One of the awakenings of these past few months has been to see a little more clearly the nature of the press. I don't see UK newspapers regularly, but I do get to read them online. The Guardian allows free access. Through Flipboard I can also read certain articles from the Telegraph and from the Independent. I can also read articles from the Spectator. A heady mix, don't you think?
These four tell completely contradictory points of view. They report the same facts, superficially, but the headline and the interpretation of the facts are diametrically opposed.
Now, OK, one might say it was ever thus, and perhaps it was.
But my problem with it is that all this dogmatism stifles discussion and debate. You can never discuss anything because dogma is not open to discussion, and facts must be interpreted - and maybe even selected - to fit the dogma.
I think the end result of this is that democracy is effectively stifled - the people can't have or even hear a discussion on which to base their view and their vote - and we end up with a mediocracy - a war for dominance between the different stances the press decide to take. Different stances which, presumable, reflect the political stances of the owners of the newspapers.
It's very sad, and probably reflects one of the ways in which people are right when they complain that we are richer in information but poorer in understanding, richer in knowledge, but poorer in wisdom.