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Paper Monitor

12:23 UK time, Friday, 23 April 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

How does a newspaper which has been accused breaking an industry covenant make amends?

In the case of the Independent, the answer seems to be to aim fire at its own, new, proprietor.

Newspaperland was humming yesterday with the news that the head of News International, James Murdoch, and Rebekah Brooks (nee Wade), ex-editor of the Sun, had stormed into the offices of the Independent.

The pair made a beeline for the office of editor-in-chief Simon Kelner and proceeded to berate him about the Indy's new advertising campaign.

At issue was the line "Murdoch won't decide this election. You will".

Turns out, there is an unwritten code in newspaper lore that proprietors refrain from attacking one another.

According to some reports, this point was relayed to Kelner in forceful and colourful language. (The Mirror has some fun with the episode under the headline "Murdoch's crazies lose the plot" in today's paper, recreating it in cartoon form... and Kelner may not be best pleased with its depiction of his waistline.)independent_lebedev_226.jpg

Kelner's response at the time was not recorded, but is it just a coincidence that on the promotional cover of Friday's Independent (accompanying free copies) the paper has turned its guns on itself?

"Lebedev won't decide this election," it says. "You will"

Paper Monitor's question is this - while the name Murdoch will certainly achieve a degree of brand recognition among the newspaper-reading public, does anyone really know who Alexander Lebedev - the new owner of the Independent - is?

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