Front pages reviewed at midnight: Friday 7 January 2011

Today the Guardian leads with a select committee report, the Indy leads with The Guardian’s story from the night before, the Times analyses changes to the school system, the Telegraph develops its flu crisis story and the Mail tries to create some hysteria about facebook. A poor showing, in all honesty.

The Guardian – “MPs condemn ‘botched’ plan to axe quangos

The Commons public administration has ripped into the government’s “bonfire of the quangos” in which 192 quangos were to scrapped. The report says the government was naive, and that the plans weren’t properly thought through by the incoming government. The problem is that Commons select committees are famously dull and so trying to liven up this report proves a little tricky.

The Independent – “Phone hacking: Now Met police are in the dock”

When your main left-of-centre rival splashes with a story, you really have to have a new angle on it if you lead with it the following day. The day after the Guardian led with the News of the World phone hacking scandal the Indy catches on, and tries to reinvent it by saying that the police are not “in the dock”. But it falls a little flat when the first line is that “MPs and public figures are demanding that an indepedent police take over the case”. Yawn.

The Times – “Selection at 14 will drive revolution in schooling” I mean seriously, could The Times have picked a more deferential headline. Why not: “government has brilliant proposals for schools”? The former education secretary Lord Baker of Dorking is behind the proposals to open up 70 technical schools with a focus on engineering and he has been speaking, presumably exclusively, to The Times.

Daily Mail – “Did a facebook friend kill Jo?”

This is classic Daily Mail hysteria, with Facebook the latest victim of the paper’s concerns about modern life. When they say a ‘facebook friend’ may have killed her, they basically mean that someone she knew killed her. Now the vast majority of people who are murdered know the killer, so to use facebook as a cause is just trying to create social panic over social networking. In fact by paragraph 3 the story is diluted to: “Police are increasingly convinced the 25-year-old was killed by someone who knew her and was possibly welcomed into her rented flat in Bristol while her boyfriend was away for the weekend.”

The Telegraph – “Old vaccine used to fight flu crisis”

As I said yesterday, the paper hedged its bets on the flu crisis being a major story and they appear to have been vindicated, with the BBC leading with it yesterday. And so they lead with the update, that the leftover vaccine from last year’s swine flu epidemic is to be given out by GPs.

If you only read one: The Telegraph


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