Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
9 April 2017, 01:10
A note to The Guardian newspaper - I am very disappointed with you.
Newspapers are hurting and that sales are falling off a cliff and have been for quite some time.
The official ABC circulation figures say that The Sun is down 3.5% year on year, The Mail down 4.8%, The Mirror down about 10%, and The Guardian flat-lining , despite the gifts to the news industry of Brexit and Trump.
On-line figures give more hope and the Mail Online is doing very well but what is disappointing is that there seems to be a charge to Daily Mail website-ise everything that papers do in this country, and it is getting wearying.
Mail Online increased the reach for their website by 10% last year but does that mean that everyone else has to follow them with tales of gormless 'slebs and endless headlines that are questions:
Is this the worst atrocity ever?
Has this TV chef revolutionised chips?
Have you been cleaning wrong all this time?
I don't know - you are the newspaper - you tell me. It's why I came to you in the first place, not for a game of 20 questions.
Just tell me the bloomin' news and if I want to be bombarded with questions I don't know the answer to, I'll watch University Challenge
And I know that many of these headlines are deliberately designed to annoy, just to make you click on the link so you will see the advert that sits alongside, but really, The Guardian has gone too far this time.
Right there on the front page of their website this week was this headline:
"Harry Styles debuts Sign of the Times."
For those of you who have no idea who, or what, a Harry Styles is, he is one of those tattooed haircuts that is, or was, in the television game show band One Dimension.
I suppose it would have been alright if the headline ended there. I am sure that some of the less mature readers of The Guardian, who do not care much for music, are actually interested in what some boy-band member is doing now, but they did not end the headline there.
It got a lot worse than that, because after saying that Harry Styles has a new song out, The Guardian then asked, in big bold letters:
"Is he really the new Bowie?"
Well, let’s think about that for a moment shall we?...NO!
Yes, it’s a "no" from me, and for the benefit of foreign readers, that's "nee" in Africaans, "non" in French, "nein" in German, "tidak" in Malaysian, "net" in Russian and "ghobe" in Klingon.
Harry Styles is really not the new David Bowie.
Any more stupid questions?