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Paper Monitor

12:58 UK time, Wednesday, 30 June 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

So, Andy Murray. British or Scottish?

Conspiracy theorists are fond of repeating the adage that the media always calls him British when he's doing well, and Scottish when he's not. Typical metrocentric knit-your-own-iPad media elite, they grumble.

So, is this true? With Murray on court today in the men's quarter-finals at Wimbledon, Paper Monitor scours the match previews in today's papers for how they first mention his nationality:

  • "Second semi-final awaits the Scot if he continues his incredible run against Tsonga today" - Daily Telegraph
  • "... extraordinary self-belief oozing from the Scot" - Daily Express
  • "The Scot has beaten his French opponents on the last 22 times they have met" - Daily Star
  • "The 23-year-old Scot..." - Daily Mail
  • "The Scottish Braveheart..." - Daily Mirror

  • "But while Britain's No 1 has all eyes turned..." - Times
  • "Unlike the not-so-great Britons who could not hack the attention at Wimbledon over the opening two days, Murray will be loving it" - Sun
  • "Briton brushes off pressure of Wimbledon as he prepares to take on Tsonga" - Independent

But the Guardian has all bases covered, referring to him as "world No 4", "the Scot" and "Britain's No 1" in quick succession.

One suspects such an inexhaustive survey will do little to challenge the "British when winning" theory. Not least because firmly-held beliefs are hard to shake.

And finally, one theory that holds as much water as you care to pour into it is Paper Monitor's supposition that an interesting story becomes even more newsworthy when it happens to an attractive young woman.

Can you guess which of the 10 suspected Russian spies is chosen to grace the front pages? Why, it's flame-haired Anna Chapman, 28, who helpfully posted various come-hither photos of herself on social networking sites. That's the front pages sorted then...

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