It’s Grim at The Tele

Matthew Steeples analyses ‘The Telegraph’s’ decline and laments its likely future in the land of bubblegum journalism and fluff

It’s Grim Up North was a 1991 single by The JAMs. It referenced the “drab,” the “dreary” and “greyness and even attracted homages, based upon other areas of Britain, such as 1992’s It’s Weird Out West.

 

Now, one could argue, The Telegraph – a paper so ably and intelligently edited successively by Bill Deedes, Max Hastings and Charles Moore in the period from 1974 to 2003 – has found itself stranded in the territory of grimness. This once “reliable” and “trustworthy” broadsheet – a paper that was lauded for so long as “one of the world’s great titles” and one that has the motto: “Was, is, and will be” – has lost its way and seen both revenue and circulation significantly diminish.

 

Profits at Telegraph Media Group decreased from £16.3 million in 2017 to just £900,000 last year and despite the Barclay Brothers having paid £665 million for the company in 2004, they are now allegedly considering approaches for it at around the £100 million mark. Given that sum was mentioned several months ago and no sale has yet progressed, many reckon they’ll struggle to get even that.

 

In spite of its readership (and thus thereafter resources) being down from 1.4 million daily in 1980 to just 281,025 as of December 2018, here is a paper that still until recently had the ability and courage to go after great scoops. A case in point was its brilliantly thorough investigation into the MPs expenses scandal – and rightly, for that, The Telegraph was named 2009 British Newspaper of the Year.

 

Sadly, more recently, such fine journalism has been replaced by the bland and the banal and the tawdry and the tacky. Yesterday, as an example, a prominent feature on the frankly also idiotically paywalled Telegraph site (which hardly anybody actually pays for) was titled “Meet FOBO (Fear of Better Options): the spoiled lovechild of FOMO and social-climbing.”

 

Penned by one Lisa Williams – a woman whose other recent pearls of wisdom for the paper have included “6 ways to boost your sex life this autumn,” “How to get out of a Wanderlust-style sex drought (without having sex with other people)” and “Forget the Danish and the Dutch way – here’s how to parent like a Brit” – here is a feature about “our choice-rich commitment-poor approach to socialising.” It is something that belongs not in a once distinguished newspaper founded in 1865, but instead in the advice pages of Heat or Closer.

 

Alongside an analysis of ‘FOMO’ and ‘FOBO’ since they allegedly “matter because it hurts to be the collateral to someone else’s FOBO” (whatever that may mean), Williams lists twenty “do and don’ts” for “hosting a modern dinner party.” Amongst other commands, this harridan patronisingly tells Telegraph readers – whom used to be generalised as ladies with blue rinses and ageing colonels living in the shires – is to “have a playlist of Wham! and Beyoncé ready.” She suggests “serv[ing] meat and two veg” to be wrong and to go for “individual chicken breasts” to be criminal. Amongst other gibberish that she plainly aims at millennials – who anyone with half a brain would know will instead be busy elsewhere on their Instas and Snapchats – she then looks into how “social media has thrown social-climbing and flakiness into bed.” Williams finally concludes by suggesting “don’t check social media [the day after attending a dinner].” How terribly useful.

 

I’d instead take a different view and argue that The Telegraph needs to look back to its roots; it needs to edit out the likes of Williams’ inane ramblings and return to what it described as its guiding force in its very first edition: “A high tone of independent action.”

 

Facebook: @TheSteepleTimes

Instagram: @TheSteepleTimes

Twitter: @SteepleTimes and @M_Steeples

 

7 COMMENTS

  1. I am a pensioner and I used to have it delivered daily. No more. I gave up on it about five years ago. Very disappointing and that they were paying such people as Boris Johnson £275,000 for his column is why they’re going broke.

  2. It went south when Boris Johnson got his grubby mitts in the till. Remember that article about the poor man Ken Bigley and his disgusting words about Liverpool? And we now have him as PM also. God help us all.

  3. I like The Telegraph!!!!!!!!!!!! It has some good right of centre columnists but you are right about Lisa Williams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t send her Down Under —– Even after fifty Castlemaines I would have to put a double bag over her!!!!!!!!!!!! Her sex advice —– NO BLOODY THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. The Telegraph lost its way years ago. It is neither the Mail or The Sun nor The Guardian or The FT. It is not in the league of The Times and it may as well close its doors.

  5. I love the Telegraph, the Alex cartoon and many of its writers – Allister Heath, Charles Moore, Sherelle Jacobs, Fraser Nelson, Asa Bennett, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Allison Pearson, Simon Heffer. Tim Stanley. Its travel recommendations are excellent. It is an essential tool to maintain our civilisation and live a civilised life and I hope it can find its way to a sustainable future. And please don’t let the Saudis, Emiratis, Kuwaitis or the wrong kind of Russkies buy it….!

  6. Lisa Michelle Williams (born 19 June 1973 in Birmingham, England) is a self-proclaimed psychic, medium and healer who starred in two shows on Lifetime Television: Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead (2006–2007) and Lisa Williams: Voices From the Other Side (2008)

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Speak Up Now Randy Andy

As a new witness comes forward, it is time for the Duke of York to finally be truly honest; if ‘Randy Andy’ is genuinely innocent, it would be his best move.

Locking Up Boris

Petronella Wyatt takes to Twitter to suggest Boris Johnson “locks himself down” given he is “57 years old, and obese.”

A Tory Whip Shocker!

Matthew Steeples finds himself in shock and agreeing with Jess Phillips MP after she calls out Tory hypocrisy over their failure to withdraw the whip from an unnamed MP arrested for alleged sex crimes.

Hero of the Hour – Tobias Weller (AKA ‘Captain Tobias’)

Nine-year-old Tobias Weller has raised £145,000 for good causes by walking two marathons in spite of having cerebral palsy and autism.

MeGain Must Stop

This morning’s revelations from Thomas Markle Jnr. are proof that the Duchess of Sussex must put a stop the almighty mess she created with her family.

Titles for the Boys and Girls – Elevation of Sir Philip May

Giving a knighthood to Philip May for “political services” is absolutely preposterous given his firm’s dubious connections; instead Count Binface would have been a better recipient.

What a Charlie!

As Charlie Elphicke is convicted of three counts of sexual assault, one must consider Theresa May’s government’s shameful decision to allow him back into parliament suggests Matthew Steeples.

Gruesome Ghislaine

Ghislaine Maxwell’s request to “keep nude photos and sexualised videos” out of her trial is yet more proof that she is nothing but gruesome.

Stunt Slams The Silent Media

James Stunt calls out Viscount Rothermere for selectively choosing to ignore a story about the connection between Boris Johnson and Laura Kuenssberg;...

Tossed Out Tommy

News that Tommy Robinson has become a ‘refugee’ is the ultimate in irony.

MeGain’s Media Muckup

The Duchess of Sussex has well and truly failed in her attempt to manipulate both the media and the public; Prince Charles must now intervene.

Burley to Barnard Castle

Kay Burley makes a mockery of Dominic Cummings on Twitter.

Finding Attention (MeGain Style)

Most commentators have missed the point about the Duchess of Sussex suggests Matthew Steeples; she has a single thing on her agenda...

Shopping the McCann Media Mess

The latest developments in the Madeleine McCann case have been spun to a media willing to believe utterly preposterous stories suggests Matthew Steeples.

Robert Mercer’s Network of Interference

Matthew Steeples suggests it is not only Russia that Britain must fear, it is the interference of the likes of billionaires such as Robert Mercer.

Fergie Does Porridge

As the Duchess of York makes a fool of herself retching over a bowl of porridge in a blonde wig, one has to question why nobody reins this imbecile in; Fergie should ideally learn the art of silence.

Weather Now

London
broken clouds
21.5 ° C
22.8 °
20 °
40 %
5.1kmh
75 %
Tue
20 °
Wed
25 °
Thu
30 °
Fri
33 °
Sat
29 °