Newspapers are in trouble. For some this is cause for celebration; indeed Frankie Boyle recently tweeted that ‘there’s never been a more important time to not buy one’.

However, while anger at the behaviour of national tabloids is understandable, the problems facing smaller papers should give us all cause for concern. It’s important to remember that it’s the local press which makes up the vast majority of titles and it’s these, often much-loved papers, which will be the first to hit the wall as the covid-19 crisis continues.

The once hugely profitable and highly visible local press industry has been…

Approaching Shenavall bothy from the south is no easy task. It requires a trek of over eight hours across the (entirely treeless) Fisherfield Forest wilderness, carrying heavy packs and fording rivers which during periods of heavy rain can be waist deep. This is a landscape where you can’t fuck up; with no settlements, tracks or frequently even paths, any rescue attempt would be extremely difficult.

But as you enter the final straight it’s clear that it’s been worth the effort. Earlier this month, we saw the sun setting over Loch na Sielga to the West, flanked by the imposing castles…

(Originally published on CityMetric, 7 May 2019)

There are few more dramatic everyday sights in this country than the crowd fighting to board an overcrowded train, waiting in hushed silence then igniting as the platform is announced.

Normally reserved travellers narrow their eyes and sprint determinedly towards the train, wheelie bags flying in all directions. To find yourself involved feels like a Pamplona bull run, with smartly dressed office workers in place of flamboyant Spaniards.

It’s most apparent on the first cheap off-peak train out of London in the evening and many passengers are fed up. The Guardian’s North of…

While acknowledging the risk of giving the most Yorkshire reaction possible to good news by having a moan, there has been something slightly grating about the triumphalism that’s greeted Channel 4’s decision to base its new ‘National HQ’ in Leeds.

The leader of the council says it is hard to overestimate the boost this gives to Leeds, Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry tweeted to announce the North was “the creative heart” of the UK, while a local MP said it puts the region “at the heart of the media and digital revolution”. …

There is one factor responsible for Clinton’s surprise loss in November’s Presidential election which has been mostly overlooked. This is the failure of President Obama to offer meaningful reform during his 8 years in charge which matched the inspiring rhetoric of his campaign. For Clinton, who was essentially running as a continuity candidate, this proved to be fatal.

The problem can be seen most clearly in two speeches given in the same swing state 8 years apart. As the financial crisis started to hit in 2008 Obama promised to take on Wall Street. …

Matthew Dawson

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