COMMENT 

Jack’s media day

The volume of news content has grown hugely over the past fifteen years, yet, paradoxically, people’s news choices are getting ever narrower. Jack is a good example…

By James Evelegh

Jack’s media day

Meet Jack. He’s a leaver / remainer (* delete as appropriate). He’s a news junkie, but a selective one. Jack will only read stuff about Brexit and only stuff he agrees with.

First thing every morning, he reaches for his phone and goes to a news site (reputable and leave / remain leaning like him). Scrolls down until he finds a Brexit story, past all the irrelevant stuff which he frankly has no time for.

It feeds his fix for the moment, but the coverage is not as full-throated as he’d like, so he goes to social media where he rapidly retweets / likes / shares stuff: killer put-downs, hilarious memes and news stories too. He’s not quite sure where the news stories are from, but he can tell they’re news stories because the way they’re written, although sometimes the English is a bit broken.

Occasionally, he sees a post from someone he disagrees with, and they are quickly unfriended / unfollowed.

The workday is always quite taxing for Jack, but he manages to check his phone and squeeze out the odd retweet during breaks and when no-one is looking.

At the end of the day, he’ll switch on the News at Ten. If there’s something Brexit related in the headlines, he might stay up, although broadcast news tends to be too leave / remain for his liking.

Half an hour more among true believers on social media rounds off his media day, before heading to bed and angry dreams about what might happen when the clock strikes midnight on 31 October.

His ex-girlfriend Jill has a very different media day. She turns off her phone for an hour and settles down with a print newspaper. She reads about Brexit but also about the Edinburgh Fringe, the demos in Hong Kong, the opening day of the footie season and some fun-looking cocktail suggestions.

Jack and Jill broke up only recently. Jack had become quite dull. All Brexit and no play.