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2:23pm on Tuesday, 20th September, 2011:



They put up the price of The Guardian this week to £1.20 an issue (more at weekends).

It's almost exactly 4 years since I switched to The Guardian from The Independent, but I'm starting to wonder if it's worth its cover price. I still think it's better than The Independent, but I find I don't read most of it. I buy a newspaper because I want to read news, yet much of The Guardian's content is nothing even approaching news. I particularly loathe its columnists, who seem collectively to be of the opinion that because their writings appear in print they're somehow better than any other random person's blog postings. The paper relentlessly slags off the government as if by definition nothing that it does could possibly be the right thing ever, even in news pieces. Then it pads itself out with worthless (to me) articles aimed squarely at attracting female readers plus pages and pages of sport.

If I were to change, though, to which newspaper would I do so? Not The Times because of who owns it; The Telegraph may have the news I want, but it has an illiberal spin; maybe The Financial Times but it's a bit heavy on, er, finance; The Yorkshire Post gets my vote for regional loyalty reasons but is too right wing for me to want to read it daily. The rest of the nationals are tabloids in style and substance, with an over-emphasis on sensationalism and one-sidedness plus even more reliance on news stories that are no such thing. Do I really care what Cheryl Cole tweeted yesterday? If I did, wouldn't I, you know, follow her on Twitter myself?

In considering what newspaper I should take, I came to the conclusion that I might be better off not taking a newspaper at all. I get the main stories from the TV and the radio, and the BBC's news site is reasonably good (it's covered the Foldit protein game story, which has yet to reach The Guardian). All I'd lose from stopping taking a paper is something to read at breakfast, but I have a stack of 19 books next to me awaiting reading so that's not a problem.

I'll give The Guardian a while longer, but it's now on notice...

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).