Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Sun at its best

People can be sniffy about the Sun. The combination of Page 3 and a heavy dose of celebrity news make lazy dismissals of its contribution easy. However, those who write it off should think again for a couple of reasons.

First, The Sun is unequalled in its ability to convey sometimes complex ideas in very few words and language that anyone can understand. I've had first hand evidence of this since I've started writing reports for national media attention. The Sun's ability to get to the heart of the matter quickly and effectively is deeply impressive. This makes the paper absolutely invaluable as it is a very efficient way of ensuring that people with a limited amount of time for politics, who fit it in between Page 3 and Big Brother, can remain far better informed than they would if the Sun weren't around.

Second, their editorials often brilliant. Sometimes the balance goes wrong as it clearly did at times during the paedophile hysteria. However, more often than not they'll get it right as in this editorial about the murder of Rhys Jones:

"BRITAIN is in mourning today.

For the appalling murder of Rhys Jones. For the society we have created and for the new depth to which it has sunk.

That little boy’s killing is a defining moment for our country, perhaps even more so than those of poor Damilola Taylor and James Bulger.

For if there is one shred of hope from it, it is that it may force us to consider how we have gone so badly wrong and how we can put things right.

It is time for the Government and the judiciary to radically rethink the derisory sentences handed down to young criminals. It is time for police to go back on the beat and for the Home Office to sanction a huge increase in their numbers.

Most crucially, it is time for blighted communities to rise up against the gangs that terrorise them. Not through vigilantism but through group action, a new spirit of co-operation with police and a zero-tolerance approach to crime.

In every home it is time for parents to look at how they are raising their children, the values they instil in them, the freedoms they allow them."

It's worth reading the piece in its entirety.

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