Fear and Sex

Daily Mail

An oldie but goldie that came to mind when first reflecting on this subject on SP4:

Q: What comes between Fear and Sex?

A: Funf

One for the cunning linguists.

So the subject is Fear. From day-to-day personal development to the realm of global politics it’s a big driver – and very destructive.

I thought it would be interesting to try this experiment – take a newspaper at random (in this case the copy of the Daily Mail for Wed 21 May I was given getting on the plane to Glasgow that afternoon) and analyse it in terms of how big a role Fear plays in its headlines. I reckoned Fear’s main rival would be Sex.
I worked my way through the first 25 pages [the news pages] recording every headline without exception (they all fitted into either the Fear or Sex category). From page 26 to the Sports pages at the end I kept just a selection (though still the majority). Here’s the results:

Fear

Fathers not required (gender roles, redundancy)
IVF vote sidelines fathers
The girl crushed to death by a tree in freak bus crash (random death)
Pupils aged five get a spell in the sin bin (youth delinquency)
The prickly prince (decline of monarchy/social order)
Spend-it-all parents give their children a bad heir day (where money meets death) Party leaders at war on abortion (death before you’re even born)
10p tax debacle could still cost families £150 a year
With no friend, I really am a Solitary Man says Diamond (loneliness)
Let us strike say police (social disorder, crime)
Our editors have total freedom says Mail chief (lies, misinformation)
15 beers, 20 vicious punches… and 6 months in jail for England footballer
Soaring oil prices push diesel near £6 a gallon
The power bills stitch-up
Police car that killed girl of 16 ‘didn’t have blue lights or siren on’ (random death meets social disorder)
The micro-particles that could pose the same risk as asbestos
1M more Britons in just 3 years (immigration, foreigners)
We moved to escape the FEAR of crime
Beware scentists who insist they know best (science)
Sorry Fergie, I can’t stomach you or your porky pies (social disorder)
Where did all the real men go?
Why this horror makes me FEAR for the future of South Africa
Care home chief is jailed over death of Alzheimer’s patient (disease meets social disorder, distrust)
Suicide note in star’s pocket
Why do clever women fall for second-rate men?
Bosses ‘picked on’ registrar opposed to gay marriages
Tax payers will fund Sky ‘propaganda’ show
Labour’s pledge on farm cash in tatters
Milk float mobsters

Sex

Vicar’s war on ‘wicked’ Playboy (moral decline)
Gwyneth’s hitting the heights again
The real battle for Moscow (Wags)

Beyond p25

Bad parents are the villains of the age says Cameron
Crooked dentist put a dog on his list of patients
Heroic undercover soldier Robert Nairac was savagely tortured by the IRA
Exchange trip girl was killed jogging with iPod
Long-term care: a national disgrace
Insurers pocketing your pension
Don’t fall for this card trick
Fuming over BT cold call (anger)
Our care system? chaotic
So furious he’s lost for words
Will new stem cell research create monsters?
We work hard, but Britain doesn’t repay us
Yell cries out as £3.8bn debts pile on the pressure
House price crash could jeopardise Rock’s recovery
ICAP takes a dive
The mining prop begins to creak
Oil-rich Russian economy ready to takes off (money meets foreigners)
Shaw future in doubt
Make sure greed does not wreck 20Plenty
Horne is braced for long lay-off
It’s over for Faldo as he gives Open a miss (aging, mortality)
Essien won’t risk penalty pain
Why is it we can’t love Rooney?
Usmanov’s knives out for Gunners
Moscow’s hell, Michel
Guns, concrete and football’s new power base

What surprised me most was how little competition from Sex there was. Scary!

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10 comments so far

  1. Neel on

    Good Article,,, I like it..

  2. Tom on

    That tells us all we need to know about the Daily Mail.

    Hmmm, now what can we do about it? How can we prove that the New Statesman is the least sexy and most confident magazine out there? Or will it do battle with The Economist? (It would have been ‘The Listener’ back in the day…)

  3. ArkAngel on

    The sad thing is I don’t think these results are peculiar to the Mail (it was a chance choice, just what happened to be being dolled out by British Midland that day when I had some time on my hands) – I reckon you’d get similar in many nationals on many days

    BTW don’t half miss The Listener – campaign to bring it back?

  4. Practical Psychologist on

    I don’t think this is exclusively Mail but they are I think the worst offenders. I am guilty of horrendous stereotyping with Mail readers – if I meet a woman who reads it I know immediately that I will not like her and resolve to prove to myself that I don’t. And I used to work for them.

    I wrote about the paper in my book on anxiety – drawing attention to it’s scaremongering. In a week they managed to run stories on how mammograms both prevent and cause cancer. And that was just one example from an endless list.

    I must confess Tom that I love the economist. if you live in international airports it beats Time or Newsweek. I like the fact that it is opinionated but does not present opinion as fact.

  5. Tidally on

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Tidally!!!!

  6. [...] up my recent in-depth analysis of the Daily Mail, I return to that august journal to gather together some of its readers’ comments on the [...]

  7. [...] given the Daily Mail a hard time recently with my Fear & Death analysis of its content and my highlighting how at odds it was with its own readership over The Sex [...]

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  10. […] Fear & Sex – an analysis of the Daily Mail […]


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