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Paper Monitor

11:35 UK time, Thursday, 29 November 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

So. The Hobbit. A short book turned into three films. T-H-R-E-E. It was going to be two for a while, but the makers and the shakers changed their minds. Wonder why? *innocent face*

The Times pens a leader on how "you don't need to watch three long films to know what happens in one short book" (warning - spoiler alert):

Middle Earth. Long Ago.

"Hello small hobbit with an almost rude name!"
"Hello wizard."
"Come to a hollow mountain with all these dwarves to steal treasure from a dragon!"
"No."
"Go on."
"Yeah, okay then. Let's go."
"We'll never escape these trolls and goblins!"
"Oh look, we did, respectively."

And so on.

Still. Doesn't Wellington, home of the director Peter Jackson and where the film premiered, look lovely.

Flicking through the Independent - not up for sale, but seeking extra cash - your humble correspondent undergoes an abrupt handbrake turn in tone.

The paper investigates a website that helps female students find sponsors to help with their university fees. Up to £15,000 worth of help. The key - perhaps only - criteria is an "open mind". Not an inquiring mind, but an open one. Wonder why? *innocent face*

A secretly filmed meeting with a male assessor sheds some light. He asks the undercover reporter to accompany him to a nearby flat to "go through a practical assessment together" to make sure she's comfortable doing the things the sponsor will want to do with her. This is required, he says, for "quality control".

"Ewww..." as Indy journalist E Jane Dickson puts it. She had stumbled across the site while looking for scholarship options for her teenage daughter.

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