I love to gob off. People love to gob off. We spout, chunter, chatter, drone, babble and spiel at length, often not giving two shits about the contrary discourse. Or, like me, caring not a jot about whether anyone is listening anyway.
I am also screamingly nosy. People are screamingly nosy. We earwig, snoop, eavesdrop, and pry into other people’s business. Our desire to size ourselves up based on our limited knowledge of others is one of the unique things that sets us apart from other species.
I also do stupid shit. However, I also do some (I think) quite cool shit. Other people do dodgy shit, deviant shit and downright bloody dangerous shit. Basically, as some (probably American) person with a knack of stating the sodding obvious and making piles of cash out of it said: shit happens.
At the point where all these basic human qualities collide is the press. It’s a stunning vehicle constructed to fulfil the human need for finding out things about the world around us without having to venture out and find out for ourselves, leaving us much more time for scratching our arses and howling into the wilderness like the orang-utans we are.
And as thrilling as the Daily Mail Sidebar of Shame is, no channel is more critical to our communities than the local press. Over a thousand local press titles exist and their importance and relevance cannot be overstated. They report matters of incredible importance alongside the utterly trivial and are full of hard-working people who faithfully document tedious meetings in councils, disgruntled residents, community action groups, daft-arses selling art and the tardiness of trains. They quietly research, resolutely investigate and unfalteringly navigate legal & literal potholes, often meeting the sort of reception that is usually reserved for Jehovah’s Witnesses and those fucking bastards from E-on who don’t understand the meaning of the words Fuck Off.
A good and effective local press champions causes, warns of dangers and can be a positive force for change in an area. And at the same time we can find out who’s not paid their telly license, who’s recently passed away and laugh ourselves bandy over the avenues of lunacy and self-importance that exist in the letters page.
Whatever your opinions, it gives something valuable to your community. It may campaign on behalf of a cause close to your heart, function as a charity, allow small businesses to advertise themselves affordably or just employ many many local people. It’s value is much more than words on paper. Your local rag delivers all this and continues to ensure that no arse in the country is left unscratched for want of the telephone number of a man with a van.
Because of a few people making some skullfuckingly stupid decisions and a few others who happily turned a blind eye, your local paper is at risk. Pillocks with a limited understanding of the world beyond their own immaculately reconstructed noses have lobbied to tie the hands of ALL press. Any sensible human being with a basic grasp of right and wrong will immediately understand that this is steaming bullshit. Aside from the obvious and critically important issue of free speech, it’s clearly insane to apportion blame to an industry rather than an organisation or individuals.
That a well-heeled and frightened few are manipulating the genuinely awful circumstances of others to create an environment that keeps them and their scandals safe are the actions of completely off-the-scale cunts. So it’s no surprise that they are behind plans to support the stranglehold of an area of the press that presents no threat to them. Lets be clear here; the introduction of the state-sponsored Royal Charter and its ‘arbitration & damages’ aspects could create a compensation culture in local press that could seriously affect its ability to deliver a quality product which is already pressed by dozens of financial and environmental factors.
Despite its delay so that a a press-driven independent charter can be considered, there is still the very hefty risk that old shagger and his chums will reap even marginal success and no-one needs to see their smug, stinking rich faces beaming out from our screens talking about their ‘journey’. Any journey these selfish egomaniacs take is probably in a top-of-the-range Lexus heading to their ‘masseuse’. And frankly the only reason anyone cares is because we all like to see a flaming arsehole get what’s coming to them. The press can’t be held responsible for the fact that these high profile, multi millionaire whingers can’t even grasp the basic mother and child playground logic of ‘if you push someone off the climbing frame then they’ll eventually do the same to you’.
In lieu of rattling ad infinitum about things we are all quite capable of googling, I will say just this:
- Buy your local paper this week. Buy two copies, in fact.
- If you’re on Twitter, send your local paper a supportive tweet or two.
- Share relevant content from their website on Facebook.
- If you have an interesting story to share, send it to them.
- If you have a business, talk to them about advertising.
Make sure that you have more influence over the future of your community than someone who bites the hand that feeds them.