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Paper Monitor

15:01 UK time, Wednesday, 21 March 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

There is a story in today's papers that unites tabloid and broadsheet in equal measures of excitement.

It's not the budget. Instead, it's the news that the pop production trio Stock, Aitken and Waterman are to stage a one-off concert featuring a selection of their acts, including Jason Donovan, Bananarama, Sonia, Steps, Brother Beyond and that darling of social media, Rick Astley.

Conscious that many of their readers will respond to this announcement with nostalgic glee, while another sizeable proportion will be sparked into furious indignation, reporters tread a fine line.

The Guardian's introductory sentence attempts to address this by appealing to the unifying feature of its audience's sympathies:

They were once described as the most hated thing about the 1980s (after Margaret Thatcher)...

Oddly, this intro is absent from the online version of the story, web-based Guardian readers presumably having disliked other things more intensely during that decade.

The Sun, too, treads a fine line. While feature writer Kate Jackson gushes that the "spectacular" concert will showcase "the best of the 80s and 90s", showbiz editor Gordon Smart laments that he is considering booking a two-week holiday "so I'm not roped into covering it".

There is no such reticence at the Times, where music writer and member of indie-pop group Saint Etienne Bob Stanley insists SAW and their label PWL are due a critical reappraisal.

According to Stanley, "everything about SAW and PWL looks intriguing on paper: their DIY attitude, their anti-major label stance, their ability to write incredibly catchy tunes and score hits with ordinary kids without the need of a drawn-out TV talent contest. So why aren't they national treasures?"

Paper Monitor doubts all of Stanley's readership will be won over. But perhaps therein lies the purpose of the exercise: Marmite journalism.

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