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Paper Monitor

12:27 UK time, Tuesday, 16 September 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

A variation on A Level Results day syndrome (you know, the compulsion many newspapers feel once a year to show pictures of pretty, high-achieving, Home Counties 18-year-old girls jumping in the air).

Today's variation is: how to illustrate the collapse of a bank with pictures of pretty, high-achieving, Home Counties thirtysomethings carrying their possessions in a cardboard box.

(Incidentally, one wonders when people started getting the box instead of the sack?)

The picture choices, for your reference, are:

Times: Nice-looking couple, hugging, on the front page. Blonde woman with pearl earrings, carrying box with trainers in it, trendy specs, apparently horrified to be photographed.
FT: Worried boys in pinstripes standing on the street, on their mobiles. Same blonde woman as above, but pictured a few seconds later, struggling to keep her dress on her shoulder. Bra strap clearly visible.
Mirror: Same hugging couples as the Times, sharing a tender moment.
Guardian: A worker - thoughtfully wearing a Lehman baseball cap - holds his head over a pint of Heineken and a bottle of Rose.
Daily Mail: Radically different approach - *brunette* woman (but also with pearl earrings) also carring a box. It's apparently an unopened box of French wine. Inside, *three* clinches of the hugging couple - oh the joys of modern cameras' shutter speeds. The supplied captions are priceless:
1. "Looks like it's true: Lehman's London staff take in the news"
2. "Don't worry, we'll start again: A comforting kiss"
3. "At least hugs are free: A tender embrace"
Daily Telegraph: The same hugging couple on the front. Not only is she blonde, but that is a HUGE rock she has on her hand. Unless the picture has been flipped (which a self-regarding publication like the Telegraph would surely never do to a news image), it's on her right hand, which is not quite perfect, but hey.

Paper Monitor wonders how these people are feeling today. If you are one of them, or know one of them, let us know using the Comments form below.

Last word meanwhile goes to the Times which made the rather complicated financial story real for readers by demonstrating the impact on ordinary folk, like dog walkers whose clients are now able to exercise their own pets. Sphinx Patterson, who was until yesterday the fitness trainer at Lehmans, but who on the upside now has displaced Stryker Maguire as owner of Paper Monitor's favourite name, said he had spoken to a "lovely receptionist" who was very upset at losing her job. "She was in tears as she was packing away her pens," he said.

Now that's a story everyone can relate to.

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