The front pages reviewed at midnight: Friday 17 December 2010

Not a vintage night, I am sorry to say. The Telegraph and the Indy battle it out to warn us about the coming snow danger, while the Times reports on a rather dull appointment. The Guardian has a arare foreign front page lead, so that is some consolation.

The Times – “Crusader for reform to tackle MOD waste” The Times really has it in for the MOD at the moment. The latest story in its attempt to clean up the department revolves around the announcement of Bernard Gray, a businessman and former journalist, being put in charge of cutting waste. But the paper seems to have forgotten one of the basic tenets of news reporting – government waste is interesting, clearing it up isn’t.

The Independent – “Britain prepares for a perfect ice storm” Odd lead for the paper tonight, though the news is slow today. I guess they are hoping that by tomorrow morning the country will be covered in ice and then the headline will look prophetic. There are some serious issues raised though, including the danger of fuel for heating aid running out.

The Telegraph – “Winter fuel rationing on the way” The paper leads with a similar story to the Indy, but it is more fleshed out. Up to two million homes, schools and hospitals face fuel rationing over Christmas as the cold weather makes delivery of supplies impossible. The Telegraph, don’t forget, has a high proportion of rural readers and they will be particularly affected by this. This has the potential to be a real crisis and the paper is taking a strong lead on it early.

The Guardian – “India accused of systematic use of torture” The Guardian has had a few days off but now it is back to Wikileaks again. Tonight it highlights the interesting issue of the Indian government’s ‘systematic’ abuse of detainees, particularly in Kashmir. But the US diplomat’s were briefed on this in 2005, hardly news. There is something interesting nuggets also released, however, including the fact that the Rahul Gandhi (from the Nehru family) believes that Hindu extremism is a greater threat than Muslim extremism. Very rarely is the internal workings of another state on the front pages of the UK papers, so this is to be welcomed for all of us who believe in reporting issues outside our little islands.

If you only read one: The Guardian


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