Which newspaper or news channel do you read/watch/listen to?

I generally enjoy reading & contributing to some of the discussion threads on SFN because, as Catharine had cause to point out recently, it is based around a dinner party ethos.

Sometimes the discussions can get a little warm & opposing views can fade & turn a little personal. On a number of occasions my views have been countered not by an intellegent counter view but by the assumption that I must have read the Daily Mail & just repeat what has been written. Comments like this make huge assumptions not only about one's politics but also about the ability of one to assimilate information from various sources to come up with one's own take.

Newspaper sales are in the decline affected no doubt by the fact that most can also be read online but the figures for sales of UK national papers still make interesting reading. The much scoffed Mail is the second most popular in the UK which means that a hell of a lot of people buy it. The Guardian & the Independent are the lowest respectively. I do not read the Mail personally but when I need information concerning a news event its online service may well be one of the sources of information, along with many others including Al Jazeera. So armed with a cross section of editorial influenced reporting of factual events I am able to form my own view. This view my well run contrary to those held by others & many do not hold back in putting their side & so the discussion begins. Don't let the posts of a few bully you!

As thing progress & opinions digress some resort to virtual shouting & sarcasm & at that point things can get heated. Telling people that reading the nation's second most popular newspaper is not going to give any facts is quite honestly laughable! You don't get to that position by printing lies. The Mail, like all the others, will reflect the views of its journalists, editors & owners but at the end of the day it has to make money which means appealing to as broad a spectrum as possible. It seems to be reasonably successful...

One can be very quick to put a label on others & I am guilty of that too. If others can conclude that I read the Daily Mail (& why not?) then I should be free to speculate on other peoples choice of reading material & speculate on their politics. For instance, anyone who uses multiples of letters in made up words, for instance "Waaaaaaah" or "Woooooahhhhh", must still be at the Beano comic book stage & has yet to tackle grown up papers & would be difficult to take too seriously. Others, though, may also hold an opposite view but express it using examples from more adult sources. This makes for a challenging discussion.

For those who think that they know how my mind works I leave you with this.

I used to live in Kent at the time of the 1984/5 miners' strike, within a mile of one of the collieries.Initially I had no particular views about it one way or another - I was newly married & was struggling to make ends meet myself. To help things along I would work evenings as a minicab driver, making my days quite long. As the strike progressed the TV news covered many of the events including the reports of charity handouts of food to the families of strikers. One day the news came through about the death of a minicab driver who had been hit by a lump of concrete dropped on him by striking miners up north. My reaction to this was much the same as anyone's who was not directly affected - sympathy for the family but otherwise not much.

A couple of days later I was doing my shift when I was called to a pub to collect 3 guys going to a night club. The 3 got into my car & off we went. It was obvious that they had already had a few drinks. Half way to the club one of then asked me if I had heard this joke. He then repeated the news story about the death of this minicab driver "Did you hear the one about the minicab driver who was killed taking a scab to work? You are not laughing, driver, don't you think my joke is funny?" I did not say a word, nor did I change my expression but this did not prevent this individual from suddenly punching me in the side of the head repeatedly while I was still driving! He was eventually held back by his 2 mates & I was able to complete the journey.The personal experience allied with the TV news enabled me to form an opinion about striking miners based on the behaviour of the 3 I had in my car. I was annoyed that, although some families were relying on charity, there were some who could still afford a good night out & spend more money in a night than I earned in a week. The news was saying one thing but I was seeing another. Combined with the unprovoked attack on me & the sick joke let me form an opinion, right or wrong.

There are no miners left in England - good!

grauniad has a good site, and combines well with the guardian weekly delivered weekly - you can usually get a cheap intro to see whether you like it

time has some good deals if you like the US news - tho it's all elections at the moment

many french mags/ journals are available in local libraries or mediatheques - often these are 'borrowable' too

In fact the local library is a big resource - always worth checking out, even if you aren't a fluent french speaker

there are a few english libraries about the place, though the one I used (Charenton sur Marne) got the chop a couple of years bak

and of course there is dear old amazon....

good plan might also be to go into a small syndicate with friends to get UK stuff delivered - some of the deliveries are surprisingly quick

Perhaps a good reason not to put my Kindle on...

That's the one. It has come through on my Kindle app.

You could be waiting a long time ;-)

Listen here you Bird! I have always been totally celibate. Even my children will tell you that :-D

"I claim to be a good respectable person who (mainly) reserved such activities for marriage(s)."

Ooooh BM, you'll never go to heaven !!

You mean 'At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others' that came out this week? I saw the FT review. I generally find philosophers a bit of a pain, I actually prefer reality and how to deal with it rather than the big 'perhaps'. On the other hand, it might well be good. The thing about the Danish man who was king of Iceland then a convict in Tasmania and so on was really good and probably the only thing of hers I have knowingly read. I shall go into the corner and write 'I should prejudge 100 times. Then I shall wait for the large number of rave reviews by SFN members before trying it ;-)

And I am sure that is the case for all SFN members;-) Had you seen that Sarah Bakewell, who wrote an excellent book on Montaigne ("How to Live") has a new book coming out called "At the Existentialist Café" in which I imagine Camus, Sartre et all will feature.

The link for me was somebody I was working with was on the UK committee of BASPCAN and was leading a group of people looking at it as possible abuse. Again, not my territory at all, except that it touches children's rights through abuse. So in our totally unrelated activity I picked up a bit here and there and probably, as with so many phenomena guessed that no real explanation exists. Nonetheless, having married again later in life and now having two daughters, there was no mention of SIDS by any kind of health visitors, our then GPs or anybody else. It was it had just 'gone away', which from what you are saying it most certainly has not.

Selective reading does not require much time. Fortunately. As far as Camus's version goes, I claim to be a good respectable person who (mainly) reserved such activities for marriage(s). Well, mostly, anyway that is my version of such events ;-)

Brian, I remember much earlier in this thread, you gave a daunting list of all the papers you followed, and you have now given me the chance to use my bit of esprit d'escalier and comment that with all those papers to follow you can't have any time for the other part of Camus' definition of modern man

Brian, thank you for your interest in SIDS. We lost a child aged 13 weeks in 1979 and I followed both research (via the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) and press coverage for some years. During this time research in, as I recall, New Zealand, suggested that rates of SIDS reduced if babies slept on their backs, contrary to established medical advice. This was well publicised, and medical advice changed. During the 1980s sleeping on their backs became standard, and rates of SIDS dropped considerably - publicity involving Anne Diamond and Colin Baker helped in this.

Research also suggested that over-heating during sleep was one contributory factor, that a head cold raised the risks, and that some families were at greater risk than others. I used to compare SIDS with road accidents: there may be no single cause, more a combination of factors.

Over the years journalists and coroners became better informed. Police reaction varies to this day, more to cover the force's back than because sudden infant deaths are indicative of abuse or neglect. Cases of multiple deaths in a family have been handled very badly. I have known and supported two families who lost two babies to SIDS, and awaited their next birth with trepidation, and know that statistics have been misinterpreted.

Once I resumed work I became less involved, but I still read up on research updates from time to time.

The Sun "smutty" ??

The Sun online is now free of charge again after a few years of having to subscribe. I took the hallowed organ most days when living in the UK mainly for Templegate, the best (imo) racing pages in print.

"Phew, wot a scorcher" !

Actually it puts you in the best category. The one where you cannot be categorised. It means you think before you act rather that do things on preconceived notions that might actually be dangerously outdated. OK, I have a particular political view, but no party that represents it so I am equally a free agent for different reasons. I get my smile when people say to me 'Oh you Guardianistas...' I read across the board, perhaps omitting a few like the Sun and Mail that I simply find smutty, so empathise. I don't especially trust any newspaper because they all pick what and how to report, editors following proprietors' directives which when we find out who they are sometimes turns the picture right round, usually not sympathetically toward them. I do enjoy accusations that the BBC is full of either commies or fascists, whatever the truth is they are still servants of the government in office, so that is clearly their main influence. Is there an impartial media? Perhaps Huffington Post were for some time, but on TV no way, none of them. It takes a cross section of the different news services to glean out details. It is perhaps the reason I am willing to go looking in far more depth to see what is going on.

What happened to SIDS anyway? It got lots of attention then 'vanished'. It has never been something in my research field but some of my 'children's rights' colleagues who specialise in early childhood did begin to ask questions. Strangely enough, none of the journals where I saw such questions ever seem to have followed through. Just asking, curiosity killed the cat and all that.

One evening many years ago when we lived in Croydon my mother, who lived nearby, rang to report that Police gunmen and dogs were in her garden and she had been advised to stay in the back of her house. Phil immediately went round to keep her company in my father's absence, and was allowed in by the Police road block as my parents only lived in the third house in their road.

It was all most exciting, and they were quite safe, as the action was happening at the other end of the road. Police cars, ambulances, searchlights, were all in place, as officers used a loud hailer to communicate with the residents of a particular house, appealing to anyone inside the house who could do so to come out.

We had driven past that house earlier in the day, and noticed an elderly car being taken away on a trailer. This was not unusual as a chap lived there with 3 sons who tinkered with cars a lot of the time.

I later spoke to a friend who lived two doors along from the all-male household, and my mother spoke to a friend of hers who lived next door to the excitement. Tea and coffee had been provided by neighbours for the officers, who eventually broke into the house in the early hours of the morning.

The next door neighbour had opened his back door in the afternoon to find the youngest of the three sons, who had been shot by his elder brother. A row had broken out in the family, and the armed brother had shot a family friend, his father, his brothers and finally himself. The neighbour alerted the Police who came straight round. As so many hours passed before they broke in, anyone who was alive when the alarm was raised would have bled to death by the time the Police found them, and this was a matter of concern to everyone who knew anything about the murders.

By the next morning the papers were filled with the news that a bomb had gone off at Harrods, but our murder was covered, reporting that the Police had gone straight in to find everyone inside dead - not at all what happened.

Combine this with coverage of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (a subject upon which I know far more than anyone would wish to) which has largely been ill-informed and misleading, and badgers (I know many nationally respected experts,and have studied badgers myself) and you will understand my reasoning that if the 0.1% of the News about which I know more than the reporters is such rubbish, I have little confidence in the rest.

Consequently I don't read a daily or Sunday paper even when in England. I browse some online versions. I watch TV News on various channels (finding BBC so misleading that I doubt most of it is accurate) and I read the BBC News web page, albeit with as much faith as I would the Daily Star. Fortunately I can make up my own mind and don't need to be manipulated. If a story interests me I research it further online. I also read our local Croydon papers online, more for amusement than information, likewise La Tribune Republicaine and La Dauphiné. I read The Oldie, and the magazines of charities involved with Diabetes, and wildlife in Surrey.

Before each general election I download and read each party's manifesto. Over decades since 1970 I have voted (in alpha order) Conservative, Labour, Liberal, SDP and UKIP. I have not yet decided how I will vote in the next General Election or the Referendum (the latter involves mixed feelings and I am torn between voting for the benefit of my country of birth, the country in which I live, and the interests of my husband and self as ex-pats).

If this helps anyone put me in a particular category, good luck!

Liz, the Daily Mail this Saturday should be featuring A Group Photograph, a wonderful book and exhibition held in Ypres and put together by Andrew Tatham. He has taken over twenty years to research the families of 46 officers of the 8th battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
Andrew has used art and IT to put together his work and it comes together to give us a new perspective on the history of the First World War.
He took his inspiration from a photograph taken of these men on Salisbury Plain during their training befire they were sent to France. It was Andrew’s great grandfather who was seconded from the Indian Army to train these men.
The reason that I know so much about this is that my husband’s grandfather is on the back row, fifth from the right.
This regiment took part in The Battle of Loos, where the British used gas for the first time, unsuccessfully, as the wind changed and it blew back on them.
Jeremy Vine also featured Andrew’s book on his radio programme and it is now on the House of Commons Reading List and is being reprinted.
I can highly recommend this book and any future chance you might have to view his exhibition, which contained items sent from the families.
Over 150 direct descendants went to Ypres to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of Loos and to be present at the opening of the exhibition.
We attended the evening service at the Menin Gate and laid a wreath. We also had another Group Photograph taken of all the attendees.
Not all that the Daily Mail publishes is rubbish.

France 24, Sky news, CNN (kids live in the US) local paper that includes local and national news (Charente Libre), we buy the Daily mail for my mother in law (contains absolute rubbish these days, by the way - celebrity news and prejudiced view on the referendum), we buy the weekend french papers whichever is in and the occasional Charlie Hebdo.

Thank you for your post. I enjoyed it, a refreshingly honest account. Personal life experiences do weigh heavily in forming views on a subject, but there is a danger in lumping all of a group in one bunch and developing a prejudice against all in the group. In your case, I am sure that every miner was not out on the town assaulting people but your experience is what formulated your view and after all these years is still strong.

BBC Radio 5 Live overnight, LBC97.3 in the morning, no news in the afternoon/evening apart from Google UK Newsfeed. France Info/BFM in the car depending on what signal is like.

Now that we're talking of the media....... I generally don't watch television. I mean, we own one, but it hasn't been plugged into an antennae or TNT box since the last rugby match, or moto GP. Not sure which. I just find it odd that recently, on two occasions I was visiting people that had the telly on (is it rude to recieve people and watch TV over their shoulder? That's for another day), and the news stories and programming varied both times, one that struck me was one of those travel programmes where some guy was roaming around foreign cultures, reporting back.... It was UTTER CRAP. I mean ,bear grylls level grap. The guy was standing there with his translator, talking to the locals in their language, and then just basically saying whatever the hell he liked, whether it was related to what the local had told him or not. Fair enough for the viewer that never left their region, and doesn't hold a passport, but surely enough people have travelled to see through his lies??Non?
Another night there was a "reportage"... I put that in inverted commas because usually a report has truths. They were talking about Paris..... how great it was.... The NUMBER ONE tourist destination worldwide. Oh really? I doubted that. I googled that... turns out it's NOT. The Chateau up in Versaille.... they mentioned it was the most visited attraction in the world.... one of the most visited??? NOOOOO, that'd have been too petty... let's say "the most visited" I googled that too. Turns out it's not. It ruined our evening. This was on TFI. If the national broadcasters are having so much trouble sticking to the truth, one can only wonder what sort of filth is on the other channels.
I remember having an argument once with a Frenchman in Australia about Shepherd's pie. He was adamant that it was a French dish. (The argument started because he was being cocky and saying that the French have the best of everything and anything good in the world ONLy came from France).... someone mentioned Shepherds pie and he said "noooon, hachi parmentier... Mr parmentier invented potatoes, he was French" (YES, potatoes were INVENTED, folks) By a Frenchman. Mr Parmentier.
Every time I get a glimpse of what passes for television in this country I'm reminded of this ignoramus and why normal people end up with brains of slush.

In saying that, dancing with the stars is just as dim.

Look out for it, folks... open google and check any claims about greatness that you hear on the box. Nine'll get you ten they're not true.