The front pages reviewed first: Tuesday 16 November 2010

 Another night in which the papers are all united on their top story – this time the Eurozone debt crisis. This may change overnight as Fleet Street editors panic and rejig things for the the second edition but it looks like the Irish story will dominate tomorrow’s media as well. The question, then, is which paper does it best. For my mind its a toss-up between the instantly accessible Guardian write-up and the Telegraph’s lead which benefits from having splashed with it yesterday.

The Telegraph – “Euro under siege as now Portugal hits the panic button” -ran with the Irish economic crisis yesterday and it is updating tonight, saying that the “Euro is facing an unprecedented crisis” as Portugal has admitted it may need an international bail-out. In many ways this is classic development journalism. Be the first to splash with the story, then develop the story whilst everyone else catches up (see the Indy below). After about paragraph five the story broadly focuses on Ireland but the editor has cannily created a sense of something new about a similar story to yesterday. To tie the Euro crisis back to something that makes sense to us Brits they have Jeremy Warner writing a comment piece below – “Britain is vulnerable in the vicious cycle” – in which he warns Brits that “we should be careful not to gloat” about the failings of the Euro as a continent-wide depression would destroy us as well.

The FT – “Eurozone members pressed on debt plans.” The FT and the Telegraph’s stories are similar to yesterday’s – the Telegraph desperately tries to make the Eurozone events relevant to a UK audience while the FT has no need to do so. It happily quotes two paragraphs of Portugal’s finance minister – a sin that would send the Barclay brothers into fits of rage – as well as Greece’s prime minister. Generally a good summary of the meeting of the Eurozone’s finance ministers in Brussels.

The Guardian – “Ireland told: take EU bailout of trigger crisis” – is probably the most succinct headline of the night, with the key developments summarised in one go. It takes a good human interest angle on the story by talking about the actors – large European countries – as if they were in a soap opera. So we have an “increasingly isolated” Irish government being “urged” by the Spanish and Portuguese bullies to accept a bailout. For those with little knowledge of economic affairs (and Guardian readers are often guilty of that) it is a very engaging way of telling the story.

The Times – “Irish debt crisis threatens to spread across Europe” – introduces the potential of the IMF, not the Eurozone countries, bailing out Ireland, which is something I haven’t seen covered elsewhere really. But because the story wasn’t big in yesterday’s paper, today’s story reads like a summary of the whole situation rather than a development. It is, as The Times so often is, immaculately written with no unnecessary language, but it fails to create a sense of ‘news’ in that sense.

The Independent – “Ireland on the brink.” Sometimes I feel so sad reading The Independent. I really want it to be good but it is so often days behind the rest of the media pack. Even the press association story on their own website (UK ‘may be liable for £6bn of Irish debt“) is more up to date than they are. The article is a dry rehashing of yesterday’s Telegraph and FT with little new input.

If you only read one: The Telegraph tonight

3 responses to “The front pages reviewed first: Tuesday 16 November 2010

  1. All very worrying for the many people in mainland UK who were encouraged by the Irish government’s backing of their banks to stuff their savings into Ireland and its banks – let’s hope they have removed their money – even the so-called guaranteed amounts – before any default happens

  2. The Telegraph does well, you’re right, but in defence of the Independent, it does have David McKittrick with an insightful piece on Page 2.

  3. Pingback: Tweets that mention e front pages reviewed first: Tuesday 16 November 2010 « Cynical journalist --

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