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Paper Monitor

11:34 UK time, Wednesday, 31 October 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

When the Times first had course to refer to “graffiti” it was in a classified advert in 1859 for a talk about the “scribblings” of Pompeii.

Its first proper discussion of contemporary domestic graffiti seems to be from 1923, when an erudite chap armed with chalk was spotted writing slogans on a railway bridge. Among them was the Latin (with a little French) “Iei tibi verum optima libertas rerum numquam servivitti sub nexu fils”, translated as “I speak a truth: liberty is the best of all things; never serve under any slavish bond, my son”.

But this classically trained graffiti artist was undermined, the Times noted, by another who scrawled “Jeannie Grey, dunce”.

So it seems only appropriate that the Times, 84 years on, should still feel able to tell the difference between good graffiti artists and bad graffiti artists.

The Times seems to have decided Banksy is one of the good ones, deserving of a place on the front page with his latest work and an online gallery. So is acceptance into the establishment marked.

Elsewhere in the paper there is the extraordinary information that dogs don’t need blood group matches for a one-off transfusion, but cats do. Paper Monitor is still ascertaining the full import of this bombshell.

Over in the Daily Telegraph, with its much-vaunted multimedia newsroom, there is the newsprint equivalent of a rueful sigh in a comment piece on page two about the Royal blackmail affair.

Obviously it steers clear of naming the US websites where people who want to find out the identity of the Royal - anonymous because of a court order - might go. That would be very naughty indeed.

But it says: “It is a classical illustration of the way the press is inhibited in this digital age in a way that does not obtain on the unregulated web...

“In an era of media globalization, the British communications industry frequently finds itself operating with one hand tied behind its back.”

Would the Telegraph like its hand untied?

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