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Paper Monitor

11:59 UK time, Tuesday, 25 September 2007

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's often noted in Newspaperland these days that Saturday is the new Sunday. That is the trend for packing in as many supplements as the paperboy can carry (eg colour magazine, review, personal finance sections etc), which started with the Sunday press has spread to the Saturdays. Pick up a Saturday edition of the Guardian and, as well as the news section, you get myriad supplements including a glossy mag, and ones entitled Work, Money, Sport, Family, Review, not to mention the free CD/DVD/booklet/walking guide (delete as appropriate).

But does anyone really read all this stuff?

It's a question worth asking in light of the story about Guardian hack Leo Hickman which has been doing the rounds on radio, TV and in the papers in the past 24 hours.

Briefly, Hickman, who, as the Guardian's ethical agony aunt, normally tries to unravel the most carbon efficient way a reader can cart (the term is used literally) her family to the local farmers' market, had an interesting personal story to relate. With his wife in labour and midwives stuck in the London traffic, Hickman related in the Guardian's Family supplement of Saturday 15 September, how he had delivered his baby by taking directions over the phone.

It was a corker of a story, but remained untouched for more than a week, until yesterday, when it started cropping up on BBC radio and in the Evening Standard, a local London paper.

Today, Hickman's tale has even transcended old animosities held by the likes of the Sun (which gives it a full page) and the Daily Mail (which has run it this morning on its website) towards the lefty Guardian.

Clearly, bearing a grudge against a "pompous" organ of liberalness is one thing; depriving your readers of a dramatic and graphic human interest story is quite another.

But while both the Sun and the Mail note that Hickman is a journalist, neither deign to mention his employer by name.

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