Posted by antonvowl
March 5th, 2009
Who are you?
I’m originally from London but I live in Bristol now. I have an oppressive mortgage which means I have to do an exceedingly dull job. I’ve been blogging since November 2007 at my site, which is called The Enemies of Reason. I started writing it through sheer exasperation with what I was reading in the press – not just the tabloids, but the ‘quality’ titles and broadcasters too, who often seem to be more interested with scaring their readers with a good ghost story than actually looking at the evidence and seeing it if stacks up.
What are you writing about?
I’ll be looking at political stuff in the Mail, as well as agenda-driven stories, often where the Mail tries to concoct outrage where there’s no reason for it. I’ll be asking why the Mail decides to follow its various agendas and what it’s hoping to achieve.
Why are you doing this?
Why pick on the Mail? They’re the newspaper equivalent of a professional foul. They know exactly what they’re doing; I’m pretty sure their writers and production staff often know they’re being deliberately misleading but choose to leave out balancing information in order to provide readers with what they think they want to hear.
Are they any better or worse than other newspapers? Increasingly not, as the Telegraph slides downmarket, but that’s beside the point: they’re one of the biggest-selling papers in the country and their readers deserve better. I don’t have a problem with the Daily Mail itself, just with a Daily Mail that frequently exhibits miserably bad journalism and could do better. It’s an office packed with what I imagine to be very talented people, whose skills are often being used to concoct a pack of old nonsense. I think that’s a pretty tragic waste, and it drags down the reputation of all media if one of the biggest players in the industry behaves like this.
Why have you chosen your specialism?
I do a lot of stuff like this on my own blog but this will be a bit of a departure and I’m looking forward to it. I want to really examine why these decisions are being made and for whose benefit they are being made. It’s not as simple as ‘X is a good story’; it’s more like ‘X would be a good story but let’s make it sound like X is actually Y’.