PR, Films and Fantasies

Media culture #1 … or what media texts do I find in MY culture?

Posted on: February 11, 2010

First, let me explain a little bit about this. Post with “#” in their title are topics we discuss in our Media Culture module and on which I am suppose to meditate once in front of my laptop in Birmingham city center.  As today was our first lecture of the semester, here goes my first try…

Defining MY culture would be almost impossible. There are so many things that are part of it that I couldn’t possibly post them on a blog. Also, MY culture is most of the times NOT ONLY my own so in order to describe it I would have to cross into others’ cultures and invade their daily habits, occasional emotions or periodical creativity bursts.

However, when thinking about one minor thing  from the chaos of elements (such as a media text) I would choose… Metro. Yes, the 11 years old, daily, free newspaper that you find lying around train stations and coaches traveling the Midlands (16 other cities of the UK).

As stated on, “Metro is a perfect mix of national and international news wrapped around local information – entertainment previews, listings, weather and travel. Metro’s news stories are tightly written, so that the reader can take in all the key facts quickly. And Metro has no political axe to grind.”

I don’t love Metro, I wouldn’t buy it if I had to, I wouldn’t recommend it either. I guess it’s just the right paper, at the right time, in the right place. I travel a lot by train (this alone speaks a lot about MY culture), and mostly in the morning. Sometimes I pick it up from the pile of papers at the entrance to New Street, but most of days I take a second-hand copy from the train. These days are even more interesting as I think for a few seconds about the history of that paper: who took it that morning, where from, where did that person get off the train, did anyone else read it and was there a particular article that they read (most of times I find it open at the Sports page so that makes things easier).

No matter what, I always find a piece in Metro that grabs my attention. For the average 15 minutes of my journey, with some music background from my headphones or just the voices of the enthusiastic story-tellers around, I scan the paper and stop a few times. The weather, some movie reviews, international news, some passionate crime in a small city I never heard of, celebrity gossip or a new TV program, it depends on the mood of the day.

Tomorrow I’ll sleep in, but on the 9.17 London Midland service to Walsall there will be a Metro waiting for its reader.


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