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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So Murdoch’s News of the World ‘hacked’ phones. So what?

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Is there anything wrong with phone hacking? I have to say, I don’t think there is.

Let’s face it, this kind of thing has been going on for years. To say it’s only a tactic that’s been used by the News of the World is too naive.

Journalists come and go between newspapers all the time, and so do their methods of getting stories.

All newspapers

I would bet at one time or another, all newspapers have accessed voice mails and messages in this manner.

But what’s the problem? Journalists uphold standards of journalism, and journalism in turn upholds standards of democracy.

News has a crucial role in holding to account those who need to be held to account.

Yep, in the public interest

The defence of ‘in the public interest’ has been used many times, but that’s because it’s such an important one.

As a society we deserve to know what those in power and positions of responsibility are actually doing.

It’s through methods like this (though not directly) vital stories about MP’s expenses and injustices have come to light. Surely that’s benefited society?

If those people who are being ‘hacked’ have done nothing wrong, then they have nothing to fear.

Celeb double standards

But what about celebrities? Don’t they deserve better? Well arguably yes.

But they can’t have their cake and eat it.

If they truly want privacy, why are they staging shots for the paps and doing everything they can to stay in the public eye.

You can’t phone a photographer to tell them where you’ll be to get your picture on page three of the Daily Mirror one minute, and then be complain when they try to get your messages the next. Double standards?

Our conversations have been listened to for years by the government’s own hacks as they bring about a Big Brother state.

I’d say that’s more worrying than some millionaire actor or politician being rightly held to account.

Read more of Wordsmith:

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Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

Friday’s newspapers: Independent’s Ivory Coast story breaks conventions and cash-strapped Cameron’s fly on Ryanair

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Whatever you say about The Independent, I don’t think anyone can deny that it often has great front-pages.

Today’s for example is striking, with a helicopter flying over the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, seemingly being fired at.

It doesn’t really follow the conventions.

 There are no celebs, no fancy graphics or over the top headlines. But for some reason it just works.

Brilliant

It’s brilliant front-page almost makes up for the fact the rest of the paper is full of black and white pictures, which still strikes me as strange.

There’s also an incredible story on page 11 of the paper, about a Swedish couple who went on a “catastrophic honeymoon tour”.

Understatement

Incredibly, their trip saw them go to Australia, South-east Asia and Japan. Erika Svanstrom says it “turned out to be a bit more than we bargained for.”

 That’s quite an understatement!

The Daily Telegraph has a great front-page story, about the government looking for a “Twitter tsar.”

‘Tough’ job

That’s right, someone is going to be paid £142,000 a year to send out “text messages” make initiatives “easy to understand”.

 Well, it’s a tough job…but someone’s got to do it.

The Telegraph, along with the Daily Mail, also has a fantastic picture of the Cameron’s in an airport departure lounge.

 But this isn’t first class, as you’d expect. This was with Ryanair.

 And as such, both David and wife Samantha look suitably fed up. Clearly the recession really has affected everyone.

Paying for Osborne’s petrol

The Daily Mirror has gone with a typical tory-bashing story for their splash, as apparently George Osborne “charges YOU for HIS petrol”, as they’ve put it.

Now, as much as it is bare faced cheek for him to claim petrol expenses, did we really expect anything different?

 At least it’s not a bloody duck pond! And let’s face it, if we were in a position to claim as much as this bunch of ‘politicians’ do, we probably would.

Read more of Wordsmith:

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Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Thursday’s papers: Sun and Mirror get Wayne Rooney fever, and Blackpool exploitation revealed

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Well I didn’t see that one coming. The Daily Mirror and The Sun have both gone with ‘the Wayne Rooney’ saga as their front-page splash.

Obviously I understand that the antics of the Manchester United striker are what people really want to read about.

It’s just odd to see the two most famous redtops, who are therefore in direct competition, go with a virtually identical front-page.

Clever

To be fair, there are a couple of clever headlines explaining the story, which is about Rooney being dropped as the ‘face’ of Coca-Cola.

The Mirror have gone with “Hero To Coke Zero” which I quite like. But I think those clever chaps from The Sun have done it again, with theirs being “Coke Can Rooney”.

(Following on from yesterday’s Sun there’s also another ‘exclusive’ from James Bulger’s mother Denise Fergus. It’s sad to think that the paper is just exploiting her sadness just to sell newspapers. Oh well, such is life…)

Patients neglected

Switching to the ‘upmarket’ papers, The Daily Telegraph leads with a strong story about Britain’s “sickest patients” being neglected.

The story, by Stephen Adams, is based on claims from “leading emergency doctors” that the most ill patients are suffering from the need to hit waiting lists targets.

While this is clearly worrying, I can’t help feel it’s one of those things which most of us already knew was the case.

With money being cut, resources getting squeezed and the population increasing, patient care across the board is being affected. However, I’d still rather have the NHS than any of the alternatives.

Seedy Blackpool

The Times runs with a quite worrying main story, about the seedy side of seaside town Blackpool. It says there is an “endemic scale and nature” of sexual exploitation in the area.

It also claims the problem stems from “takeaway food outlets” where the abusers work. It’s sad to think that such a web of abuse exists under our noses, yet there’s little we can do to stop it.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

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Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

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.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

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Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

Today’s paper roundup: Jeremy Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and Northern Ireland bomb in Libya link

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Forget the crisis in Libya. Jeremy Clarkson’s apparent affair is obviously much more important.

At least that’s what today’s Daily Mirror believes.

 Their front-page story is an “exclusive” (always be wary about that word) about the Top Gear presenter with a “secret lover.”

Overboard

Clearly tabloids thrive on celebrity news, but today they really seem to have gone overboard. “Clarkson’s mistress” adorns page one, while two and three are taken up by Charlie Sheen’s latest antics.

 Pages four and five then give us another double dose about the BBC star before we get to any serious news on page six.

Don’t get me wrong, I like celeb rubbish as much as the next person, but with such serious things happening elsewhere this does seem a little extreme.

Luckily The Daily Telegraph gives us a sense of reality. Their splash about Gaddafi reports on how he could soon stand down after a “growing realisation” strikes the Libyan leader.

The second main story is also very interesting, regarding the death of police officer Ronan Kerr in Northern Ireland. It claims the bomb which killed him could have been “supplied to the IRA” by Libya.

Strange

 It’s very strange to think these two stories, seemingly completely unrelated on the face of it, may actually be linked.

However, even The Telegraph can’t resist a bit of royal dabbling, with Camilla and Prince Charles the main picture on the front-page. Everyone loves a bit of royal news…don’t they?

The Times runs with a worrying story for the Tory leader David Cameron about his NHS reforms, with the PM being accused of having “lost control”.

The paper clearly sees the issue as a significant one for the government, using emotive phrases like as he “scrambles to prevent the coalition from splitting” to portray Cameron’s dilemma.

 Interestingly, the paper also runs with a comment piece on the front-page about Gaddafi.

 This is certainly something which you don’t see often, which reflects the scale of the crisis.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Celeb Gossip: Why people love it

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Matt Baker: David Cameron’s nemesis