Post News Politics

Last year I launched a project charting our print newspapers’ response to Brexit. It was a depressing time and after thirty days I was left unable to read a newspaper for weeks. I named it, predictably, #thirtydaysofBrexit. Now that May has called a snap election and the UK is about to go thermonuclear I’m reviving it. But with a different hashtag, obvs.

Perhaps projects like this are like giving birth – they’re painful and make you cry, you wish it could end today but you’ve signed up for the long-haul and so you’re just going to have to grin and bear it in the hope something beautiful comes out the other end.
Enough of the pregnancy metaphor.

It’s fifty days until the election, which is a lot of news to wade through, especially when previous experiences have bullied me into the understanding that some of our national-London-based print media will not be scrupulous or fair in their portrayal of political arguments throughout this whole debacle – the Daily Fail has already taken this one step further and decided their readers’ shouldn’t even bother voting. Instead it’s likely this Newspaper of the Year is already planning the next fifty days of being disgusted at single mothers spending tax credits on booze, and imaginary migrant workers setting up camp in their gardens.

The IPSO (Independent Press Standards Organisation) needs to sharpen its claws where Fake News and outrageous claims are being thrown about, especially in the run up to an election. Yes, freedom of speech is a vital individual right in a free and fair society but when organisations (such as newspapers) demand this right then print proven lies it’s time to maybe get a bit creative with it all ourselves.

I’m going to create post-news political blackouts on the Instagram feed at PoetLifeWales. If you fancy approaching a national newspaper in a more creative and poetic fashion please photograph it, tag #postnewspolitics and I’ll regram (or retweet if you’re on Twitter). Or send them in to me: words {at} sophiemckeand {dot} com and I’ll post them (please note how you’d like to be credited). They’ll appear on the Instagram account which is linked to the Twitter sophie_mckeand, and will show on the sidebar on the blog here (look to the top right).

The point of these post-news pieces is to find the stories-within-stories; to take creative control of the political rhetoric and reshape it to our own ends. The pieces can be arty, funny, irreverent, absurd, satirical – whatever you like as long as it’s not a condensed version of the original piece. They’re going on Instagram so make sure to crop the photo square. I’m also not interested in anything racist, homophobic, sexist etc. etc. etc.

Here’s a first offering to start things off. With thanks to the Daily Fail for using pages 2 & 3 for such a newsworthy piece.

See you on the other side!