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Paper Monitor

11:47 UK time, Monday, 13 July 2009

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's not a good time to be a journalist. Battered and bruised by last week's allegations of phone tapping, the Journogate row rumbles on (still largely in the Guardian, as the papers who stand accused, and their sister publications, try and ignore the whole thing). This comes on top of cost cutting and job losses due to the recession.

But just when hacks thought things couldn't get any worse, they are having to compete for column inches with dogs. Yes, dogs. Paper Monitor first commented on this a few years ago when David Blunkett's guide dog Sadie started writing an occasional column in the Sun. And again when a Jack Russell called Hercules started penning pieces for the Thunderer column in the Times earlier this year.

Now Roy Hattersley's dog Buster is getting in on the act. Writing for the same column, he chews over the subject of dog muzzles and whether he and his friends should be forced to wear them in public (he suggests not). He even goes on to complain that last week was a bad week for dogs - try being a journalist you little mutt. Oh yes, you are.

One dog writing for a newspaper can be brushed aside as a gimmick, two a funny coincidence, but three indicates a trend. Some might say the press can be as vicious as a pack of hounds and are getting their just desserts. But aside from that, where will this end? Is there a four-legged fur ball eyeing up PM's seat as this is being typed? Man's (in the all-encompassing meaning of the word man) best friend? I should coco.

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