Monday, 3 January 2011

2010 as viewed through Daily Express headlines

    A couple of years ago I was working in a small business centre in Oxfordshire, a building that was home to several small tech companies. We had a common room with a kitchen and dining area, and the building management provided us with a selection of daily newspapers.
    Among those papers were a high-end broadsheet, a red-top tabloid and the Daily Express. I became fascinated by the Express headlines over the year, and resolved to collect them, initially just for the ones barmy enough to make me laugh but later all of them for a collective analysis. This post is the result, an infographic that tries to capture the essence of a year as seen on the front pages of the Express.
    So why did the Express fascinate me? Here is a gloriously barmy  newspaper obsessed with cancer stories, lurid tales of illegal immigrants, and the UK housing market, using a colourful vocabulary all of its own to stir its readers into righteous anger over stories that very often have little relationship to the main news stories of the day. Everyone is furious or outraged in Express-land, we're under siege from miscellaneous foreigners and there is no Government decision or economic movement that is not designed to let down the Express reader. This continual negativity is offset with ludicrous non-stories proclaiming miraculous rises in the housing market or turning tentative conclusions in scientific papers into medical breakthroughs in the fight against cancer. Seeing what they had on the front page became part of the entertainment of my morning routine, there is nothing like a ludicrous headline over your morning coffee for starting the day with a laugh.
    The infographic shows some of the pretty pictures that can be gleaned from a year's Express headlines. A PNG version can be downloaded by clicking on the image or you can download it as a PDF from this Google Docs link. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed making it.


  1. Heh, that's splendid. Now British pay to get cancer!

  2. I did consider a little Javascript app that would allow the creation of custom ranty Express headlines, but decided against it. Too low-hanging a fruit.