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Private Eye is published once every two weeks and just recently celebrated its 1000th edition as one of the UKs top satirical & investigative magazines for many years.
Published on A4 sized pulped paper and printed primarily in black & white to save on costs, Private Eye is a magazine that could easily be overlooked on the burdgeoning shelves at the newsagents as it tries to compete against all the snazzy, contemporary coloured & glossy brochures.
Edited by political & social commentator, Ian Hislop (also of Have I Got News For You, fame) , the magazine (or "sad comic" as cynics sometimes call it) offers good value for its £1.20 and 40 pages.
Inside you'll find articles on serious contemporary issues of the day such as Railtrack/Hatfield, MMR Vaccines, NHS & local council investigations into sleaze, double-handers & back-stabbing etc that the national newspapers don't even bother to look at.
Some of the articles PE reveals are quite surprising & informative as well as being quite shocking in its revelation. Although how authentic these reports are are subject to some debate. (They've been sued for libel on many occasions over the years, and Hislop & his lawyers have spent many atime defending themselves in the High Court)
However, the magazine doesn't just concentrate on the serious or unfair sides of UK life, it covers issues on:-
The media called "Street of Shame" and "TV Eye" (informative shinnanigans of journalists from tv, radio & newspapers);
A humourous editorial from the Private Eye propriator, Lord Gnome;
"Literary Review", a critique from the publishing world;
"In The City", further revelations from the world of high finance that will sometime get your back up as you realise how some people/companies get away with apparent criminal activity in the pursuit of profit.
"HackWatch", an amusing sideswipe at the double standards of newspaper editors/journalists/sketch-writers etc.
This is then followed by about 6 or 8 pages worth of cartoons, funny articles, stories, lampooning & further side-swipes at the Great & the Good (usually Royalty, celebs, or politicians)
All in all, the balance is just perfect between genuine investigative journalism on all things topical & controversial, coupled with pages of sharp & satirical humour that is really very funny.
Invariably there are sections that don't really appeal and one could argue you don't really get that much value for your £1.20 because out of those 40 pages at least 6 cover adverts (private & commercial).
However, I have to say that I really do love looking forward to picking up the latest copy of PE every two weeks. It isn't glossy, isn't very colourful and doesn't scream "Buy Me" from the bookshelves. But the content soon makes up for any lack of style.