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Paper Monitor

12:43 UK time, Wednesday, 20 August 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Surely Paper Monitor deserves a medal, or at the very least a pat on the back (maybe even a small quantity of kudos, Caption Comp)? It's taken until now for two fateful words to be mentioned - Silly Season.

Normally the Silly Season gets more than its fair share of column inches during the summer months as the papers struggle to fill their pages as the great, the good and the powerful head off for their hols. With everyone (Paper Monitor not included) off at the seaside, there's usually a dearth of "proper" news stories and a plethora of Silly Season yarns instead.

So, why the delay this year? It's those pesky triumphant athletes in Beijing. Yes, there's always Wimbledon and the inevitable Henman/Murray will they, won't they (delete as applicable), plus the occasional football tournament to fill the pages, but by late July they're usually finished and the Silly Season of wild and wacky stories, usually animal-related, takes over.

Not this year. From front to back, the papers are filled with Team GB's medals galore at the Olympics. It is truly impossible for any newspaper reader, from tabloid to broadsheet to Berliner, to avoid.

That's not to suggest that there aren't any Silly Season stories around, it's just that they don't receive the same prominence that they would have done without the Games. Take today's example: Yoda the cat who was born with four ears. This is textbook Silly Season territory, but yet he's buried deep the middle pages, with one reliable exception. It's that old faithful Daily Mail, proud purveyor of animal stories, who has the full picture of Yoda and his multiple ears displayed on page three.

For all those complaining about the lack of a British summer this year, where are those lamenting the almost-absent Silly Season?

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