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Paper Monitor

10:50 UK time, Wednesday, 17 October 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Today's G2, the pull-out bit from the Guardian, asks on its cover: "Nick Clegg and Chris Huhne are the two favourites in the Lib Dem leadership contest. They're both white, male and middle-aged. They went to the same public school. And their politics are almost identical. What does this tell us about Westminster today?"

Funnily enough, yesterday's G2 asked: "England will be up against South Africa at the rugby World Cup this Saturday. It should make for a great match. But what do these two - mainly white - teams tell us about their home countries?"

There's a theme emerging here. One which makes us wonder...

Two similar concepts, different in subject matter but joined by a uniformity of approach and steeped in the tradition of semiotics. What does this tell us about G2?

The Daily Mail, meanwhile, typically leaves little doubt as to what its editorial choices say about the paper. Those keen to track essential Mail qualities need look no further than its double-page photo spreads. Cuddly animals are always a favourite, as are stars who may have recently visited their cosmetic surgeon.

Today's picture gallery of "stars who find themselves rather over-exposed" is the Mail to its fingertips. For there is nary a shot of Britney, Lindsay or Paris knickerless in a skirt so short it is actually a belt.

Instead, its trio of flashers - JK, Judy and Lorraine - expose sensible, nay, matronly, bras but little actual flesh. Terry Wogan dresses to the left in trousers that are a little too tight (Paper Monitor feels unclean even looking). Fern Cotton tucks her dress ever so slightly into her pants. And Nigella almost has a "wardrobe malfunction". The author of the piece? Former BBC arts correspondent Rosie Millard, a Mail favourite since covering the Oscars in "best supporting dress". And who, a quick search of the paper's archive reveals, is something of a special correspondent on the topic.

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