New press regulations going through parliament will apparently force newspapers to make their stories “factually accurate”. While some may see this as a blow to free speech (opinion-as-journalism is a long, if annoying, tradition that’s almost as old as British newspapers), we may be able to turn it to our advantage. On what subject are the papers, even (sometimes especially) the “quality” papers, constantly spouting ill-researched, lazy nonsense, safe in the knowledge they will never be challenged?
Apparently papers found to have been lazily mouthing off with the first thing they thought up will be fined up to a million pounds (though no doubt that will only happen in severe cases of “he hasn’t been convicted of anything, but look at him, he’s probably capable of it…”). No doubt the money will just go straight to the government, but it would be nice if a paper jabbering “The Dandy cost 2p and was the first comic with speech bubbles” was forced to pay a million quid to The Phoenix, allowing them to launch a second title (if only to run it for 22 issues then do a “Great news inside, chums!”).
But enough jokey wishful thinking, every fan of British comics ought to rally around the flag, and start going through any comic related articles with a fine tooth comb. And as for any tabloid journalists who end up here in the course of their Googled-during-tea-break “research” (try looking at the original comics themselves, eh?), I have only this: