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Paper Monitor

13:56 UK time, Monday, 20 April 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Sorry to start the week with a grumble, but turning the clock back to Saturday, Paper Monitor couldn't help but feel a tad deflated on reaching for the Guardian's free map of the world only to realise it was merely a newsprint rendition - not the glossy affair newspapers have given us to expect these days. At the same time, the Guardian editor was explaining on p2 why the paper had gone up 10p - credit crunch, fall in advertising and "rising newsprint costs".

Putting such quibbles aside, Paper Monitor turns its attention to the overnight sensation that is Susan Boyle... and the troubling conundrum of how someone who couldn't be less preened for the modern media spotlight can actually be a highly talented singer.

All the weekend papers seemed to take their bite of Boyle. The Sunday Mirror, for example, waded in with this sensitive treatment of Miss Boyle's life of chastity.

"Susan gets her first snog... Spinster Susan has finally had her first snog... Family and friends...were shocked when she told judges she'd never been kissed... so Pal William McDonald, 64, stepped forward to do the honours [Paper Monitor's italics]".

In a seamless baton handover, Monday's Daily Mirror presents us with a Yorkshire Pudding that, apparently, is the spitting image of Susan Boyle.

The Sun, meanwhile, reduces Boyle to a convenient noun: "Virgin given a minder".

The Daily Telegraph is a Boyle-free zone today - choosing instead to look at the rather arcane matter of the replacement of manually-operated wooden level crossing gates at Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, with modern, remotely controlled alternatives.

But to the Telegraph, this is no mere updating of rail infrastructure. Rather, it's another erosion of standards of moral decency, as the paper tells us that "for more than a century [the gates] were a symbol of the town's refusal to accept the decline in social standards".

Eh? Is Paper Monitor missing something or were these level crossing gates invested with some mystical power for preventing teenage pregnancy or preserving the sanctity of marriage? Unfortunately, the gates' magical influence to arrest the onslaught of the liberal society are never elaborated upon.

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