Saturday 23 August 2014
David Cameron has a long way to go to match the bare-chested Putin, but at least he's trying to keep fit - and do right by his family.The papers don't see it like that: he shouldn't be on holiday in Cornwall, he should be saving the world from No 10. What a load of nonsense.
More nonsense - and dangerous nonsense - from the Daily Star. If Kellie Maloney had really said that, as presented, it would be extraordinary. If you turn to the inside, you find that she was feeling wretched in the Big Brother house and White Dee of Benefits Street was offering her an ear. When Maloney had poured out her woes, Dee told her that the emotions would not go way - that was what being a woman was about. Maloney replied: "Then I want to change back." Not quite the impression the front page gives.
SubScribe Let our leaders have their holidays in peace
Guest blog Kellie Maloney's transition is not news
Friday 22 August, 2014
Jihad remains at the top of the agenda for most, but there is an air of "getting back to normal" with other elements creeping on to most front pages - the lady in red for the Express, the length of a llama's neck for the Times, GCSE results for the Guardian. even a red spandex mobbing for the Telegraph. The Mirror and Sun, however, go on a completely different tack: the continued decline of Paul Gascoigne. The stories are written with sympathy, and many people care about this once-gifted footballer, but there is a vulturine air that makes SubScribe uneasy. Maybe it's because of a recent trip to see Great Britain, which finishes its run at the National Theatre tomorrow night. There is a woman in the play with anorexia and the fictional Free Press is on death watch. It's a caricature, but these Gazza stories are worrying.
Thursday 21 August, 2014
There's only one story in town: the murder of James Foley, with our papers naturally taking a particular interest in the nationality of the killer and the banal detail that the suspect is called "John". There is some point to the Telegraph's photograph of the killer with Steven Sotloff, another American journalist who has been told he will be the next victim, but the Mirror and the Sun pictures of Foley come perilously close to snuff video prurience. All three give ISIS the publicity it sought in releasing that video.
Hats off to the Times and Independents, then, for taking a different tack. Foley's parents have shown great stoicism and dignity and their request that people share pictures of their son at liberty rather than the ISIS propaganda bears repeating. The Express tries hard, but sadly gets it wrong. The man who murdered Foley is clearly thoroughly unpleasant, but he's a small cog in a big machine. He isn't the world's most wanted man and if he were, a drop-in single of a man in a mask won't help the search. The misty picture of Somerset is lovely in its own right, but too incongruous to sit under that heading.
See what the commentators have to say about Foley here
Wednesday 20 August, 2014
All other front pages jar against those of the Times and Sun. SubScribe will search for later editions to see if others updated to carry the news of James Foley's murder. As to the two that did get the story in early enough for this round-up: shame about the word 'beheaded' in the splash heads. It seems unnecessarily brutal. But at least they didn't say 'executed'.
SubScribe Are we fit to stand alongside James Foley?
Tuesday 19 August, 2014
Who'd have believed it? The Guardian and Mail share a policy-related splash. and even use the same word - fiasco - in their headings. There the similarities end. For the Guardian, the bill is £224m - and Ben Quinn "shows his workings" - for the Mail it is more than double at £500m, For the Guardian, the story is that an arbitration panel has ruled that the Government must pay damages and costs to an American defence company for terminating a migration screening contract; for the Mail it is that one in five travellers coming into Britain - 20 million a year - are not properly screened and that they could include "extremists, criminals and wanted criminals". The Mail mentions that the contract was awarded by Labour and that the scheme is a "shambles", but there is nothing in the splash to explain why it is running the story today. For that, and for an explanation of why the paper's bill is twice as big as the Guardian's, the reader must look at the page 2 lead. Meanwhile the Guardian focuses on the political row over who is to blame for the waste of money - Labour for choosing the contractor or the Tories for cancelling. For the best of both worlds, try Richard Ford's front-page effort for the Times, which includes all the relevant facts in half the space.
The Express is also looking at migration, although in this instance it's casting its eye across the Channel, to where the French are dismantling the latest pop-up city of people waiting their chance to come to Britain.
The Independents are worried about which educational piggy banks are being smashed to find small change to pay for free school meals (good heading from the Indie) and the Telegraph is on granny watch. The Mirror is in serious military mode, while the Star and Sun are banking on the "sex sells" philosophy. We're used to Big Brother overkill from the Star, but today's Sun is something else. And that something isn't news.
The Star isn't the only one to go potty over BB (it has five pages of it), most of the tabs do, while the Mail adds a touch of glitter with news from Strictly - Andy Murray's mum is apparently up for a swirl. The Telegraph gets its glamour from Mariella Frostrup, who went on holiday with her friend's husband. There were only a hundred or so words on the front, so there was unfortunately no room for the second half of the quote:
"Verily I say unto you, I have seen the future and it's partner-sharing..."
Happily, the interweb has no such restriction, and SubScribe is happy to complete the sentence here to save you the trouble of turning to page ten of the Tel:
"...I don't mean in some sordid 70s throw-all-your-keys-in-a-bowl sort of way, but a modern, squeaky clean no-sex-please-we're-British manifestation."
She was, after all, writing for Waitrose magazine.
Everyone has the Westminster tower clock face getting a clean and the Times was so impressed that it used it twice - but it can be forgiven the duplication because the inside version is accompanied by this picture from a previous clean in the 80s. That was carried out by a man in jeans, t-shirt and trainers sitting on a swing (much like the contraption dangling from SubScribe's cherry tree: daughter, aged three, for the use of) with a bucket tied to the side. Those who moan about 'elf-and-safety may care to ponder that.
Monday 18 August
If it's Monday it must be sport. And what a lot of it there was: England won the rugby world cup, Great Britain won the European athletics championships, England won the cricket Test series against India and the Sheffield boxer Kell Brook won the world welterweight boxing title. Oh yes, and the Premier League season started. Tough decisions then.
Well, not so tough because the world cup winners were women, so they could be kissed off with a front page picture and something in the middle of sport. In fact, come to think about it, do they need to be on the sports page at all - after all, they are women. A bit in the news section will do, next to a picture of Katie Price's baby, perhaps.
Thank goodness, then, for the Telegraph, Times and Independent, which all thought the women's achievement was worthy of a front page picture. The Guardian and i also made sportswomen their main image - in this case the sprint relay team that won gold in Zurich, rounding off a "Super Sunday" that brought in five gold medals, including wins for Olympic champions Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford.
But with the Premiership back in action, it was no contest for the redtops, which all puffed their football supplements on the front and devoted the opening sports pages in the main paper to the game. The rugby players were squeezed into a corner after the racing in the Mirror. while the Star put them together with the athletes on the page with the biggest ad. The Sun put the rugby on page 11 of the news section (with a very jolly head, it must be conceded) and pushed the cricket and athletics back (well, forwards if you're thinking numerically) to the middle of sport after seven pages of footie.
The Guardian, Telegraph and Independent all have Monday sport supplements and these, too, were dominated by football, although most managed to puff the cricket, athletics and rugby. Yes, we've been down this road before, so hurrah for The Times. The Game is devoted to football. The sports pages in the main book are a football-free zone. So stars in other disciplines get the recognition they deserve. Progress.
Press Box Is it time to pension off Match of the Day?
SubScribe Why is football more important than all the other news put together?
Sunday 17 August
Why do we care more about the murder of James Foley than about the other 43 journalists who have died so far this year?
Because of the manner of his death, the nationality of his killer?
The trial of Mohamed Fahmy, above, and his Al Jazeera colleagues Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed in Cairo for "aiding a terrorist organisation" may have been open, but it was hardly fair. Many many others have had a similarly raw deal, so what makes this case special?
Football has more space in the Monday papers than all the home, foreign and business news put together. Yet no one wants to advertise on these pages. What's going on?
The SubScribe audit
Match of the Day is 50 this year. Happy birthday! But is it time to think about early retirement?
Read E I Addio's blog
Large-scale bombing of the areas that the Islamic State controls, which some on the American right are calling for, will only ensure that more angry young Sunnis follow the black flag of the Islamic State through the desert, to death or glory
- Emma Duncan in The Times
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