Press

Circulation, readership, editorial profiles and contact information for over 10,500 consumer, business, national and regional titles. Find out more.

They tried to make me go to (media) rehab, I said NO! NO! NO!

29 Aug 2012 |  David Brennan 

A series of blogs about the broadcast industry, narrated by David Brennan...

I have just returned home after a three week sojourn in a Turkish haven of tranquillity, where I have spent time recovering from an addiction I never knew I had.

Three whole weeks with scarcely a media touch point in sight (nor sound). It was tough, but once the withdrawal symptoms wore off, I was able to approach the real world with a renewed sense of engagement and a clearer perspective. Cold turkey in Turkey, in fact.

I should explain. My family and I stayed near a small fishing village, which has never seen an English language newspaper or magazine. The internet connection in our small resort complex was as unreliable as the local transport and the nearest bar to offer wi-fi was a 40 minute boat ride away.

3G connections were similarly unreliable, as well as ridiculously expensive. We had satellite TV in our apartment but apart from the news channels, it was exclusively foreign language programming.

(Incidentally, why are specialist news channels the only English language services in international hotels and resorts, when the Italian, French and German speakers can usually get their general entertainment channels, such as RAI, TF1, RTL and ZDF?)

Pretty much the whole resort gathered around the bar's TV screen for Mo Farah's 5,000 metre race, but it was interrupted on Turkish TV for the bronze medal tussle in the Greco-Roman wrestling - or, as my wife described it, two very large kittens fighting in a cat basket! - but otherwise the TV screen stayed reassuringly blank.

So, like my fellow media addicts, I spent the first week fretting about the dried-up supply chain (apparently, if you arose at 6.30am and waved your laptop in the right direction, it was occasionally possible to get 20 minutes worth of Facebook) and talking wistfully of times past.

We would laugh as the new arrivals to our therapy group would turn ashen-faced as they realised their laptops and iPads would remain unconnected and they would have to make the weekend Guardian they bought on the way out last them the whole fortnight. And slowly, very slowly, we flushed away the need for constant updates and wall-to-wall entertainment media and found our true selves again.

Real-life conversations, interactive fun (i.e. diving off the boat jetty) and savouring the simple things of life took over. The Sky EPG, Times leader column and Twitter trending became a dim and distant memory.

However, despite the eventual success of my enforced media rehab programme, it was obvious that the cycle of addiction was not completely broken; I would still find myself watching the BBC World News cycle several times over, wave my iPad in futile attempts to get a signal and re-read the week-old weekend Guardian travel section article on singles holidays in Ukraine.

As always, it was harder on the little ones. When we asked our son's teenage friend Jack if he was looking forward to going home later that day, he replied "well, yes and no". When pressed, he admitted he would miss "all of this", gesturing vaguely at the sun-soaked holiday paradise around him, but he then qualified his remark by saying he couldn't wait to get back to his satellite TV and wi-fi connections. Plus ca change...

Latest Press News

The publisher has created two new senior roles in a bid to strengthen its digital proposition.
Following the announcement that the NPA is to serve notice on the NRS, the UK's newspaper publishers have announced that they aim to introduce a new system of measurement across multiple platforms from early 2016.
The supermarket claws are out in full swing again this week with the battle of the painfully garish price-busting yellows.
The Financial Times recorded the highest increase in circulation last month, whilst the Sun on Sunday sees another decline despite strong sales.
Future Fusion will combine the staff of FuturePlus and NGIN and picks up existing clients including Sony Mobile, EE, Microsoft Xbox, HP, Tesco and Virgin Holidays.
Capitalising on the newsbrands' considerable audiences, MyMail is an extension of the Mail Rewards Club, a loyalty programme with more than a million customers.
It's not clear whether the bigger and better data so desperately sought by the media industry is matched by an equally urgent desire to pay for the research that would deliver it, writes Raymond Snoddy.
This week's winner has smashed all records with its gruesome and apocalyptic attention-grabbing ad.
The new newspaper advertising transaction system must involve every publisher or the project risks wasting agency time rather than bringing greater efficiencies, industry has been warned.
VIDEO INTERVIEW: Newsline speaks to the Independent and Evening Standard's Chris Blackhurst about the threats to long-form journalism and the place for traditional, printed media in the modern world.

More Latest Press News available to subscribers