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Paper Monitor

11:20 UK time, Tuesday, 20 March 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor is the first to admit that people in the media sometimes lose sight of what people outside the media want to read about. A case in point is the US fraud trial of media tycoon, and former Daily Telegraph proprietor, Conrad Black - or Lord Black of Crossharbour, to give him his full title.

It's causing a frenzy of excitement in media land. For editors the story's got almost everything - money, power, alleged corruption, beautiful women - all set against a newspaper backdrop. The only big ingredient missing is sex, but there's always time...

As a mouthpiece of the media itself, Paper Monitor has an interest to declare. But in devoting today's instalment to coverage of Lord Black's trial, it wishes to restate its professional objectivity. Paper Monitor is selflessly fighting for the rights of its readers. It's not interested in the trial at all. Saying that, things are already getting bitchy so let's all huddle round an imaginary water cooler together and have a gossip.

The Times reports that Lord Black's wife Barbara Amiel allegedly called a Canadian journalist a "slut" in a lift. The paper referred to the reported outburst as a "tantrum" - a word that conjures up images of foot stamping and screaming. Probably one it carefully chose.

The Express says she "yelled" the insult in a "courthouse scrap", the Independent refers to her as lashing out, while the Daily Mail says she lost "her cool and screamed". Most "unladylike" it concludes. Only the Guardian plays it straight, with no mention of the incident at all. Yawn.

But the big question - again probably only in media circles - was how the Telegraph would deal with the story about its former owner. Splash it across the front page with a massive picture, that's how. Again it's Lord Black's wife who makes the headlines and she is reported to have "shattered the calm" of the trial. At least no one can accuse the paper of burying the story.

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