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Opinion

Trust is vital for the renaissance of news

News outlets need to offer readers honest and entertaining news stories to first grab the attention of readers and second, establish trust

Singer Beyonce performs on stage during her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour 2013, on Wednesday, May 29, 2013, at the Ericsson Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. Image: Yosra El-Essawy/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images

If you think Beyoncé is great, think again. She has driven inflation to a new high in Sweden. The fiend. The core rate grew there 8.2% in May. And Nordic economists believe that much of it was down to demand for hotels pushing up prices when Beyoncé opened her Renaissance world tour over two nights in Stockholm at the start of May. It’s not clear whether that was driven by all the, ahem, single ladies. Or just others who were crazy in love with the icon. But it does put a new wrinkle on the reasons behind the volatility of advanced economies. 

Does this present a new solution for chancellor Jeremy Hunt? He is always hammering on about the stubbornness of UK inflation rates. So put the blockers on Harry Styles, Jeremy. Stop The Boss selling out stadia. Prevent Pink from rollicking around. Call last orders at whichever pub Jack Grealish is heading to. There you go. Problem solved. 

To paraphrase Spinal Tap, I’m joking, of course, Jeremy. YOU CAN’T PUT THE BLOCKERS ON HARRY STYLES! For the love of god, man.

I discovered how Beyoncé had been pulling the strings of advanced economies because it was on a news feed, from Bloomberg’s economic news.

It is both the sort of thing you expect to read and the sort of thing you don’t expect to read on Bloomberg economic news. I was hooked immediately. 

Reading it put me in a minority. According to a recent report from Reuters, only 43% of people in the UK are actively interested in the news. Around the world, according to this report, more than a third of people say they try to avoid the news. Which presents an issue for those who are in the business of reporting. It’s also a problem when there needs to be a challenge to fake news and false narratives that can catch fire around the world in an instant. Fake news can flow because the very platforms where it lives are those in which people feel more comfortable, the very platforms traditional older news providers are still having some issues navigating successfully. They stand on shifting sands. Still getting your news from Facebook? Move over, boomer. 

It also means that if people are shielding from some of the harsher stories, like the ongoing realities of the cost of living, it makes it trickier to hold those in positions of power who can do something about it to account. If they believe there aren’t votes in it, why would they focus.

The issue of trust is central. Can you trust where the information is coming from, can you trust that is working for you, or for society as a whole, rather than with either malign intent, or the quixotic notions of an ultra-wealthy owner? And will you be left feeling you are better in the world for knowing it?

With Big Issue, the answer to this is YES. Resoundingly. This will come as no surprise. Of course, I would say that. It’s because we don’t deal in gotcha journalism, or in loaded partisan games, or in a race to a bleak end. Wherever you meet Big Issue, on the street, online, or on social, we will offer a way ahead, a voice for those without a voice and different perspective into how you greet the world and new opportunities to make things better. It doesn’t mean sugar-coating, just a more honest way of being straightforward. And funny. Which means that there needs to be more space for Beyoncé bringing inflationary pressures, and related stories.

Paul McNamee is editor of the Big IssueRead more of his columns here. Follow him on Twitter

Do you have a story to tell or opinions to share about this? We want to hear from you. Get in touch and tell us more.

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