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Paper Monitor

13:45 UK time, Wednesday, 22 July 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

After yesterday's staged picture of baboons swooping on a family hatchback at Knowsley Safari Park (and Rob Falconer's pertinent "when primates attack" reminiscence), comes another wildlife photo which has more than an air of set-up about it. This time the venue is Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail carry pictures of a giraffe poking its lengthy neck into said manor - although the picture in the Mail has the washed-out feel of an image from yesteryear. (One for our picture editor's Kodachrome archive perhaps?)

In fact, it was almost 20 years ago that Paper Monitor enjoyed a sumptuous lunch at Giraffe Manor and while its memories are no match for the facsimile qualities of 35mm camera film, it all feels very familiar. Maybe because said picture is actually used for promotional purposes on the Giraffe Manor website.

If the start of this year's Silly Season has not already been heralded, consider this the marker.

The hour is late - there's been lots of admin this morning - so there's no time to delve deeper into today's press.

But after Monday's Moon-landing souvenir issue discussion, it would be remiss of Paper Monitor not to mention this overlooked letter to the Guardian, from the paper's "splash stone-sub" of the day.

Geoff Andrews wrote to his old employer to explain why, in 1969, the paper had failed to carry Neil Armstrong's legendary "One small step..." quote in its coverage of the historic event.

"Touchdown on the moon was well after our normal last edition time, so we were already into special editions, and... I had to say when to send the page to be cast for the final edition, balancing printing as much information as possible against the fact that, with the presses already rolling and most of the print run complete, the number of copies that would result was dwindling with each minute.

"But Armstrong stood on the bottom step of the ladder for an interminable time, and with the head printer fretting and swearing that there would be no copies left to print, we reluctantly had to let the page go to the foundry. Two minutes later we heard the immortal words, but by then the page forme was far too hot for anyone to work on it for another 20 minutes. Hence the missing words."

A pro right through to his retirement, Mr Andrews says the omission "still rankles".

Nevertheless, Paper Monitor takes it hat off to you.

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