The British Press

31 March

The British Press

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2 days ago on the 29 March, I spent a very enjoyable morning with the students at the Lycée Emile Roux de Confolens.  We talked about the British Press; mainly about the most popular newspapers, and briefly also regarding their history.  I would like to share a few of the key points with you.

The first regular daily British newspaper printed in 1702. was the Daily Courant. The world’s oldest Sunday paper is the Observer founded in 1791.  Britain’s oldest surviving tabloid is the Daily Mirror, founded in 1903

UK newspapers can generally be split into two distinct categories: the more serious and intellectual newspapers, usually referred to as the broadsheets due to their large size, and sometimes known collectively as “the quality press” or broad sheets. The others, generally known as tabloids, and collectively as “the popular press”, which have tended to focus more on celebrity coverage and human interest stories rather than political reporting or overseas news.  The tabloids in turn have been divided into the more sensationalist mass market titles, or “red tops”, such as The Sun, Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail.

Most towns and cities in the UK have at least one local newspaper shop, known as newsagents.  The Metro Newspaper is especially different, being free of cost.  It is distributed mainly at train stations and bus stops at no charge throughout the UK.  The major UK newspapers currently have websites, some of which provide free access.

Anyone, who is living in another country outside of Great Britain and learning English, should try reading and listening to the British news online.  I suggest you start with the UK Metro News app.  It’s free, fun, informative and easy to obtain.  There is a morning and an evening online edition each day from Monday to Friday.

Instead of just reading words to a news story inside your head, read the words out loud. Reading out loud helps you slow down and sort out the words’ meanings. If you don’t know a word, highlight it or write it down and come back for a definition if the meaning does not become clear later in the paragraph. Reading the news is a great way to learn English because the articles tend to be short and the vocabulary tends to stay the same on each topic.

Spending only a few minutes each day reading and listening to the British news will boost your English language skills faster than you can imagine.  We will talk next week about which news website video you can watch and listen to. For now I suggest you enjoy reading the Metro News app  ( Google app store link ) and let me know how you get on.

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