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Paper Monitor

13:12 UK time, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

As Paper Monitor has noted in the past, Dog Bites Man is not news, but Man Bites Dog is. And while a tale of a chap being chronically irritated by the effect of mosquitoes might allow one to use the headline Bites Dog Man, it's no more than diverting.

One is not sure how Man Dog Bites could be shoe-horned into making sense, but anyone who follows the Magazine on Facebook (click here) is invited to make sensible suggestions.

Chickens kill fox is a banker, though, and several newspapers, including the Daily Mail, make the most of it. Four birds, named Dude, Izzy, Pongo and Pecky pecked the unfortunate fox - who is not named - to a feathery death, though it's not clear if it wasn't perhaps a table which dealt the fatal blow.

The Mail speculates:

"The little table in the corner of the coop, which the chicken perch on, had been kicked over and was lying next to the fox's head. It appeared to have fallen on him and knocked him out, leaving him an easy target for the beaks of the chickens... The table falling down could have been part of an elaborate plot hatched by the brood - but was more likely the lucky result of frantic squawking, flapping and running about."

You don't say.

The Daily Telegraph shows a heart-rending picture of a mother and baby polar bear clutching a lump of ice 12 miles from shore. It's the sort of thing one might have expected the Independent to have lavished some attention on, but strangely not.

Elsewhere the Telegraph has a story about the dedication of one of its readers, the sort of thing papers love, though it's fair to say enthusiasm for this particular fellow might be somewhat muted at Telegraph Towers. The hoarder has kept every copy of the paper for the past 34 years, having started collected them because he didn't want to lose important articles.

"[He] can hardly move about his home because of the towers of newspapers stacked against every door and window. From the road, his two neighbouring properties in the village of Wescott, near Dorking, Surrey are barely visible behind overgrown and rotting vegetation, piles of wooden pallets, six rusting cars and hundreds of bags of empty cans and bottles."

Not quite the poster boy the Telegraph might wish for, then. And especially because of the line tucked away at the end of the report: "In addition to the Telegraph, [he] has every issue of the Daily Mail and the two papers' sister Sunday titles."

While we're on inter-paper rivalry, interesting to see the Guardian revel in the demise of the Times2 pullout, by giving special promotional love to G2 as "the unrivalled pullout section". Not completely true, of course. They might be pretending not to have noticed, of course, but the Independent still publishes its pullout, Life.

And finally, the Times marks its redesign with readers' reviews of the paper. Today's, by a contract manager from Purley, is unimpressed by the lack of "meatier opinion pieces" on election funding re the Ashcroft non-dom tax saga. Nor does he like the juxtaposition of a moving feature on motor neuron disease versus exercises to get arms like Gwyneth Paltrow.

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