Depressed by the Express

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Can optimism sell newspapers? Back in the 1930s Lord Beaverbrook thought so and made sure his most popular paper, the Daily Express, always looked at things ‘from the sunny side of the street’. So much so that it was accused (fairly) of misleading the public by downplaying bad news in the build-up to the Second World War.
Still, it seemed to work. At the end of the war the Express was the biggest selling newspaper in the world, with a circulation of almost four million.
Then we have today’s Express, owned by Richard Desmond, with a circulation down to about 750,000. Are the depressing headlines one reason why? A few less-than uplifting front pages from the last six weeks include:
On housing: ‘Home loans set to soar again’ (15-2-07), ‘Scrap new tax on house sales’ (22-2-07), ‘Millions in home tax trap’ (5-3-07), ‘Cost of home loans to soar’ (21-3-07).
On tax: ‘Tax spies to invade your life’ (20-2-07), ‘Blair’s road tax lies exposed’ (25-2-07), ‘Brown’s tax plan to bleed you dry’ (8-3-07), ‘Tax cut: it’s just a big con’ (22-3-07).
Then of course there’s the Diana conspiracy (‘Diana: vital evidence was kept secret’, 20-3-07), interest rates ( ‘Interest rates to go up and up again’ 28-3-07), anti-Islamic polemics (‘Muslims tell us how to run our schools’ 21-2-07) and the weather (‘Wet Wet Britain’ 28-2-07, ‘Stand by for more floods’ 7-3-07).
Is life really that bad? Still, there was one reason to be cheerful, on 19th February the paper splashed with ‘Chocolate can save your life’ (perhaps the regular editorial team were out that night).

Written by Martin Moore

March 28th, 2007 at 3:47 pm

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One Response to 'Depressed by the Express'

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  1. “Then of course there’s the Diana conspiracy”Naturally.

    Chris Robinson

    30 Mar 07 at 12:03 am

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