The Daily Star: Satire’s Underdog

What The Daily Star has been able to do is incredible much like the incredible and surreal times we live in. At a time of doom, gloom anxiety and despair the paper has become the unlikely tour de force of what a tabloid can be in a liberal democracy providing needed comic relief but a voice for reason some could say. With headlines that packs and punch pushing the edges of what you expect to see in the newsstand of your corner shop. Always been brash and bold attracting readers from beyond Westminster’s commentariat and those who may speak and seek politics from the most opinionated the most insightful.

Not something that you’d imagine a reader of the Times, Guardian or Telegraph would pick up. However has managed to peak above the parapet of its closest competitors The Sun, The Daily Mail Britain’s leading right wing tabloids. The Sun often regarded in slag term as the scum by its opponents those who loathe the hate and lies the Murdoch owned paper has managed to drum up and influence its readers regarded as one of Britain’s highest circulated newspapers in line of the Daily Mail with opponents referring to it as the Daily Fail. With other competition coming from more left leaning tabloid Daily Mirror. The Star sets it self as the outcast at the newsstand speaking to those who’ve may become apathetic and disengaged with politics like your Brenda from Bristol those who fed up with politics and just want to read trashy celebrity gossip not to similar to what you can find in heat magazine or inside the print of The New York Post’s Page Six celebrity gossip sections. Paper famed for celebrity marital affairs, heatwaves and angry seagulls making the front pages has changed its tone.

What was once the telescope transporting people into the life of celebrities lives snd gossip. Now are bothered by those in Downing Street and the Whitehouse with politics taking up much of the oxygen in conversations. It’s impossible for the paper to hide and scurry from but something it wants to confront in its own unique way. Not at all hard hitting journalism and investigation that would cause a shock to the system of many readers.

The paper set up to appeal to a more left leaning audience originally hope to get Labour Party supporters readers reading and backed Scotland remaining part of the British union in the 2014 Referendum on Scottish Independence.

In recent times the front pages have packed a punch with its statical front pages pushing the boundaries leaving people ambiguous with what newspapers can publish on the front pages. Siding to hold truth to power in a provocative manner something cause quite a stir speaking to those who roll their eyes at the countless hypocrisies and inept decision making from the government. The paper more or less something not far from Private Eye you could say Hislop’s editorial style of the the biweekly satirical magazine. A refreshing work of art of a free liberal media

The paper has been able to cash in and profit on buffoonery of populist leaders figures portrayed in the paper as clowns. Focusing on President Donald Trumps delusional and bizarre tweets and of course the incredible tall tale that is Cummings trip to Barnard Castle the nail in the coffin of Britain’s trust in politics.

The paper does as much hold the government to a account and reaches to an audience that The Times and The Guardian couldn’t reach. Harnessing readers dismay and emotions about political events in an accessible but an imaginative way which should be applauded and innovative means of reaching an audience where your celebrity gossip is delivered at one click, one tweet and as many instagram stories as a celebrity likes.

Editor of the Star, John Clarke has stated that he intended to and has taken the political to a satirical stance than previously seen. He states ‘regardless whether you left, right or liberal. Tory, Labour or SNP.’ Clarke wants to hold politicians to account and take the piss in a humorous way, ‘a bit of fun’ he thinks. Believing cynically that politicians should do good by their electorate and the simple fact is that is they are not and wants to correct that. Previously, the paper has caused controversy with reporting on Madeline McCann and once on Dwayne Johnson which the actor said things the paper published weren’t true leaving The Star to remove the article from their webpage. Willing to bash out a story to feed a nations addiction of reality television and world of gossip of celebrity and Hollywood culture in ways now seen as misogynistic objectification and exploitation of women in world of trashy tabloid culture indulging in feeding the pockets of paparazzi vultures for profit in the pocket. Historically a fly on the wall on rich and famous like many other tabloids at the peak of the obsession with celebrity culture before social media became popularised. Leading people to click bait not newsstand bait.

The paper still gives the reader a taste of those who want celebrity gossip but has evolved into something else.

Nether the less, Daily Star has been a tour de force in what tabloid journalism in 2021 can be like at times of gross incompetence from government many feeling we are being lead by donkeys. Something it is admirable of what independent media could look like. The Star not the most trustworthy and not the one you should look at on in-depth reporting on social injustices and inequalities and exclusive reporting of cronyism and corruption, government exclusives look else where.

But if you at least just want a paper that entertains and seeks light in a bleak time or mocks at what seems like apocalyptic times be it a global pandemic or a terrorist totalitarian coup of one of the beacon of modern democracy in the western world. The star captures the outrage, anger and tragedy with element of fire that finds a sense of humour in most bleak of hours. If that’s what you looking for gaze aimlessly at the front pages of an imperfect paper until you hear the word precedented calling