On Reading the Newspaper

Around the middle of the nineteenth century, artists in a rapidly modernising world began to take note of an increasingly popular activity which attracted their aesthetic attention, as much because of…

On Switching Off the News

We need to be informed, of course. But, in order to stay sane, we may also need – at points – to forget or at least not to remember with such…

We've Been Here Before

Far less than we are inclined to think, we are no strangers to suffering. As a species, we know well how to be agonised – but, as media organisations deftly like…

In Praise of Bias

A presumption among many thoughtful people is that the great enemy of a good life and a decent world is something called ‘bias’. By bias, people have come to understand a…

The News from Without - and the News from Within

We know that we must, to lay claim to any respectability or competence, keep up with the news. That’s why we’ve ringed the earth with satellites, crisscrossed it with fiber optic…

History as a Corrective to News

We tend to get very gloomy about our own era: the state of society seems especially lamentable, the international situation is dire, the political process is unnerving, commercial society is rapacious;…