As Enoch Powell once said, “a politician complaining about the press is like a sailor complaining about the sea.” But in Powell’s day the media was nothing like as bad as the craven viperous bunch we have today. John Major, who gets most things wrong, at least gets that bit correct.
The once hallowed distinction between “news” and “views” has gone. “News” is now part of a sharply competitive entertainment industry: one might call it “infotainment”. Editors select what is “news” and determine its prominence. They can “run” with a story, or close it down. They may – or may not – be dispassionate. None of this is new. But the scale of it is.
Satellite coverage has multiplied the number of channels. Competition has made the media more demanding, more intrusive. Media outlets thrive on drama and sensation and – in its absence – are likely to create it.