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?