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Paper Monitor

12:59 UK time, Wednesday, 25 June 2008

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's Wimbledon and that means one thing to the papers - one thing that combines, in a handy package, three of the most important elements required to secure a spot on the front page, any front page. Even the Independent's front page.

And those three things are not a life aquatic, a blowhole and intelligence radiating from a pair of sad eyes (Cruelty, Paper Monitors passem). Those three things are long legs, long hair and short garments. Applause, please, for Maria Sharapova, beloved by picture editors the world over. Even the Indy's picture editor.

Who admittedly has to work harder than those on more flighty organs, such as, say, the Daily Telegraph and the Times. They simply need to scroll through the dozens of pics of the Russian lovely looking, er, lovely on court and choose one. Or maybe more.

The Independent, which needs a pressing editorial reason to place her on page one - today it's uber-coach Nick Bollettieri unpicking her tactics - cannot bring itself to show more of her willowy frame than strictly necessary. This is a young woman who means business on the court, and this is how the Indy portrays her, cropping all bar head, shoulders and racquet from the chosen pic.

Hold up. In later editions the pressing editorial need disappears but Ms Sharapova remains on the front page. There is nary a mention of Ms Sharapova's groundstrokes and two-handed backhand in Bollettieri's column - instead it's all about Andy Murray. Who looks fetching enough in shorts, but is no Goran Ivanisevic, to pluck a name out of the hat.

But the paper is on surer ground with its review of Radiohead, poster boys for everything it holds dear. But what's this? "They have pushed boundaries over the six albums they have released since their 2003 debut Pablo Honey." 2003? Paper Monitor's tastes run more to Tom Jones than Thom Yorke, but even the most M of MOR fan knows that Radiohead has been around longer than five years. Unless the review was penned - and subbed - by the kind of indie kid who was still wetting the bed in 1993. When Pablo Honey came out.

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