Sunday, May 21, 2006

The new Sun rises..

I saw Kelvin MacKenzie on Newsnight in the week nominating an Independent headline as one of the 'most memorable headlines' feature they are running. I rarely agree with anything the loathsome MacKenzie says, but he did strike a bit of a chord with this. He said that although the so-called 'quality' newspapers sneer at the tabloids like The Sun, they have learnt the lesson of using the sensational banner headline.

The Independent seems to have taken this to a new level. News on the front page seems to have been ditched altogether for a full page new 'Exclusive' sensational banner headline every day. It's a bit like Alistair Campbell and his drive for a new initiative before breakfast every morning. Take today's Independent on Sunday. An initiative which should be applauded becomes... The Fat Police. For years people have been saying we need to move away from a National Sick Service to a proper National Health Service, concentrating on early interventions and diagnosis and preventative health care. Now it is being suggested that obesity and body fat levels should be identified early, and parents invited to consider varying the diet for their children, the Independent turns it into a full page headline giving the impression the health gestapo from the nanny state (that's the nanny state which will have to raise everyone's taxes to deal with the obesity related problems in later life) are going to be kicking your door down and shoving lentils down the throats of our kids. It's just cobblers, and making sensationalism a substitute for news. By all means give us that sort of headline grabbing when there is an important issue, but this daily 'Exclusive' approach just doesn't work.