28
Aug
2009

Farewell Free Sheets?

So our fluttering London streets and their paper-mache-covered pavements will soon have one less ingredient.

 A freebie newspaper has bitten the dust.

In tough economic climes, the grubby battle for advertising among our free dailies was bound to end sometime. But the question is, do we care?

When you break the news to someone that The London Paper, and, more importantly, its Pet of the Day column, may be no more, you’ll probably get a slightly wistful, yet bemused reaction: ‘Ah, The London Paper. Which one’s that again?’

It seems that, aside from the fact they cost zilch, it’s hard to recollect the redeeming qualities and individual merits of London’s free newspapers.

Let’s face it, on the way home after nine hours of hard graft at the other end of the Central Line, we may as well be presented with a Spot the Difference puzzle, or maybe a children’s crossword. Actually, just some funny pictures of cats would do to lift the mood.

I can’t honestly remember which tattered news rag I plucked from the Tube floor today, let alone which regurgitated news story or celebrity babble my eyes fell on.

To be fair, the price is right for some light entertainment. These papers don’t pretend to have breaking news or thoughtful comment. They are there to do one job: take our minds of the god-awful journey we have inflicted upon ourselves because we can’t face living in a crap shack in Zone 1 (until we win the lottery, natch).

If I have the mental energy to scour through some proper journalism at 6pm, I pay for it. There’s a lot of choice out there if we want to really build on the knowledge we’ve picked up by listening to the radio or skimming the internet (or buying a real paper…) that day.

So it’s not the end of the world that we will have one less crappy news title to skim over. But losing them altogether would be a shame. We’d have to invest in a Nintendo DS. Or a colouring book.

Image by by Cate.Sevilla courtesy of Flickr

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