Monthly Archives: July 2011

Newspaper reading habits

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I just finished my marathon weekend newspaper reading and it got me thinking about newspaper reading habits! I grew up reading the Irish Times and Sunday Times, outside of that I was aware – obviously – that there were other papers, but I never read them.

Part of working in PR is to be up-to-date with everything going on in the news across all the papers and different media channels. Every morning, the first thing I do when I get into the office – and this is one of my favourite parts of the day – is to make a cafetière of Lavazza coffee and sit down at my desk to read the paper. Now as the paper reading rota changes from month to month, this can be either enjoyable or painful.

So for the last year, my newspaper reading choice has been pretty much out of my hands.

When you think about peoples newspaper reading habits they often read the paper their parents read while they were growing up. Not many people branch out and read other papers, they tend to be loyal to one publication.

With the whole News of the World phone hacking fiasco dominating the media over the last few weeks, I think a lot of people – myself included – have begun to question the choice of paper they read.

Today’s Sunday Times mentions a recent YouGov poll following the News of the World closure in which a staggering 89 per cent of people surveyed believe that many other papers were involved in extensive phone hacking.

I grew up reading the Sunday Times which is part of News Corporation. Now in light of everything that has happened, does that mean I should stop reading the Sunday Times, be a bit more conscientious when reading it, or ignore all of that and continue my allegiance to the paper?

All of this raises the question of ethical journalism and what exactly that means. Are people more interested in sensational news or the ethics behind how the news is obtained?

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High tea, cheese, steak, sailing and sunburn

High tea at the Krasnapolsky Hotel in Dam Square

A 40 minute flight and the plane landed in Schiphol. Despite being so unbelievably close, I’ve left it way too long to visit my friends and family in Amsterdam.

I hadn’t visited the city in two years, and it was nice to be back and my friend had a jam packed weekend of fun thing planned.

First stop was a scrumptiously decadent high tea at the Krasnapolsky Hotel in Dam Square. Holland may not be able to claim the tradition of high tea, but they certainly know how to deliver one in style.

Next, an afternoon chilling on a house boat in the sunshine, before heading to a gig in Almere. I had never been on a house boat before and it was delightful, very idyllic and relaxing, and the weather was perfect.

Sailing from Volendam

Ever so slightly worse for wear, we got up early on Sunday morning to join the Jan Botter flat bottomed boat race. The harbour in Volendam was full of Botters (old wooden flat bottomed boats) with fishermen smoking herring on the pier beside the boats. It smelt delicious.

As the morning was a bit dull, we cleverly forgot to put on sun cream. So after four hours on the water we were totally lobstered. However, despite the sun burn we had a great afternoon, and even though we ended up second last in the race we had loads of fun.

Cheese stall at the Albert Cuyp

Strolling down the Albert Cuyp market with my aunt the next afternoon we were accosted by numerous cheese stalls and I could not resist the temptation to buy some of the worlds best cheese. It’s funny you become so accustomed to the slightly (do forgive me) bland Cheddar cheese found in British supermarkets, but once you’ve tried Dutch cheese, there’s no going back.

Monday evening, I was once again spoilt when my aunt and uncle took me to Loetje, a restaurant which serves the BEST steak I have ever had. I’m not kidding, the medium rare fillet steak is so delicately cooked it literally melts in your mouth. My mouth is watering thinking of it.

And so concluded my delightfully busy weekend in Amsterdam. I promise, despite how it looks, I did not spend the entire time eating, only a large part of the weekend!

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