BBC BLOGS - Magazine Monitor
« Previous | Main | Next »

Paper Monitor

12:43 UK time, Wednesday, 10 October 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

In the current climate of journalistic honesty, Paper Monitor again feels duty-bound to reveal a long-standing trick.

Ever read a story, an absolute corker, got down to the 10th paragraph and been disappointed to find out it happened in Timbuktu. Or Alabama. Or Nizhny Novgorod.

You'd kind of assumed it was in Norfolk. Or Birmingham. Or Stoke-on-Trent. Or somewhere that you identified more closely with, somewhere a bit closer to home.

The shocking news is that cub reporters in journalism school are told to only mention the far-off location of stories far down in the piece so the reader doesn't lose interest with an exclamation of "oh it happened abroad - these things do happen abroad".

There's a prize candidate in today's Daily Mirror, Sun and Daily Express. An emotional tale of two mothers who were given the wrong babies at a hospital, and only discovered the mix-up 10 months on.

The Sun waits only 'til the latter half of the fifth paragraph to tell you this all happened in the Czech Republic. The Express goes one better and waits until the sixth paragraph. But the Mirror takes the biscuit by waiting until the 10th parapraph to deliver the bad news.

Elsewhere, today's "great minds think alike" prize goes to the Daily Mail and the Times for their description of the normally badger-resembling Alistair Darling - with his fetching white hair/black eyebrow combo - as a magpie, nicking Tory policies.

Bearing in mind that zebras, skunks, dalmations and friesians share his colouring, Darling should probably dye the brows now before the animal jibes really intensify.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.