21 October, 2010 — MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media
AN INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW ALFORD, AUTHOR OF REEL POWER
Where They Have Holes In Their Souls
We bask in a certain reflected glory from the newspapers we read. To “take” The Times is to be far more intellectual, far more highbrow, than someone who takes the Mail. To read the Mail is to be far more responsible than someone who gawks in the Mirror. A Guardian reader is highbrow with a human face: intellectual, aware, like other “broadsheet” readers, but with a much greater commitment to making the world a better, fairer place. Independent readers share the same commitment, perhaps a little less earnestly.
Because we locate some of our identity in what we read – some sense of who we are as intelligent, caring people – we may react with rage when the newspapers we take are criticised. To suggest that “my” newspaper is biased and superficial can seem to imply the same of “me” and “my” beliefs about the world.