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Enough is Enough!

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It Drives Me Crazy!

How newspapers get away with publishing a sensational gossip story on the front page of the paper, but when it is found to be false and malicious, all they do is print an apology on about page 9! Read more.

New 'News'

You often hear news about things from the exciting point of view. Whether or not it is accurate is sometimes a completely different story though.

That is not to say that out news is boring, but actually it is quite interesting how significantly the story can be changed to sell a newspaper or get your attention in another way.

Some examples of the kind of thing I have witnessed is a newspaper painting a terrible picture of a driving instructor who was giving lessons to a military family, stories about the money making speed cameras which, contrary to popular belief, do help the problem of road traffic accidents, and many more car and road related stories.

Dodgy Driving Instructors?

I mention this as it comes to mind as an example of an at least very questionnable story in the press a year or two ago. The story went something like there was a driving instructor who had agreed driving lessons with a lady whos husband was at war along with the British army. I think there were a few cancelled lessons by her and then she wanted a refund for the lessons she had paid for(if I remember correctly).
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The driving instructor, around the same time, had rushed off to Scotland to visit his mum who was very ill if not dying. Incidentally he was either a Solihull or Birmingham driving instructor. It was either in the rush he forgot his mobile telephone with all his driving school pupils in it, or had broken his phone or something similar, whatever happened, he was unable to contact the pupil or receive contact about the driving lessons refund.

From what I can gather, the next thing he heard was from the newspaper wanting a comment about the story they were about to publish! Although I do not know the person in question, my heart really goes out to him! The headline in the paper was something along the lines of 'is this Britains sickest man?' - I would suspect that his business has been all but ruined by the irrisponsible and sensationalist reporting by the press!

I do feel for the lady who thought for a while that she would not get her money back (a few hundred pounds) but the driving instructor or driving school in question has probably lost out on literally thousands of pounds with no trial whatsoever (apart from the media!), but 'at least they sold a few more papers that day ey?'

On the subject of driving schools

There was a big announcement recently about LGV - the owner of Red - the driving school, going into administration. There was a really big deal made of it (rightly so, as a lot of people could have lost their jobs) but there was also headline grabber about the potential loss of paid for driving lessons! There was then a small clarification almost hidden away, which said that the driving school would continue to act as normal.

Additionally, now that everything seems to sorted, there has been almost nothing said! So the media create a fuss and potentially a bit of fear about people losing their driving lessons, but say nothing when it is all sorted.

One of the largest driving schools in the UK potentially going under makes a great headline, whereas a headline saying PHEW, everything is going to be fine does not sell many newspapers.

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So Who Cares?

It really depends on the day and the subject, not to mention the person or company in question. There are some subjects such as parliamentary expenses, that everyone is generally quite happy to ask few questions and shoot anyone even remotely involved. Other than that it will often be the people who have a reasonably uncaloused heart along side a good sprinking of empathy who are the ones who are likely to care. I personally feel for both the lady and the driving instructor in question, but carry little care for the tabloids who print the rubbish.