Front pages review: Wednesday 20th October 2010

Tomorrow’s papers are all taking slightly different angle on the only real news story of the day, the long-awaited Comprehensive Spending Review.

Yet again The Telegraph and The Times have very similar scoops, right down to the titles. The Telegraph has “500,000 public sector jobs to go”, while The Times takes a very different angle with “500,000 jobs to go on ‘hard road’ ahead. A better angle would almost certainly have been to go with the “One in twelve public sector jobs to go” if they were worried about originality.

The source is figures from photos of Danny Alexander that were taken and zoomed in on by one by a photographer by Oli Scarff, who must surely be having the best day of his photography career. The funny thing about all this is that Fleet Street has spent months trying to get snippets of what is going to be in the CSR and then one quick-witted photographer gets the biggest scoop of the lot.

The Times’ article is a great summary of the cuts announced, and is stronger than The Telegraph’s as a general introduction.

The Guardian has a photo of the documents but chooses to lead with the 16% cut in the BBC budget rather than the job losses. This seems odd, especially as the Guardian’s readership is heavily public sector. It obviously feels that its internal sources, who claim “that a licence fee settlement that would normally take years to thrash out had been imposed in three days”, are strong enough to make it top story. And of course it may be a decision based on what the other Fleet Street editors are expected to lead with. Personally, however, I think it will look a little weak on the newsstands.

The Independent sticks to its traditional style with a wider look at the whole process of the review under the title “Axe Wednesday.” It features a stylised photo of Osborne looking severe with a few brief snippets of cuts but no real detail.


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