MacPhail

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Having survived the wrath of some esteemed and respected Oban Times-reading friends and colleagues at the weekend having had a swipe at some of their daily newspapers of choice in last week’s article, I assure anyone else who may have taken any offence to my comments that no disrespect was aimed at the readers of these papers.

We all read different newspapers and garner news and information from the multitude of sources across the wide plethora of media outlets that fill the lives of modern man and our reasons for choosing certain channels can be wide and varied.

It is interesting to gain wider perspective by, when time allows, choosing to read from a range of different sources.  I am not as diligent as I should be in reading newspapers but when a long train, plane or ferry journey allows relaxed reading time, I like to pick up a number of different papers and compare stances on the same news stories.   Grabbing a Guardian along with the Telegraph, The Herald along with The Times, The National along with The Scotsman or even more diverse, The Oban Times along with The West Highland Free Press can engender some strange looks.

Add in a few redtops and even a Daily Mail to the mix now and then and peoples’ newspaper prejudices really begin to show in the form of raised brows and avoiding eye contact!

However, variety is the spice of life and habitually only reading one side of any argument is a good way to send one self down the blinkered road of eternal ignorance.

Like people, newspapers all have individual qualities of attraction and repulsion and each have attributes that appeal to and repel different readers for different reasons.  And similarly to their human counterparts none are perfect in every way, none are bad in every way and all have perceived differing flaws depending on the subjective perspective of the individual reader making judgement.

One of the premier critics of last week’s piece is someone whom I hold in particularly high regard, and though I would not ever align myself with his choice of newspapers and/or his favoured political parties, we had a very interesting discussion about the reasons people buy certain papers.

When he was explaining the attributes that he perceived a particular paper to have and its stance on some issues that were important to him, it was clear, while not being taken in by or agreeing with all of the content, why that was one of his chosen daily paper.

From his perspective it made perfect sense to buy this paper, and in no way does it negatively affect my judgement of him as person. –  even though he had just given me a good ear blistering about my article!

Last week’s predictions of sun for Oban Live and continuity of content for the Oban Times despite its new compact format at least came to pass and caused no controversy!  I am happy to report that these two landmark events of Argyll were a great success in their respective very different ways. Congratulations to all involved in both.