UnHerd and the UK new media landscape
Don't miss our write-up in the i newspaper
Don’t miss The i newspaper’s piece about new media coverage of coronavirus coverage this week. Pointing to the record traffic news websites are seeing since lockdown, Ian Burrell singled out UnHerd for its willingness to “challenge simplistic headlines with nuance and context”:
Like what you’re reading? Get the free UnHerd daily email
Already registered? Sign in
UnHerd pieces can run to 2,000 words. A piece by Freddie Sayers on Sweden’s approach to quarantine hedged its bets under the headline “Jury still out on Swedish coronavirus strategy” but still attracted high traffic. Sayers presents Lockdown TV, UnHerd’s YouTube channel, which had 2.2 million views in the past month for lengthy videos including a 36-minute interview with epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, before his recent resignation.
This approach to digital journalism is counter to the notion that only extreme views can generate traffic. “Polemic for me is the last thing that readers want at the moment,” says Chatterton. “They come for the science and a clear-eyed, critical look at these issues.”
I couldn’t agree more, Unherd has been a breath of fresh air and reasoned analysis, in sharp contrast to the usual macabre media headlines and non-contextualised uses of data.
I can only hope that The Independent itself will now follow in your footsteps. So far it has been one of the worst offenders for headline grabbing and political point-scoring over the pandemic.
Lets hope they learn from you how to report with a clear and level head; as the public has a right to expect from its media, especially now.
Yes, there was a time when I bought The Independent most days, having considered it to be ‘my’ paper since its inception. Then, around 2002 I realised that it had become entirely bonkers, even more bonkers than The Guardian. I have not bought a newspaper while on British soil since then.
I stopped visiting the Independent website a year or two ago, mainly because it had become so bloated with ads as to make it almost unreadable.
it is staggering that the current generation of journalists are keener on airing their views than finding out facts and thereafter drawing conclusions. I echo the congratulations to Freddie who interviews in a style from which numerous high-profile and highly paid interviewers could learn many lessons. Unherd has been a beacon of enlightenment which certainly helps me during a period of media induced hysteria – so many of these reporters have not got the guts to be boring – BBC reported on two bikers buying fish and chips in Whitby whilst at the same time ignoring Nobel laureates Michael Levitt & Luc Montagnier.
Yes, many congratulations to Freddie for providing some great analysis and interviews in contrast to the tsunami of Covid bias and dross from the fake news legacy media.
Despite sky-high tuition fees, universities were already in financial trouble before the virus hit. The obvious reason is that enormous amounts of money have been wasted on paying a caste of overpaid, over-numerous managers, and on building snazzy new buildings which look great but which are often not fit for academic purpose. Money is also wasted on unhelpful bureaucratic initiatives like the REF and the TEF, which demand that scholars and teachers jump through statistical hoops rather than doing their jobs.
While Conservative and Blairite administrations preached the virtues of deregulation in the private sector, they have imposed a Stalinist level of centralised control over higher education institutions that were once independent and self-governing. Our university system, when it was run properly by the academics who taught and researched in it, was the finest in the world. How have the mighty fallen!
The colleague cited above comments that “One of the biggest learning curves I’ve found is embracing change as a set of new perspectives rather than a series of threats.” But we must ask why academics have come to feel that change equates to threat in the first place. It is surely because almost every change that they have endured in recent years has been a change for the worse.
Fortunately there is a straightforward solution. It is to change things, as far as possible, back to the way they were.
Badly managed Universities have no inherent right to survive, just ask the miners, shipbuilders and car makers. Universities simply closed their doors to customers who had already paid and refused to give a refund. Why was this ? Your son neatly encapsulates the whole con. Why would someone who wants to act go to University to study drama. Get out into the theatres and learn your trade. It is like going to University to study creative writing – I have never heard of one great author who did this. If Universities are not going to open I would encourage any student to leave University and join the Open University the fees are currently about a third of the cost.
At the beginning of lockdown I started searching for reporting & journalists that try and challenge the herd mentality . I was so relieved to find Unherd & The Spectator. I am utterly disappointed with the Economist & the BBC . Besides the dreadful lockdown & the virus news & views , I am enjoying reading all sorts of articles from the Unherd & Spectator.
Thank you for being challenging, objective & interesting.
As a child I was often picked on because I had killed Jesus. Where does that come from?
I am not jewish but I like to think that I have reasonable ‘jewish’ credentials. As a boy my best friend was jewish and I played for the jewish lads brigade football team. At 18 I lived on a Kibbutz and I am still Facebook friends with 3 of the kibbutzniks. I then went out with a jewish girl whose father was a cantor in London and whose mother re-married a rabbi in Jerusalem. I am still friends with that girlfriend. I also started a business with a jewish girl and know her family. I have often asked myself why have jews been so universally disliked, seemingly forever and wherever they have lived? I have come to believe it is because at the root of the jewish religion is the belief that they and only they are “god’s chosen people”. Thats not a problem in itself since most people these days have worked out that all religions have been invented by man but it does mean that the jewish people created their religion as a matriocricy. If your mum isn’t jewish then you aren’t. What follows is a desperate and disastrous policy of non-integration with the rest of society. Why desperate and disastrous? Because it limits the ability of the religion to expand (there are more kurds than jews in the world) and so it turns inwards. When a group refuses to integrate in a society they become disliked. It seems this dislike has helped the jewish people to become fantastically successful in education, business, creativity and hard work. Couple this with their famed ability to participate in usury and people become jealous, which in turn leads to dislike and then in some cases hatred. It occurs to me that if the jewish rule makers were to allow DNA testing to show that a babies supposed father was indeed jewish and that therefore the baby can also be considered jewish then this matricricy could be dispensed with. The religion could then expand and integrate.
Join the discussion
To join the discussion in the comments, become a paid subscriber.
Join like minded readers that support our journalism, read unlimited articles and enjoy other subscriber-only benefits.Subscribe