And so it’s goodbye to The Listener
December 22, 2007
After many years of happy reading, being challenged, finding a weekly magazine that actually expects the readers to a: have a vocabulary and b: give a damn and has some of my favourite writers in it, I’m done. Through. You’ve lost me.
It wasn’t the new editor, although I hear tell she’s painful. It wasn’t the removal of prickly difficult staff, although clearly that happened as well. It wasn’t Joanne Black’s “Black Page” because that used to raise my blood pressure so completely on a regular basis that I’ve long since stopped reading it. It wasn’t the redesign that sees the TV pages expanded to include a myriad of pay TV pages that I don’t care about (and doesn’t Sky publish its own guide anyway? And don’t all Sky owners have an electronic programming guide as well?). It wasn’t the decision to move Russell Brown’s IT column up next door to the TV section while moving Diana Wichtel’s TV review to the front (?). It wasn’t even the decision to focus on a different disease each and every week until we’re all so sick to death of it that we skip entire tranches of the magazine desperately looking for something to read.
No, it was the caption on a graphic in this week’s issue that showed two different sets of handwriting both from a 10-year-old lad who had started taking Omega 3 fish oil supplements. Before, his writing looked like my daughter’s first attempts. Afterwards it would put mine to shame.
I’ve had enough. If I want emotional manipulation and anecdotal evidence I will watch 20:20 or Sixty Minutes. I do not want that level of coverage of important issues. I want what The Listener used to deliver – a step-by-step account of how David Bain killed his family (and why he clearly did it). I want detail, I want measured assessment, I want facts and figures.
And now I want a new subscription to a different magazine. Got any suggestions?