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Paper Monitor

12:40 UK time, Friday, 19 November 2010

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

It's the biggest battle in today's papers.

It's not David Cameron v Ed Miliband. It's not Stella against Stuart from The Apprentice. It's not even the nation v Katie Waissel on X Factor.

No, the biggest battle in today's papers is a mother and baby elephant tag team fighting off a crocodile.

It's in full-colour glory in the Daily Mirror. And it rocks.

But that's the paper version. This online version shows a familiar pitfall.

It doesn't have the photos, leaving one paraphrasing the old maxim and saying: "Writing stories about pictures but with no pictures is like dancing about architecture."

Great minds think alike in the Sun and the Daily Express, which both find room to tell an interesting yarn about Kate Middleton's great, great grandfather having worked in the Queen Mother's uncle's coal mine.

Or it would be interesting if one hadn't read it in the Times yesterday.

Over in the Guardian there is a careful parsing of the newly released government accounts. Among the details they note is that it cost £750 to hire the Tiger Tiger nightclub for a meeting of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The sheer volume of data - 195,000 lines - was too much for the BBC's home editor Mark Easton's Excel package to deal with. He compares it to an episode of The Thick of It - series two, episode one - in which spin doctor Malcolm Tucker urges his minions to "unleash hell, e-mail those journalists wads of information".
The full quote, which Paper Monitor has redacted, is: "Stats, percentages, international comparisons, information. E-mail them wads of information. And tell them to get their heads around it before they put pen to paper, or I'll be up their... like a... Biafran ferret, right? Come on, unleash hell!"

And finally, it seems the Indy is taking its cues from Schindler's List these days. There's a faintly ridiculous front cover with a black and white rendition of a gentleman holding a photo of imprisoned Chinese democracy activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo. But get this - the photo within the photo is in colour.

It's rather like the bit in Spielberg's black and white film where the little girl in red turns up.

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