I hope I might be able to interest you in an idea I’ve had floating around my head for a while. Just as a once off, I’d like to recruit bloggers (and non-bloggers too) to read the papers over one weekend. Specifically, over next weekend.
Not one paper, or two, but as many as possible. Ideally, to read them all. (Though I’m not sure if anyone would have the time to read everything). And to read them with a critical eye- to note down when news reports don’t tally with what they know, or when columnist’s arguments don’t make sense. Or when they seem to be intent on talking about something that has nothing to do with you.
Above all, to try to articulate what, if anything, we’d like to see improved in the papers on our shelves by clearly identifying where they seem to have fallen down.
To try to inject a little fun into the exercise, I propose to set up shop in a city centre venue (that’s Dublin city centre, if you’re near another city) from 1pm with a huge pile of papers on Saturday and Sunday. Somewhere with chairs, drink and brunch-styles munches. Who knows, somebody might turn up and start blogging from the place there and then. I thought the Mezzanine in the Westin Hotel has pretty nice comfy sofas to sit and read at. Suggestions of alternative venues welcome.
Feel free to drop in, if you’re in town, or to read your own paper at home and contribute your thoughts from there. (If you’d like to, tag it paperround so they can all be found easily).
And, if you want, ask your friends to come along, bring partners and/or kids (of reading age or otherwise).
Its a kind of a meet-up, but also an experiment.
Speaking for myself, I think that the standard of newspapers has fallen in the past, say 5 years. And I think Ireland needs a strong, active and questioning press. And having been involved in, for example, court cases which I didn’t recognise when I read some of the reports, I’ve started to wonder if what I read is even factually accurate. I think that if a group of even semi-alert weekend readers start to examine what we’re given we might (perhaps) find that the authority of print starts to drain away quite quickly.
To try to get the widest spread of snapshots (Workday, Saturday and Sunday papers) I’ll also be buying all the daily papers on Friday. But, as I don’t have the day off work, I’m afraid there won’t be any lounging around then.
Let me know what you think.