Newspaper review: Paris Brown tweets stir social media debate


The row over offensive tweets posted by Britain's first Youth Police and Crime Commissioner gets plenty of coverage in the papers.

The Sun is outraged by the story. Under the headline "tweet and sour", the paper insists the remarks tweeted by Paris Brown when she was 16 would be "unpleasant from any teenager - let alone one on the public payroll as a youth crime tzar".

The Times appears to take a more reasoned approach, arguing that "most of this loose talk is the sort of silly thing that teenagers have always done".

But it goes on to question whether £15,000 of public money should be spent on having a Youth Commissioner at all - suggesting if the post is indeed necessary then "more diligence" should have been shown during the recruitment process.

The Guardian carries a piece by blogger Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, who believes the controversy raises a wider issue about social media.

Young people do not distinguish as much as older generations between their online lives and the things they are doing when they are not on their computers, she explains.

"The internet is making teenage life much more public than it would have been in the school corridor."

'Insult to Christians'

Elsewhere, the Daily Telegraph suggests on its front page that the price of a first class stamp could rise to £1 within three years if the Royal Mail is privatised.

The warning comes from the campaign group Save Our Royal Mail, which believes the price hike would be likely because a privatised service might no longer be allowed to be exempt from VAT - due to European competition law.

The paper's leader concludes that "it would be naive to pretend that prices will not go up" in the event of privatisation, which it believes is "long overdue".

The Daily Mail is highly critical of advice from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission that minority groups such as druids and vegans should be given special treatment at work.

"What an insult to Christians", is the headline. And the paper's editorial is furious: "So much for the government's promise to stop the quangocrats strangling business with onerous new obligations."

That sense of outrage is shared by the Daily Express.

"These rights are all wrong," it argues, going on to suggest that, at first glance, the idea that druids and pagans will be allowed time off work to celebrate sacred rites "looks like some kind of April fool".

Coach tour 'renaissance'

According to the Independent, an advertising campaign against plans in Scotland to sell cigarettes in plain packages has caused anger among anti-smoking groups.

Japan Tobacco International has taken out a full-page advert in the Daily Telegraph, showing a picture of what is claimed to be a Department of Health memo questioning whether plain packaging discourages people from buying cigarettes.

Finally, the Financial Times reports on the re-emergence of the coach tour as the holiday of choice for many people.

The paper says the trips - once seen as the preserve of elderly people - are coming back into vogue, partly due to the fact that times are tight.

One coach tour operator tells the paper that "this is not a renaissance, but there is a re-invention. We sell the experience, not the mode of transport".

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