The front pages reviewed first: Tuesday 23 November 2010

Tonight’s papers are dominated by the Irish economy again. The Telegraph has gone with the economic angle, the FT the political angle, the Guardian the global angle and The Indy leads with a dead Nazi. Never accuse them of going with the pack.

The Daily Telegraph – “British banks hit as Irish bail-out falters.” The immediate problem with this story is in its opening line: “British banks lost billions of pounds in value yesterday…” I don’t know about you but I don’t think the public feel particularly sympathetic to bankers at the moment. The share price of RBS and Lloyds fell almost 5 and 4 per cent today, an admittedly large drop. The article also quotes George Osborne’s statement at length, with three paragraphs given to his justification of the loan to the Irish.

The Daily Mail – “£15 cervical cancer test to save thousands.” When the title says ‘save thousands’ it should really state that this will be over a few years. A new improvement in the testing of cervical cancer is to be implemented in Britain from next year, the paper claims. This is undoubtedly a good story but in para 5 in mentions that the disease kills around 1,000 people a year. The paper claims that the previous test misses up to one in three of all cancer cases, but the new one identifies nearly all of them. This means that, at best, the change will save 300 lives a year – the number may be lower. This is news but the paper should be careful not to raise heights too high.

The Guardian -“90 billion bailout ends in turmoil. Now Europe fears crisis will spread.” The Guardian focuses on the fears that Portugal and Spain could collapse. It also brings the story to life well by giving little details like the fact that protestors “tried to storm the parliament building” in Dublin, a fact not really mentioned in the other articles. Larry Elliot has a comment in the side bar that is the most clear and concise analysis of the day’s events that I have read.

The FT – “Ireland rules out snap election.” Odd that the FT should lead with the political dimension of the economic crisis (the decision not to hold an election till next year), while the Telegraph has the economic one. There are probably two reasons for this: the paper is aiming to reassure markets that the Irish political system is not in chaos and the economic angle has gone a little dry after a fortnight of coverage. The article focuses on Brian Cowan’s decision not to call an election and quotes him at length in the opening paragraphs. It is only in about par 6 that the story focuses more broadly on economics. The paper also has some brilliant infographics mapping the decline of the Irish economy.

The Times – “Fear stalks Eurozone as Ireland faces ruin.” The prize for the most depressing opening line of the night goes to The Times hands down.”Ireland’s €85 billion rescue will not be enough to stamp out the eurozone crisis, leading economists warned last night.” Wow, that’s a downer. What have you got to lift me up in the second line Mr Murdoch? “With the Irish Government on the brink of collapse and the credit agency Moody’s predicting a “multi-notch downgrade”, experts warned that a bailout for Portugal was only a matter of time because of “hearse chasers” in bond markets.” Wow. Feeling pretty low. And then I get even lower when I realise that the ‘expert’ condemning the Eurozone to perpetual crisis is the director of a moderately pro-Europe think tank. Sometimes when news writers try and sensationalise a story they just make it depressing.

The Independent – “Died a free man.” The Indy has got it just about right tonight in terms of its role in the media pack. The paper should be highlighting stories that the rest of Fleet Street have ignored, rather than doing the mainstream stories less well. Tonight they lead with the death of the Nazi war criminal Samuel Kunz, who was implicated in th death of over 400,000 Jews during the Second World War. This has received minimal coverage in the press but is exactly the kind of issue that a campaigning paper should focus on.

If you only read one: The Indy, for doing something brave… or maybe not

One response to “The front pages reviewed first: Tuesday 23 November 2010

  1. Pingback: The Independent, the Nazi and the Croatian fascist « Cynical journalist

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