Wednesday, October 27, 2010
i spy: Does the time-poor newspaper reader exist?
The birth of the first national print paper in a generation must of course be celebrated as a happy event in itself but ... does the 'time-poor newspaper reader' actually exist?
Of course not. Don't you know a rhetorical question when you hear one?
What one does with one's time is a general matter of choice dictated by personal interest and priorities. If someone under the age of 30 says to you, apropos not reading newspapers, 'I am a time-poor person', then this is not a statement of fact but an advertisement of self-importance. She or he is actually saying:: 'I have better things to do because my life is so busy.' Busy-ness in this context is rated a virtue because it implies solvency, sexiness, engagedness and I'm-booked-up-ness. Being seen reading a newspaper suggests you have time on your hands - you saddo.
The reality is that the life of our 'time-poor newspaper reader' (TPNR) is as time-rich as that of anyone who loafs about the house all day calling themselves a freelance writer or video game designer. The several time windows in a day include thumb-twiddling lavatory longueurs, yawny rail journeys to and from (with delays and no-shows for free-time enrichment), mental and physical office truancy (for smokes, googling, gossing or just standing about in Cafe Nero queues or chomping muffins), etc. All large-paned time windows afford potential hours for the reading of newspapers.
But there's just one problem. More and more Pret A Manger-bound youngies would rather do something else. Like read a newspaper free online or on their iPad. Or grow fat on muffins.
So good luck to i. And my condolences to the Independent.