British newspaper front pages review at midnight: Monday 25 October 2010

A quiet day at the start of a quiet week in British news, by the looks of things. 5 different top stories, none of them particularly great.

The Times – ‘CBI warns on jobs as recovery loses steam’ – leads with David Cameron’s upcoming address to the CBI annual conference in which he will “attempt to assure industry by claiming that the coalition can generate investment in industry.” The Times will presumably have been given snippets of the speech by Number 10’s press office and has tried to make it more interesting by focussing on the warnings about the cuts from Richard Lambert, head of the CBI. While it is top-down journalism, it at least does a decent job of setting the scene for the week.

The Guardian – “US handed over captives to Iraq torture squads” – continues to lead with the revelations from the Wikileaks documents, which allege widespread use of torture by American forces in Iraq. All very interesting, but essentially the exact same story they ran with on Saturday. The only thing they have added this time is that Nick Clegg has said (on television on Sunday) that the allegations are “extremely serious.” I presume that was opposed to the alternative of saying that torture is “not a major concern for the Coalition Government unless it cuts the deficit.”

The Independent – “Civil war at Wikileaks” – has a very bizarre story. It alleges that staff at the leaking website are up in arms after the website leaked documents. If this is true then the staff must be a little confused. The fact that the story is buried on page 10-11 probably tells you how strong it really is and it is hard to avoid the suspicion that the Indy is taking a swipe because Wikileaks chose The Guardian to publish the documents in. The Indy does also have some stuff on the upcoming CBI conference address by David Cameron.

The Telegraph – “Schools in better off areas will lose cash to aid poor” – has basically a summing up of Sunday’s TV shows. It leads with an admission (barely) by schools secretary Michael Gove that “there will be some schools that have less [funding]” because of the pupil premium.  These comments were made on BBC Politics earlier on Sunday. From this it basically claims that middle-class kids are going to be hard-done by. Pretty tenuous argument, and pretty lazy journalism. The paper’s second story could only ever be in the Telegraph – “Polo club chief in helicopter crash.”

The FT – “Target on trade imbalances elude G20” – runs with plans for G20 economies to finally reduce trade imbalances. It reports on the results of a meeting this weekend in South Korea, which ran aground over proposals to set specific targets for current account surpluses and deficits. One of those stories where you read it, nod, pretend you understand, and hope no one asks you to explain it.

If you only read one: A poor day’s work from Fleet Street’s broadsheets. Pick up a tabloid.


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