As a confirmed news junkie, my first act of the day is usually to go to the BBC News website. This contains two kinds of information: it tells you what a reputable news organization thinks the news is and it tells you what people are interested in.
So I checkout the headlines, have a look at what other people are reading and sharing and then head for Have Your Say.
Today’s headline story is about the death and devastation caused by a giant tornado that hit Oklahoma last night. The second and third headlines are about inflation and domestic violence. All genuine, serious, grown up news. (Interestingly, last night’s supposedly end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it vote on the gay marriage bill is nowhere to be seen).
The most shared story is “Do white South Africans have a future?” The most read story is “Compare your club in fans’ league table”. Welcome to 21st century Britain.
One story that did catch my eye was the one about inflation, but that was probably because there was a online questionnaire that you could fill in to find your personal inflation rate – regular readers will know that I’m a sucker for this kind of thing. Anyway, here are the results:
“Households like mine” it seems have a personal inflation rate of 3.2%. This is because “households like mine” spend more than average on alcoholic drinks and tobacco and less than average on eduction.My inflation rate is most like that of Peppa Pig’s family (no, me neither).
Except that I don’t drink, don’t smoke, have a different household size and my income is rather less than the Pigs’ £48K p.a. (quite a lot less, actually). And Temple Towers (my compact and bijou abode), unlike chez Pig can hardly be described as “an impressive detached house with a huge garden on top of a hill”.
So there you have it. With the click of a mouse, you can jump from a serious economic news story based on solid data to the sort of pseudo statistics that would bring a blush to the cheeks of the editor of the Sun.