I didn’t hear the news today, oh joy……

One of the stand out advantages that comes with living in the middle of nowhere is the visible lack of newspapers and news. “The News”, as in a newspaper or in a television or radio programme, has become a misnomer because “news” is “old” nearly instantly. Each tiny event appears on billions of phone or computer screens in real time, often accompanied by pictures and film that were produced by another phone near the epicentre of that particular newsworthy moment. Not having a phone of that calibre, I am not blighted with continual updates of mankind’s progress through this vale of fears.

Newspapers do exist here and my neighbour, Fernand, takes delivery, each morning, of the “Ouest France”. This paper has the highest readership in France and cleverly avoids mentioning the rest of the world. It deals with the affairs of the people of West France, from Britanny to Bordeaux. Aside from village fêtes  agriculture and local news there will be moments of high drama such as when a coaster is swept onto the beach at Sables d’Olonne, which is in truth higher drama to the local people than North Korea’s threat of thermo nuclear war as there is fuck all that they can do to counter the madness of the nutters in Pyongyang, but a picture of the beach,  where they’d had a picnic last summer, now published with a bloody great steamer in the middle of it, has some relevance. I don’t read “Ouest France” except when I’m having coffee with Fernand and Jeanette in their kitchen. The paper is normally open at births and deaths so I have to turn to the front page to see the big news where I may be surprised by the biggest Charolais bull or a picture of the leader in the Vendée Globe.

Once upon a time, a very short time ago, there was a choice of newspapers. One could choose between light or serious, left or right. As society moved forwards with “big bangs”, and the like, it became apparent that left and right didn’t matter as society had become ambidextrous due to its disenchantment with duplicity and, equally, that no one was interested in reading the serious papers: so they became lighter and lighter until they were daft. So Pyongyang now sits between bronzed breasts and quick suppers, and really, there’s nothing to worry about. The paper will never be dead!

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About Food,Photography & France

Photographer and film maker living in France. After a long career in London, my wife and I have settled in the Vendee, where we run residential digital photography courses with a strong gastronomic flavour.
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42 Responses to I didn’t hear the news today, oh joy……

  1. Great video! I like those local newspapers 🙂

  2. Brilliant headline, great post and I loved that video! We have a paper like that too in Andalucia, El Sur, the rest of the world can pretty much go to hell as fat as they are concerned which is quite entertaining!

  3. In a related note, I feel the same way about receiving an actual magazine in the mail. There’s just something about receiving your physical copy and being about to hold it, dog-ear it, and have it in full-size as opposed to receiving it virtually on smart phones and iPads. I have both, but I’ll never opt to receive my magazine digitally.

  4. I do wish there was some balance to the news these days. It takes a lot to shift through the inanity of it all.

  5. Roger, I wish I could take West France. We get the NY Times in paper form on the weekends, but even it disappoints more often than not.

  6. LOVE the video! I avoid newspapers at all cost but I’ll take a “real” magazine or a good heavy book in my hands over a kindle any day! Wonderful post.

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    I once read at least one newspaper daily and subscribed to two weekly news magazines. Not anymore. I may check a news site in the morning just to be sure there isn’t an asteroid heading this way but that’s only so that I can break out the really good wine before it gets here. Close calls count, too, in that regard. 🙂

  8. Mad Dog says:

    Great advert! It seems to me that all news these days resembles Tidbits – a gossip magazine that old ladies used to read when I was a child. It all seems to have descended to that level 😦

  9. Eha says:

    [laughing] Have had that particular video in my box for a sendon for days: thanks for the prompt as the final bit makes the point all too clearly! I still get two weekly news magazines . . . the box tells the bytes . . . however, I am grateful that we have about four really, really good well-researched political/economic/ news panel shows and documentaries weekly on the ‘serious’ Australian TV channels: great to go to sleep still analysing and debating issues, even if with oneself!

  10. Michelle says:

    I miss newspapers. But I like having lots of info available without killing trees, too. Love the ad!

  11. angela says:

    Brilliant ~ shall share this at the library tomorrow (we are always having the gadget vs paper debate).

  12. Karen says:

    We stopped the newspaper but the little local one comes in the mail free…it is full of church socials and who is getting married, etc. Not too much happens in our rural area that most people would think of a newsworthy. Love the add. 🙂

  13. Tandy says:

    I am a news addict and even have an app on my phone!

  14. Funny advert! Midi Libre has some coverage of world events, although almost nothing about the Vendée of course! Reading the papers online does seem less wasteful compared with when I used to buy one every day, but I still start almost all my writing on paper, with a pencil…..just old-fashioned, I suppose.

  15. Scary stuff, Roger. My nightmare, that no-one will read more than 100 words and a whole culture lost, seems somehow closer now…

  16. I did not get my Sunday NYT today for some reason, and I am able to survive quite well. did you ever read Thoreau’s Walden and his take on news papers? Seems like nothing much has changed in the last 160 years….

  17. thomas peck says:

    Everyone’s commenting on the newspapers bit. Well, the line that made me laugh out loud was the one with the sudden expletive. Nothing like the f-word to catch people’s attention. Loved the post, as always. And I don’t read a paper anymore either. They’re all biased liars. Thank God for the BBC…

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