'New Hooters Service', 'I slept with 1,000 men but I used to be a man myself' and 'Zip me up before you go go'…

These are just a few of the sensational headlines which we are exposed to by the tabloid media everyday. Picking up a paper is second nature to the PrettyGreen PR team, but how and why we read the news and its effect on us as individuals was a thought challenged to us when we attended Alain de Botton‘s latest talk about his new book ‘The News’ at the National Theatre.

Hero philosopher and all round bad boy big thinker Alain discussed the continuous cycle of ever changing news events and our sometimes obsessive habit of watching and reading news stories is something we have come to accept as an ordinary part of life. Our jobs depend on being on top of the news agenda, but Alain raised the sad reality that what is important in the news has become divorced from what is actually popular.

Botton

We’re all aware of the ridiculous stories that make the front pages including teen super twit Justin Bieber and his latest antics or the sordid goings on from the contestants of Celebrity Big Brother but are we losing touch with what is really important? Well that’s highly likely if we’re giving precedence to celebrities papped getting their nails done over the crisis in Syria. Will the media ever revert back to its old ways and ensure the most important stories affecting all of us are at the front of the paper rather than the more entertaining ones?… Who knows!

Either way we left feeling enlightened by Mr Botton and also maybe wishing we had his brain and hypnotising eyes. Oh Alain. If you fancy an alternative take on the Mail Online then check out the Philosopher’s Mail an alternative and engaging approach to the news.

To see if wise old Al was talking any truths we posed two questions to the team:

1. What is the most popular news story that comes to your head?

2. What do you think is the most important news story that should be front of mind?

Some of the answers are below and we’ll leave it to you to guess which stories people decided are important news compared to what is actually popular…

  • Tube strikes
  • Justin Bieber’s antics
  • The Fukishima nuclear plant which is pumping out huge amounts of radiation
  • Chemical weapons in Syria
  • Sochi Winter Olympics debate around Russia’s anti-gay laws
  • Anything around North Korea
  • The weather. It’s raining
  • Ryan Giggs injunction
  • Bill Roache scandal
  • Cara Delevigne’s relationship with Michelle Rodriguez (pretending to be a lesbian)