Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Getting ahead of the news

So many of us are so busy these days that anything to help us save a little time has to be a boon.

One chore I’d love to cut out is having to troop down to the newsagent to buy the paper each day. I don’t get it delivered as I’m often away, and I don’t like missing it because I usually find it reasonably entertaining.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if the papers just published every day’s issue on a single day of the week? In other words, you could go to the shop on Monday and collect not just Monday’s paper, but Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and so on right through to Sunday’s. Or, if you’re like me, through to Saturday’s: I find the Saturday edition quite big enough and don’t have time for a Sunday paper too.

Now I know that you’ll object that this wouldn’t be possible as no-one could know the news before it happens. Well, I agree that this might be a problem for what used to be known as the broadsheets (these days, these papers are usually printed on smaller formats than the old broadsheet, but I don’t know what other term to use: given the rubbish in some of them, I’m not prepared to call them ‘quality papers’). Broadsheet readers, and that includes me, may just have to resign themselves to keeping up the daily trudge to the newsagent.

But for the tabloids, what would it matter? The tabloids don’t contain news in the sense of something that actually changes from one day to the next, but those glorious recurring stories of everyman that provide a reassuringly permanent background to our lives. This means that you can write next week’s tabloid ‘news’ now – all you have to do is keep the pieces generic and leave it to the reader to substitute a name on the relevant day. For instance:

  • former model leaves celebrity reality programme and patches up her differences with footballer boyfriend

  • sex fiend strikes again leaving dismembered body in pub car park (pics page 13)

  • sports star’s wife lashes out at estranged husband with his own sports equipment and tries to pass it off as an attempt to rescue him from crashed car
and so on.

Who needs to wait until any particular day of the week to write those stories?

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