Is there a Royal Wedding happening soon? It’s not like the papers have covered it much…

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Yeah, we get the picture...(by Nick Clapp)

Excuse me, but is there a Royal Wedding this month? I was just curious, because there doesn’t seem to be much coverage of it.

That is apart from the small amount of coverage which has been given by every national newspaper, every day since it was announced!

Four papers

Today, believe it or not, is no exception. Look at the front-pages of the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror. Kate Middleton is on each one.

Four of the eight main national papers have gone with her picture. Why? They aren’t even good pictures, or at least nothing special.

Flog that dead horse

I know, as we all do, that when there’s a dead horse (which this story is) you flog it for all it’s worth. But come on, this is bloody ridiculous.

Clowns to left, jokers to the right, stuck in the Middle with you...(by Nick Clapp)

The Mail and Express have even used the same “Kate shapes up for her big day” line. I know they’re practically the same paper, but try an inject some originality at least.

Blanket coverage

I am one of the few people who, it seems, is actually looking forward to seeing the event, especially as it seldom happens. But, I think we’re all tiring of this blanket coverage of every minor thing Will and Kate do.

Please papers, give it a rest, at least for a day or two.

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‘Wonder pill’ for fat people, and shed a tear for Cowell

Monday’s newspapers: Fat people rejoice thanks to ‘wonder pill’, and shed a tear for Simon Cowell

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Monday's Sun and Express (Pic: Nick Clapp)

Hurrah, it’s good news for fat people, at least according to the front-page of The Daily Express.

Their splash is about a “wonder pill” which has “more than double the slimming power” of current drugs.

Sadly, as we all know, stories like this have come and gone before.

New weapon against obesity

 Will this “new weapon in the battle against the country’s spiralling obesity epidemic” (wonderfully powerful language) work?

Somehow, I doubt it.

Page four of The Times today has a funny story about Boris Johnson getting up to his old tricks.

Boris Johnson

The Mayor of London has asked the “entire newspaper industry” to come clear about its use of phone hacking and similar methods.

Frankly, this is a pretty ridiculous suggestion, for two reasons.

Firstly, no newspaper in their right mind would confess to such tactics unless they absolutely had to.

Secondly, if they all did, then the amount of cases which would come to light would be staggering.

Shed a tear for Cowell

The most sympathetic (or just pathetic, depending on how you see it) story of the day has to be The Sun’s front-page.

It suggests that Simon Cowell’s “huge workload” could lead him to “an early grave.”

Now, not only is this completely unsubstantiated (the quote comes from a “source”) but even if it was true, it’s quite hard to believe.

Tough job

It’s not as if he’s chasing criminals or working long shifts on a hospital ward. He’s presenting TV shows. That’s not exactly stressful.

Even if it was, I’m sure he’s got enough cash to keep himself in good health.

Excuse me while I wipe away a tear.

Read more of Wordsmith:

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Today’s paper roundup: Mirror and Express hammer ‘hypocritical’ Nick Clegg and Sun leads witch hunt

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Newspapers just can’t get enough when it comes to reporting about James Bulger’s murderers Robert Thompson and Jon Venables.

Today’s copy of The Sun goes with a staggeringly large headline, saying “Bulger killer No2 Goes Abroad On Lads’ Holiday”.

Don’t get me wrong, those two criminals got what they deserved for their terrible actions. But, as far as we are aware, Robert Thompson has not reoffended since being given his new identity.

This means that now he is technically a ‘normal’ person, who you wouldn’t even notice if you walked past him on the street.

Witch hunt

So, does a story about him going on holiday warrant such coverage? I don’t really think so. But the media does love a witch hunt.

It seems the other ‘big’ story today is about Nick Clegg’s hypocritical stance on, as the Daily Mirror puts it, “internships for the rich”.

Flagging credibility

Arguably yes it is hypocritical. But then what did we expect? Regardless of what Clegg says it will continue.

At least he had the balls to suggest it was wrong, and something should be done about it.

But then again, is this just Clegg saying something which he hopes will boost his flagging credibility? After all, it wouldn’t be the first time…

What makes this story quite hilarious is the way it’s been covered though.

 The Mirror has gone with a lovely smug shot for their front-page, and then the obligatory toff picture for their page six story.

 The Daily Express has, amazingly, used the exact same pictures. It’s certainly odd to see two different papers, with totally opposite allegiances, use the same images.

It would be interesting to see how they’d cover it if it was Cameron, that’s for sure.

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British newspapers: Unethical and sensationalised? Yeah, but so what

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Papers

(Pic: by Nick Clapp, of newspapers)

It’s often said newspapers have no morals, ethics or sensitivity. People complain about them being biased, sensationalised and prejudiced.

To be honest, this is largely true. And I for one am glad that’s the case.

No responsibility

 The truth is, newspapers have no genuine responsibility to be ‘fair’ and ‘objective’.

This is because they are not public service organisations. Yes, papers play a part in maintaining democracy.

But don’t forget, they are organisations designed to make profits and money first and foremost.

This is why they are full of adverts and fight so hard to get noticed amongst the competition. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating papers lying or making up stories.

 I’m just saying it’s not right or fair to expect them to be impartial.

As journalism students, we are told ‘don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.’ It’s probably the best piece of advice I’ve heard so far.

You may think what I’m saying is pretty unethical. But why is it? There’s no shame in trying to sell newspapers.

Techniques

Headline puns, big pictures and shocking headlines are the best way to do this.

Would you want to read something written in plain, boring language? No, nobody would. It may be factually correct, but it wouldn’t be interesting.

Take for example today’s Daily Express. This isn’t a paper I normally read, and I’m not advocating views in it. But as an example, think about this headline.

“Scandal as millions wait longer to see their doctor.” Now, is it really a scandal?

“People waiting longer to see doctors” would probably be more accurate. But it’s nowhere near as interesting.

The truth is, if you don’t like the way certain papers act, ignore them. You could go your whole life without ever needing to read one.

Like it or not though, the techniques used by papers to intrigue readers and keep their interest are clever and fantastic.

After all, about one in every 12 people will buy one daily. That’s pretty impressive.

So even if you don’t like them, at least show them some respect.

Read more of Wordsmith:

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