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Paper Monitor

11:33 UK time, Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

If nothing else comes of this swine flu outbreak, at least it has helped shed some light on where the mediarati chose to school their children - a "bog standard comp" it ain't.

News that the virus had spread to the private Alleyn's School (that's £13,437 a year to you, guv'nor) in Dulwich, south London, prompted a first-person piece in yesterday's Times by resident columnist Janice Turner, whose 13-year-old son is among those sent home after the school closed.

Well, that's one way of explaining to the editor why you can't be in the office.

Today yields a similar piece in the Sun, where GMTV's Andrew Castle tells how he is anxiously awaiting test results on his daughter, who is also a pupil.

Paper Monitor is keeping tabs across all media to see if there is a noticeable dip in output as parents wrestle with the demands of entertaining their quarantined children.

It's a little surprising that the Daily Telegraph can't stump up its own concerned parent/staff member, but the paper's commentator Liz Hunt does her best to make up for that with her observation that "the newspapers were full of parents kitted out in bank holiday Boden, summoned to Alleyn's to collect anti-viral drugs for their offspring over Earl Grey and chocolate biscuits. As they juggled the keys to their BMWs and 4x4s..." and so on.

However, letter writers to the Monitor may find themselves distracted from Castle's outpouring by the story that sits on the opposite page. Yes, nominative determinism (see example, here) has come to the national press, in the guise of Nicky WELFARE [that's the Sun's emboldening and capitalisation] who is on £60.40 Jobseeker's Allowance (and drinks 24 cans of lager a day).

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