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Post 4 - “Reading between the lines”

I had to fill in a form a few years ago, and one of the questions was “Which newspaper do you read regularly?” At the time, the nearest honest answer would probably have been either Heat Magazine or What's On TV. My tastes are certainly more sophisticated these days and should I have to complete a questionnaire making the same enquiry I would be able to proudly respond “Metro”.

There are a lot of things I really like about Metro. It's an uptempo kind of newspaper that deals with the horrible aspects of life in a similar way to the old early evening news on TV - bloodshed and politics on a need to know basis then a story about a cat up a tree. It has a regular contribution from a comedian, prints a good news feed where people can thank the lady who gave them a tissue when they sneezed at Monington Crescent, and when you've finished reading the sections you like you can leave the paper for someone else - how lovely!

If I'm working at night I am sometimes stuck with the evening standard, the diet coke of free papers, almost the flavour you were wanting but with the joy sucked out of it.

Without Metro (and the Evening Standard) I'd probably get all of my news from social media. This would be a Bad Thing. If we take my Facebook time line as an example, there are people who post factual information and people who share opinion. There are those who love a conspiracy theory and will relentlessly pass them on. There are people shouting “But I'm right!” all over the place. It can be quite exhausting.

I do understand that lots of people think they're right, and there are certainly many who develop their views through research, travel, and participation. But it's all so subjective as news is published by people with an agenda, whether that's a broadsheet, the BBC or your auntie in Kentish Town who just got her own Twitter account and is desperate to challenge a perceived injustice to pensioners using the local Sainsburys.

It can be really hard to get a sense of the real world when you're bombarded with information from all directions. I know both more and less about the world than I could ever have imagined. I've gone back to What's On TV for my news.

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