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12:28pm on Saturday, 11th November, 2006:

And in Local News


Page 3 in today's Independent is devoted to a story headlined:

From Somerset to the Sahara: Glastonbury may become Timbuktu's twin

There's a picture of both Glastonbury and Timbuktu, a cartoon about it, 4 column-inches of stats about Glastonbury and Timbuktu (2 each) and 20 column-inches in the article body.

What's with the may, though?

Reading through the text, it transpires that Timbuktu wanted a British twin town, and whittled a list of 50 contenders down to three. Glastonbury is one, with York and Hay-on-Wye the others.

So why is the article all about Glastonbury? If this were the Glastonbury Weekly Courier rather than The Independent, it would make sense to highlight the local connection (and they'd get a second story out of whether Glastonbury wins or not, too). However, it's not a local newspaper, it's a national newspaper. So why the focus on Glastonbury?

I get the feeling The Independent's journalists all went to the Glastonbury Festival in their misbegotten youth and believe that everyone else did too.

Glastonbury's population is 8,000, and 75,000 people attend the festival there each year. York's population is 100,000, and 2,000,000 people visit the minster there each year.

What is it with some journalists?

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).