praise must go to Steve Bell for his excellent political sketches and his G2 cartoon which are both beautifully drawn as well as very very funny.
But The Guardian, like everything else in life has its faults. It’s Sport section is a little thin for my liking, giving far too much room to cricket and far to little to football. I do enjoy the crap written by ‘Big’ Ron Atkinson ona Friday though.
The biggest problem I have with The Guardian is what stops it from receiving a five star rating from me. It offers far more column space to American issues than here in Scotland or the Irish Question, but this isn’t all.
The Guardians was born as The Manchester Guardian in the 19th Century, but you wouldn’t think so now. The paper is so London-centric at times, it defies belief. Obviously this is a problem that all national papers printed in London suffer from, so this paper is no
t alone, but it is so arrogant. The writers seem unable to understand the culture of anyone who lives higher than Birmingham, possibly needing interpreters to decipher even Yorkshire accents.
Examples of this come in the form of the nation supposedly coming to a standstill due to the rail crisis. Since so few people North or West of the South East of England use the railways, I could be forgiven for thinking the nation must have shrunk to just the area inside the M25. There are about two railway lines in Northern Ireland that half the time they don’t run anyway, so who cares? An example from a while back was a story about a massive shortage in graveyard space, which forgot to mention that it was only in London until half way through the article. This is all too typical.
If I wanted this sort of news I would by the London Evening Standard, but I live in Scotland, so what do I care about 'national' crises that are centred only on London. But having concentrated on the negative, I must remember that the competition to choose from puts everything into perspective. The Guardian is my favourite newspaper, it is a quality paper, worthy of my 20p for sure.