It is obviously a relatively quiet day on Fleet Street with the papers falling back on their traditional strongholds.
The Guardian has a story about a man dying whilst being deported to Angola on Tuesday. If you look carefully it is fairly typical in its format as a Guardian article. The testimony of one, supposedly independent, citizen is pitted against the a number of dull and lifeless quotes from various figures in the state. Only one source, a 58-year old oil engineer, is used and so the article is a little weak on force but is interesting none-the-less.
The Times and The Telegraph have the same splash, and it is a much more traditional centre-right story, both in content and sources. The story is that Hillary Clinton “waded into the row” (Times) or “delivered a stark public warning” (Telegraph) about the dangers of cutting the armed forces budget in the UK. This obviously fits in with a number of themes that are key to both papers – the military, Britain’s role in the world – as well as wider cuts. The source is not investigative but has been handed to them from a press conference – what I tend to call a ‘top-down’ sourced story.
From the front pages it appears the Telegraph’s splash is slightly stronger. It has two main sources of quotes – Clinton and Robert Gates, US Secretary of Defence – whereas The Times only has Hillary. Having said that The Times somewhat redeems itself by having a comment from Liam Fox on the inside that is trailed at the end of the front page.
The Independent, as is sadly more and more common, appears to have a) completely missed the news and b) missed it by a day. They splash, in typical Independent style, with a big picture (this time of a fire) and a few words (“Bonfire of the quangos – Or is it just smoke and mirrors?”). There may be something fantastic inside but it seems like a poor day for the Indy. If they had run this story a day earlier (i.e. before the announcement) it would have been somewhat of a scoop but there is absolutely no possibility these events will be in the news by lunchtime tomorrow. A wasted front page from the Indy tonight.