There’s an interesting column in the Daily Telegraph today by Boris Johnson where he’s essentially talking about saving the Guardian newspaper (link here… http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/9639833/Newspapers-are-worth-fighting-for-even-when-theyre-wrong.html )

Strangely I was actually thinking about writing something similar myself and this echoes a lot of what I think about the matter.  Being honest I’m not a Guardian reader, I don’t hold much sympathy for their views at all if I’m honest.  I find the paper hypocritical, condescending and also frankly and this is the much bigger sin, dull.  I’ve seen a few ideas bandied about recently suggesting that either public money should be used to help prop it up, which is clearly out of the question as we already have a hopelessly biased piece of state media which we call the BBC.  Or we have say a £2 tax on broadband usage which is ultimately distributed to ‘news outlets’ to help keep journalism alive.  Of course the obvious problem with this besides the fact it’s another tax and I think we’re all a little bit sick of taxes is that it would be based on popularity and therefore the Guardian still wouldn’t be getting much extra cash.  

The Guardian’s issue is the same the New Statesman, as I see it there’s two major problems.  The first and it’s fairly easily sorted out is poor management.  This isn’t a dig at either but clearly if you’re left of centre politically then running a profitable business isn’t necessarily going to be your strong suit and clearly it doesn’t sit well with your views.  This is reasonably easily fixed, hire business people in to run the operational side of the business and leave the editors to run the content.  The second and perhaps more pressing issue is popularity, now this is a much trickier fix and one I have no answers to.  The thing is though if these types of magazine/newspapers go to the wall and disappear then who is going to be the voice of the left holding the right to account?  Whichever side of the fence you fall on you don’t want the other side to dwindle away and die as you need a balanced political system, for either party to flourish and for the country to grow you need a strong opposition voice.  The Guardian may not be my cup of tea but it is a necessary and useful paper in the landscape of the politics of this country.

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