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Paper Monitor

11:54 UK time, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

You could almost hear the collective "thank god" being uttered in newsrooms when British student Sarah Calascione was rescued from the Atlantic after two days adrift on a raft. "Thank god she's really pretty and has posted some pictures of herself in a bikini on her Facebook page," that is.

The newspapers love nothing more than a happy ending involving a young woman who is fair of face. Miss Calascione was one of more than 40 students, two of whom were also British, who had to be rescued by the Brazilian Navy after the boat they were on capsized. Not that you would know it from the coverage.

"My 48 hours adrift in a raging ocean" is the headline on the front page of the Telegraph, above a large photo of the beautiful 19 year old looking all windswept. The Daily Mail, Independent, Times and Guardian all use it as well. The Sun goes for the bikini shot of her on a golden beach. The only surprise is the Mirror, not one to usual pass up the chance of having a scantily-clad beauty on a page, it uses a small head-and-shoulders shot of Miss Calascione.

Paper Monitor can only assume the other two rescued Brits who were rescued - 16-year-old Gabriella Haines and Nicole Turner, 18 - were not available for interview or photographs. Surely, that's the only reason?

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail does what it does best. It gives us a masterclass in the sort of look-down-your-nose type of journalism it excels at. It invites readers to enjoy Jan Moir's "hilarious dispatch on the steamy soap opera that's titillating the Red Tops". Really it's trying to cover a story without looking like it's covering that story.

The story in question is Cheryl and Ashley Cole's marital problems. Predictably Ms Moir takes the moral high ground and despairs at the number of women tripping over themselves to sleep with Cole and "tell the world about it".

Of course, this is on the same page as photos of all the girls and lurid second-hand details of their encounters with Cole. The Daily Mail would never stoop so low as to actually pay such women for such information, it just lifts the details from the papers that do.

And just in case you missed those "seedy" details, it also has a handy summary of Cole's performance in bed with each woman - "creative", "wild", "lousy" and "not raunchy" apparently. The Daily Mail, double standards? Surely not.

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