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Paper Monitor

11:25 UK time, Monday, 23 October 2006

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It’s Monday, so let’s get it straight out of the way. Yes, the front page of the Daily Express is about Princess Diana. Apparently they have some suspicions about the circumstances surrounding her death.

If this is a traditional start-the-week move from the Express, the Sun is taking a new direction in the give-away war. It’s offering a “free adult DVD each day this week” (or at least a voucher for a DVD), beginning with the gritty 1980s comedy, Rita, Sue and Bob Too.

And a developing trend, apparent in the broadsheets as well as the tabloids, is to accompany the give-aways with a story about them – including in this case, a review of the movie by Johnny Vaughan.

Ever wondered about the impact of all those stories about food and health? The Daily Mail reports that sales of walnuts have soared by 80% since they were reported to be beneficial in preventing heart disease.

But how can we choose which food to rush out to buy? Just when we’ve got in the walnuts, we flick on a few pages in the Daily Mail and there’s research showing that strawberries could delay dementia. What? Just after they’ve got really expensive in the shops?

Or perhaps we should be getting in a supermarket run based on the Times, which has the advice that we should be eating “viscous fibres” (such as oats and barley) and soy protein. How are we to consume all this advice? Do we start eating lots more strawberries in addition to the walnut frenzy, or do we alternate with the viscous fibres?

Much clearer advice is issued by radio presenter John Humphrys in the Daily Telegraph. “Any reporter… who refers to old people by their first names should be strung up by their heels.”

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