The Reading Room
Does the Earth revolve around the sun?
Apparently it does according to David Miliband at Labour party conference today. “But not the one printed in Wapping” he then pointed out. He’s right of course but is he right to imply that the Sun newspaper is not as powerful as it once was ?
All the old Labour ‘Masters of spin’ of course queued up to say that it no longer burns so brightly with Alastair Cambell saying that its switch to the Tories was “far from devastating.” The truth is that the Sun still has eight million readers every single day. But then it is also true that less people are paying attention as they’re now getting their information from so many different sources. Labour actually halved the Tory lead the day after the Sun announced their switch to Cameron.
The point is that people are more informed now and will therefore no longer be made to feel that an organisation can influence their opinion. I think that’s where The Sun have made their mistake. Proclaiming that it was ‘The Sun Wot Won It’ in the 1980’s may have actually gained the paper some admirers but such headlines today feel out of place and actually look a bit desperate. People that are getting their news through email alerts and tweets and cnn.com saved on their iphone will just have a wry smile. We’re still a long way from ‘people power’ but maybe we’re inching closer to a country where, in the words of Harriet Harman, “people decide elections not newspapers.” PS
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