Opinion: Third Voice - Hard as I try, I can never escape my Guardian angle

Simon Bottery, director of communications for Citizens Advice

My diary this year (with apologies to Bridget Jones): Sunday 23rd January: Note to self: stop reading The bloody Guardian!

You are director of communications for a big charity. Your clients don't read The Guardian. The public doesn't read it - half of them buy The Sun and the other half wish they did but don't want to be seen with it. Your funders may read The Guardian but more likely The Times or the Telegraph (bigger circulations).It seems only charity workers, disillusioned Labour party members and members of left-leaning think tanks read The Guardian.

So get a grip and broaden your tastes. Stop being such a charity stereotype (you're already a vegetarian). Make it your first (in fact only, and late) New Year's resolution to read different newspapers.

Monday: Bad. Guardian articles read today: some news stories; all football reports; fairly interesting article in Media section; entire jobs section.

Must try harder.

Tuesday: Success. Discover The Times has decent Public Agenda pullout and, now tabloid, can be read on tube without removing eye of person next to you.

Wednesday: Very bad. Forget resolution and buy Guardian because of Society section. Drop briefcase, containing said section, on foot and crack toe.

Go to hospital, where I read article about waiting times while spending four hours in casualty. Limp home.

Thursday: Worse. Buy The Sun and read cover to cover, ignoring (imagined) looks of fellow commuters. Get to work. Chief executive asks if I have seen unfair article in The Guardian about charities and how I think we should respond. Explain I have instead read excellent article on role of Bez in Celebrity Big Brother and problem page in The Sun, which broadens role of advice beyond that normally provided in bureaux. Explain that am not reading The Guardian in bid to better understand different stakeholders and will tomorrow be reading Daily Star. Chief executive unimpressed.

Funders, public and clients may not read it, but trustee board does and as four-year fixed term is up next spring, and she wants to be reappointed, I had ****ing well better start getting us some decent coverage in it.

Or I will have ample time to read all papers.

Friday: Buy The Guardian.

Note to self (and sector): Charity workers do need to broaden horizons beyond The Guardian. But it has its uses.

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