Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earthquakes and machete race wars in SA - Gill Moodie analyzes the UK's trashy Daily Star

Great, insightful piece of writing as usual from Moodie.

Here's a snippet [with more below the fold]:

'Earlier this month Hartnady, a former UCT professor who is now the research and technical director of geoscience consultancy Umvoto Africa, was “quoted” in the Daily Star tabloid as saying an earthquake could hit South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. (Wayne Rooney “could be shaking in his boots” at the prospect, said the paper).
Facebook and Twitter were quickly awash with indignant South Africans crying foul over the story and over an earlier Daily Star splash claiming British football fans were facing a machete bloodbath fuelled by a race war after AWB leader Eugene Terre'Blanche's death.'
The Daily Star - and indeed all successful tabloids across the world - truly treats itself as a product rather than a newspaper. Tabloids look at what their readers love and hate and dish it up in feisty bold capital letters on the front page. So the Daily Star knows that their readers love saucy celebrity stories to brighten up their God-awful lives, hence its front-page lead a few days after the earthquake story on Jordan's horror boob scare (they may explode or drown her if she takes a dip in the sea). Their readers also love football, hence their focus on the coming world cup and they hate immigrants, who take jobs away from them, and generally anything foreign because it's, well, foreign.
Nor are the Daily Star's readers influential. They are the residents of the council estates. You seldom even see people with the paper on the Tube as most of their readers are simply not economically active.
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