Front pages, July 13-19
Saturday 19 July, 2014
Friday 18 July, 2014
Thursday 17 July, 2014
There's no escaping Esther McVey, described by the Express as a "new Cabinet star", either in a previous guise or accompanying the Prime Minister to a bicycle factory. Was it following the same reshuffle as the rest of us? Ms McVey has appeared on front pages seven times this week, but she has not been given a new job, nor is she a member of the Cabinet. She is just being allowed to attend meetings. Clearly the Telegraph and Express are in thrall. They also share concerns about the weather. One minute we're supposed to celebrate high summer, the next we're to hide away from it and teachers are being told to look out for fat children at playtime. Extreme heat is enervating, but we've been here before and we aren't yet on "red alert".
The Mail and i focus on the assisted suicide debate, the Times is joining the paedophile hunt, and the tabs are following Tulisa to court.
The LibDems seem to have been a bit quiet since their dire European election results, but Nick Clegg remains Deputy Prime Minister and his call for an end to the bedroom tax deserved wider coverage than just the Mirror and Times fronts. SubScribe is naturally a great fan of accuracy in nomenclature, but nevertheless finds it rather quaint that the Times prefers the official "spare room subsidy".
Quiz question: what was the Thunderer's official style for Thatcher's much-hated poll tax?
Editor's blog Esther's sit-in
Wednesday 16 July, 2014
What's the story? The bogeyman kicked out of his job for upsetting the teachers? The vital ally whose job is virtually done and who is now needed at his leader's side to steer the Tories to victory next year? Or the woman who's still in the same job, but who now gets to join in the grown-ups' conversation round the big table on Thursday mornings? Tricky one, that. SubScribe, skulking in the shade, is split between the heatwave and the axe-wielding nurse.
If you want to talk about sexual stereotypes, look at - and in the Mirror/mirror. It's a fantastically compelling headline and there's a big picture of a man. But was your initial response on seeing the word "nurse" to think of a woman? Did the name Beverly Allitt flit across your brain? The Mirror played it just right with no "male nurse" nonsense. If only papers could be persuaded to do the same when they are talking about doctors, astrophysicists and even politicians who also happen to be women.
Incidentally, the Mirror head + subdeck seriously stretch the boundaries of fair and accurate. Dale Bolinger stands accused at Canterbury Crown Court of arranging to meet a child under 16 after sexual grooming. He denies the charge. It is the prosecution's contention that he plotted to kill and eat a girl of 14 "whose true identity is not known". This trial has a long way to go before that head can, if ever, be justified.
Sexist and shallow: the Daily Mail - or Number 10?
See what the commentators have to say about the reshuffle here
Tuesday 15 July, 2014
It's reshuffle day and for the papers a taste of life in the old days of the pink 'uns and green 'uns when football reporters had to file their copy for half time and top up with "other scorers" when the final whistle blew. This time it's the Mail that's been caught out with its big "in" picture of Esther McVey, who isn't. In, that is, unless you count being allowed to pass round the biscuits at cabinet meetings. And is there an air of wishful thinking in that heading? Middle aged? Hague is a mere stripling at 53, Dominic Grieve (the 'law chief' so unknown that the Mail didn't risk putting his name in the strap) is 58 and Ken Clarke is 74. Excellent news for those of us hoping to live way beyond our card from King Will.
It's a good job the Express is giving us so much advice on how to hold on to our marbles. Or maybe it's forgotten that it told us how to avoid dementia in yesterday's splash (sorry, bad taste quiip, but i'm not deleting it). A life of 20-minute dog walks and crossword puzzles sounds infinitely preferable to keeping tabs on the comings and goings in Downing Street today. Brains and experience out, tokenism in. It's too depressing for words. Appointing women just because they are women - as the papers predict this morning - is sexism at its most pernicious.
But hey-ho! It's nearly the end of term and there's so much to cram in by Friday. There's people's privacy to invade in the name of security, there's the muddle of the sex abuse inquiry to sort out and some economic data to sneak under the wire. So it was clearly vital to find a comely woman or two to distract the Press. Well it was, actually; it comes to something when even the Church of England puts on a better show of sexual equality than cool Dave. (Don't mention the fact that Theresa May and Lady Butler-Sloss are also women.)
Cheryl Cole is meanwhile doing her bit to uphold a woman's traditional role in the newspapers: to look pretty and show off a stonking great diamond. The Star is busy jumping to conclusions on such reliable sources as a couple of fans with no greater inside knowledge of our Cheryl than my cat. Bookies are offering low odds on an announcement this year; this may be because they know something or it may be because babies often follow marriage. It's been the case for centuries. Still, the Sun has a witty headline.
There's one woman SubScribe would have liked to have seen given greater coverage in the news sections, but she never appeared in X-Factor or kitten heels (so far as I know). As a white woman she stood against apartheid, as a writer she demonstrated how politics, even democratic politics, play havoc with ordinary people's lives. Oh yes, and she won a Nobel prize. But she was 90. Old people die all the time, so why should the Mail or Express trouble themselves with the passing of a liberal like Nadine Gordimer? The Indie made her death its first puff; the Times preferred to tell us on which beach we should build our sandcastles and while there was space in the front-page briefs for a waiter who won a lottery, there was no room for a cross-ref to the obit on page 47. The Telegraph was equally uninterested. Let the Guardian make her a basement and page 3 if it will, Telegraph readers are far more interested in Vanity Fair's view of Prince William's pate.
SubScribe has been down this road before, and once again it is the same pair of papers that are able to look beyond the pop agenda. Yes, the Guardian does get up your nose, but at least it recognises a woman of stature when it sees one - and her name isn't Esther or Cheryl.
SubScribe Double Nobel laureate dies - but we'd rather write about Paxman
What the commentators say about the reshuffle
Monday 14 July, 2014
World exclusive! Cheryl weds! The Sun was first off the mark with the story of Cheryl Cole's marriage on Mustique last week. Whether you can legitimately claim a world exclusive when the bride made the announcement herself to 500,000 Instagram followers is open to question, but good luck to her and to the Sun for a good-looking front. The Mirror soon caught up, sticking with its more serious splash, but dumping Carol Vordeman from the puff in favour of the Caribbean bride. Alzheimer's is back on the Express, Mail and Telegraph fronts (that makes it the tenth Express splash this year and the second in six days). Today's advice is to go for a 20-minute walk three times a week, which is helpful as it is the recommended prevention/cure for all sorts of other ills.
Editor's blog Why the Guardian gets up people's noses
Sunday 13 July, 2014
No question as to which paper is the winner here today; the People will be flying off the shelves. And its sister the Mirror is pretty splendid, too. When the redtops do serious - and it does tend to be these two - they show up the feebleness of the celeb-obsessed approach. The good hard news fact-based headings also demonstrate how it should be done - none of the underscored screaming outrage beloved of the whitetops. But the sad reality of the market is also there: with stories as strong as these, both should be have been able to clear their fronts, but they didn't have the confidence to go without Prince George, Cheryl Cole or Christine Bleakley (Gary Barlow is a proper story).
With the World Cup final tonight, we can measure how the news environment has changed over the past month. When the tournament started, the Sunday Times shook the world with its FIFA corruption investigation. It naturally chooses today for another excellent instalment, but it's unlikely to get the deserved reaction because we are now back in paedophile hell. Hurrah, too, for the paper in making Root and Anderson its main photograph. With year-round football, the cricket season is too often forgotten and events at Trent Bridge over the past couple of days have been every bit, if not more, exciting than those in Brazil last night. The Sunday Telegraph also finds a small home for the heroic tail-enders, but goes for the obvious with a Messi picture.
The Independent also ostensibly splashes on child abuse - but the real lead, as it has been for most of the week in the daily, is Gaza - in this case in the form of a photograph. The shelling of a home for disabled people also occupies the foreign news cover plus a spread. Given the events of the week, it would be reasonable to expect extensive coverage in all the heavies. The latest attack makes the world covers of the Observer and Telegraph, and a right-hand double column on an early spread in the Sunday Times. Both the Observer and the Sunday Times have long personal pieces written from Israeli perspectives, although neither Ari Sharit in the ST nor David Grossman in the Observer is an apologist for the Netanyahu government. Each mourns the way hope has been crowded out by belligerence, leaving despair; Grossman is sad, Sharit angry that opportunities for peace and the possibility of stability have been squandered by Israeli and Palestinian governments in recent years. Both make depressing reading.
See last week's papers here
Putin has been playing with fire. His irredentism has made him a hero in Russia. It has endangered the world. Crimea was the swaggering precedent to this crime. The shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 amounts to an act of war. It was impromptu perhaps, but still. Dutch corpses have rained down on the sunflowers and cornfields of eastern Ukraine, to be defiled even in death, 193 innocent Dutch souls dishonored by the thugs of the Donetsk People’s Republic.
- Roger Cohen,
New York Times
Dress, shoes, bag, make-up, hair...it's the Mail being sexist again. Or is it? Esther and
No 10 may be more culpable than the 'men who make newspapers'
Here we are in the most dynamic age for science in history, trying desperately to show young people that science is cool, but unless it's got Professor Brian Cox in it, no newspaper wants to know. A dead old man stood no chance
- death of double Nobel laureate Fred Sanger
Edward Snowden is important to the Guardian. But his low opinion of surveillance laws being rushed through Parliament are not important to the rest of us. We can make up our own minds without his guidance, thanks.
Why the Guardian gets up people's noses
Israel's effort to avoid casualties has been so huge they’ve managed to keep the number of children they bombed on a beach down to four. The beach was obviously a legitimate military target, as surveillance photos must have showed a series of miniature castles along the beach, each constructed with alarming speed with a bucket and spade, creating fortresses that comprised a terrifying threat to the people of Israel so what could any reasonable army do but kill some children there?
- Mark Steel,
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