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Paper Monitor

11:30 UK time, Monday, 9 April 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There's still no getting away from them, the 15 freed sailors. They're still on most front pages, but the papers have now fallen firmly into two camps - the "haves" and the "have nots". The first group have exclusive interviews - sort of - with some of the former hostages. FAYE: MY ORDEAL screams the Sun's front page, HOSTAGES: OUR STORIES trumpets the Mirror.

But what of the "have nots"? Simple, they just devote all those column inches that are empty of any exclusive to attacking the sailors for selling their stories. OUTRAGE, says the Daily Mail and talks of a "chorus of disapproval". Of course, it also prints the best bits of the Sun and Mirror exclusives, only so we can read how OUTRAGEOUS the interviews are - right?

The Times reveals how the captives' stories failed to "lure big cheques from the sceptical press". It also warns how the sailors risk a public backlash if they take and keep any money for interviews. Again, surely this is only because they have the sailors' best interests at heart and not a case of sour grapes.

Aside from sailors the sunshine is dominating the news. It even knocks Princess Di off the front-page of the Express. It's a spot she has now dominated for years, decades, centuries? But she's there in spirit, with a picture of Prince Harry and his girlfriend Chelsy Davy running alongside the sunny story.

That aside, didn't the Express do well with the weather. It managed to shoehorn the words scorching, soaring, hottest-ever, record-breaking, record highs and sizzling - twice - into the five-paragraph story. It then tells us to turn to page eight where there are the ubiquitous pictures of a girl in a bikini, a child with an ice cream and two youngsters skipping in the sea. Masterful.

And finally, the Times flags up its "user's guide to men" on the front page, with the headline DUMP HIM! Paper Monitor would love to tell you the paper's words of widsom on boys, but one of its colleagues has run off with the publication. How selfish.

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