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Paper Monitor

10:07 UK time, Thursday, 13 December 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's been a while since Paper Monitor turned its attention to a headline so comprehensive that there's no need to read the accompanying story. Nor will today be that day. Instead the Times has crafted its flipside, the omega to its alpha, the obverse to its inverse, the noir to its bete - the headline so tantalising in its paucity of detail (yet so compelling) that one must read on... only to end the article none the wiser. But intrigued nonetheless.

"WHY IS THE HOME OFFICE TRYING TO STAGE MURDER TRIAL IN SECRET?" goes the headline. Now that's something that doesn't happen every day. The article throws in all sorts of interesting snippets about the victim being a reclusive millionaire who penned prize-winning books (whose "ramshackle" house was notorious in his smart neighbourhood), the suspect's possible links to the secret service, a suspicious fire at the crime scene and, last but by no means least, the blessed phrase "gagging order".

Paper Monitor imagines that the writers of Spooks will be paying close attention now their current bout of silliness is drawing to a close on BBC One.

branson203getty.jpgLater in the paper, the People column perhaps speaks for us all as it notes that "somehow, 130 Branson impersonators are less annoying than the real thing."

The Independent, meanwhile, has a touching and truly Indy story on its poster front page. The headline goes like this (emphasis – albeit in rather hard-to-detect purple type - paper's own):

"A MIRACLE FOR CHRISTMAS
In a troubled world, Sammy Gitau is an extraordinary symbol of hope. Born in a Kenyan slum, he lived by foraging rubbish tips, where, one day, he chanced upon a prospectus for Manchester University - and had a dream. Immigration officials tried to stop him coming to Britain. But today this remarkable young man will receive his Masters degree."

Hold on, that means Paper Monitor has indeed looked at a headline so comprehensive etc etc... but the Indy has truly mastered the art.

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