Today I didn’t have my iPad at breakfast, so I didn’t get the chance to read the daily paper. Instead, I continued reading a very interesting non-fiction book and started to think more generally about the world rather than catch up on the immediate events of the day. And then I started to think about my habit of reading the news at the start of each day.
While I acknowledge that the mainstream media don’t always give people an accurate idea of what’s going on, I have this irrational belief that one should pay attention to it because, if one doesn’t, one is missing out on something. One should be well-informed and all that. But I rarely feel the need to read yesterday’s newspaper, let alone last week’s. So, I asked myself why I bother.
After all, I can write next week’s for you.
Day 1: Front Page
MURDER OF SOMEBODY YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF IN A PLACE YOU RARELY EVER GO TO
Most details are sketchy, but it seems to have been done by someone who knew the victim. It’s too early for more information, but clearly it’s the most important news of the day and you should watch this space so that you hear the latest developments.
SPORT STAR DISGRACES THEMSELVES
Sport star got drunk/took drugs/assaulted someone/cheated on their partner. Even if you don’t follow that particular sport, it’s important to know the details so that you can shake your head sadly if you happen to see this person in the street.
Pages 2 & 3
DONALD TRUMP DIDN’T MEAN EXACTLY WHAT HE SAID
Sean Spicer explains that the President wasn’t talking in general and he was referring specifically to a particular incident so his tweet shouldn’t be seen in a wide context/Sean Spicer explains that the President was taking in general and his reference wasn’t to the particular incident so nobody should be getting all upset or threatening legal action.
MEDIA PERSONALITY NEEDS A PLUG FOR THEIR LATEST VENTURE
There’s a new show on television and you won’t know what anybody’s talking about unless you watch it, and it’s an exciting new challenge for ex-soap star/games show host/shock jock/Australian idol runner-up after their recent divorce/cancer scare/sacking/rehab.
HUMAN INTEREST STORY
An actual human has done something interesting.
Rest of the paper
Ads, letters complaining about what somebody has done or not done, editorials expressing disappointment at both major parties if it’s a Fairfax paper, or anger at Labor if it’s a Murdoch paper.
Day 2: Front Page
TURNBULL ANNOUNCES THAT THEY’LL DO SOMETHING ABOUT A PROBLEM AT SOME FUTURE DATE
Turnbull makes announcement that we needn’t worry about gas/energy supply/education/house prices because he’s intending to introduce a bill to Parliament which will give him the power to do something about it should the need arise sometime in the next three to five years. He’s also immediately springing into action by announcing that a very important person or group will be meeting to decide if this is really a problem. Tony Abbott will say this is what I was doing when I was PM/this is a terrible idea and we need to do what I did when I was PM/I’m not trying to be PM again but this is just silly and I’m saying this even though I think we should stick with Malcolm even though he’s doing such a bad job/it’s a good idea but it’s not as good as stopping the boats
TRUMP THREATENS NORTH KOREA
Trump announces that he’s prepared to do anything to ensure that this part of the world is made safe including wiping it off the face of the earth. In a tweet, he explains that it’s only by dropping a bomb that he’ll stop the region becoming a war zone. To show how serious he is, he drops another large bomb on some Middle-Eastern country.
Pages 2 & 3
BUDGET EXPECTED TO CONTAIN MEASURES THAT LABOR WILL OPPOSE
Story will quote sources as suggesting that something will be expanded if it’s a Liberal idea/cut back if it’s a Labor idea/radically changed if it was Tony Abbott’s idea. It will ask people what they think and print the one’s that either agree with the paper’s position, as well as quoting someone who disagrees but has really radical reasons for doing so.
ANIMAL DOES SOMETHING QUITE WONDERFUL
Animal helps owner after accident by alerting neighbours/dialing 000/performing CPR. Photo of pet and grateful owner looking happy.
Rest of paper
Same as every other day.
Day 3: FRONT PAGE
BUDGET TO BE BACK IN SURPLUS BY 2023
Article will accept Morrison’s change to accounting method and assumptions of growth to tell us that it’s a truly impressive achievement to only need to be re-elected twice more in order to return the Budget to surplus.
GRAPHIC AND TABLE: WINNERS AND LOSERS
Table suggesting that there’ll be more winners than losers because it won’t mention all the real losers.
Praise goes Scott Morrison for his calm, rational way of looking at some numbers and completely ignoring them in order to find the numbers which suit his political purpose.
Pages 2 & 3
WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOU
Article presuming that you’re a typical Anglo family in Doncaster or a typical family in Vaucluse. Everyone else will be left out of the article.
People quoted saying what they think of the Budget even though two of the people didn’t actually know anything it contained.
Day 4: FRONT PAGE
In depth look at how something that the Budget contained will actually affect family or group. They will either be presented as suffering heroes or whingeing ingrates depending on paper’s position on the topic.
SPORTS STAR FROM DAY 1 APOLOGISES AND SAYS THAT THEY’LL SEEK HELP
The article will tell you exactly what you’ve already gleaned from the headline.
Pages 2 & 3
PAULINE HANSON COMPLAINS THAT SHE HASN’T RECEIVED ENOUGH FREE PUBLICITY THIS WEEK IN SPITE OF SAYING OUTRAGEOUS THINGS
Pauline Hanson accuses the ABC of bias for not reporting that she said that she thought that all Muslims should be forcibly returned to the womb. Pauline tells us that she’s not racist because she thinks that all the people who disagree with her should be denied a voice even if they’re real Australians. George Brandis expresses surprise when asked for an opinion because he thought that he wasn’t allowed to say anything but now that he has the chance he’d like to assure us all that One Nation speaks for a large number of forgotten white males like himself and therefore should be listened to
POLICE NO CLOSER TO FINDING KILLER
The police still haven’t charged anyone for the earlier murder but they’re prepared to release information that make us all sure it was the husband/the Apex gang/terrorist related/The Greens.
Day five will just be a re-arrangement of the stories from the previous four days because it’s Friday and we need some sort of closure, and we also need to remind people that there’ll be sport played on the weekend.
* * *
There now. I’ve saved you the trouble of reading next week’s paper. Use the time you’ve saved wisely!
P.S. I should add that the front page accompanying this is a fake. I realise that with some papers it is hard to tell.
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