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Paper Monitor

11:23 UK time, Thursday, 10 January 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It had all the makings of a cute little article to get Paper Monitor's day off to a really lovely start. But just six words into the story of Oscar the dog and Arthur the cat - in the Times - and it all started to get a bit uncomfortable.

You see, Arthur had recently died and Oscar was missing him. So what did he do? He dug up his body from the back garden during the night, dragged it through the catflap, pulled it into his basket and then slept beside it.

Earlier in the day Oscar had watched his owner Robert Bell bury his former companion. Sinister or sweet? When Mr Bell came down the following morning Athur's coat "was gleaming white, Oscar had obviously licked him clean". And Arthur was a "huge" cat so "it must have taken him nearly all night". Yuk.

It's all so confusing. Paper Monitor likes animal stories to be a bit more starightforward, like the lemur one on page 26 of the paper. Near extinction, new one born in Bristol Zoo. Sweet and simple. Bish, bosh.

There's a bit of a flurry of excitment in the papers today about two new shows on ITV. But could it be a case of navel-gazing again from the media?

Moving Wallpaper depicts the behind-the-scenes backbiting at a soap opera, masterminded by a producer who is determined to make it the most talked-about show in Britain. It is followed immediately by Echo Beach, the soap opera itself, which is set in Cornwall and stars Jason Donovan and Martine McCutcheon.

Events in Moving Wallpaper influence the soap opera. Viewers see that an aspiring actress who offers sexual favours to a producer in Moving Wallpaper is suddenly given a role in Echo Beach.

It's a gamble because the media is obsessed with how the media works, but are the public? We will have to wait and see.

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