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Paper Monitor

10:04 UK time, Wednesday, 15 October 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's a reasonably simple concept, "the news".

The OED describes it thus: "The report or account of recent (esp. important or interesting) events or occurrences, brought or coming to one as new information; new occurrences as a subject of report or talk; tidings."

The key phrase is "new information". Why then is today's Daily Express (THE WORLD'S GREATEST NEWSPAPER) reporting today that Ringo Starr is no longer signing autographs or answering fan mail? Paper Monitor seems to recall the story was around on Monday morning? Or has there been some strange rip in the time-space continuum?

Anyway, there is one beautiful line in the Express piece. Relating a revenge attack on a topiary image of the Beatles in Liverpool, it says: "Ringo's leafy head was decapitated."

But flicking on a few pages we are not so happy to see a fight between the country's top two middle-market tabloids. "Hypocrisy of Daily Mail's 'war' against plastic bags," shouts the headline. They allege the company that owns the Mail owns a firm that makes polybags, the evil polythene things that wrap up the weekend papers.

Paper Monitor had understood - on the basis of reports in Private Eye - that the conflict between the Express and Mail was ended some time ago with an agreement that there would be no more bashing.

The Mail would stop drawing attention to the fact that Express owner Richard Desmond made much of his fortune through tasteful, but now jettisoned, adult periodicals, such as Asian Babes.

The Express would stop making personal allegations against Mail owner Viscount Rothermere, and pointing out that its publication Loot ran ads for massage offered by vivacious, buxom ladies who did home visits.

Has war restarted without us noticing?

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