Tabloids do not represent the working class
Publisher: Red Pepper
Date Written: 02/11/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX21940
It should come as little surprise that media owned and run by unscrupulous billionaires like Rupert Murdoch and Richard Desmond should be more concerned with protecting the party of big business than it is with the wellbeing or interests of working class people. We need to call out the tabloid media for what it is run by and for the elites.
Sadly for these newspapers and despite the Conservative Party's deeply held wish that it was otherwise, being accepted as a champion of the working class that is not simply a case of declaring yourself a champion of the working class. It takes a combined, sustained effort by politicians and pundits to declare anything vaguely left-wing as beyond the pale. What the most virulently pro-Tory sections of the tabloid press have attempted to do is to cast themselves as defenders of working class culture, and simultaneously who is left wing as automatically not working class. This has the rather strange result of painting the largest trade unions in the country as not 'of the workers' purely because their politics aren't wholeheartedly reactionary. It speaks to an assumption that reaction is the privilege of the working class making the Sun 'authentically working class' simply by virtue of the fact that it adopts reactionary positions. That working class people got the paper effectively routed out of Liverpool after its role in peddling lies about the Hillsborough disaster is of little importance.
People who want to spin the line that the tabloid media represents the authentic working class run have a problem. Scratch the surface, and you see the social make-up of journalists working for the tabloid media is completely unrepresentative of its claimed target audience. In a 2009 report entitled Unleashing Aspiration, Alan Milburn said that journalism is becoming "one of the most exclusive middle class professions of the 21st Century".