Monday, 15 March 2010

Anatomy of a newspaper

The front of today's Express was notable for two reasons:

One was the return of Diana.

The other was a headline about British workers being told: 'no jobs unless you are Polish'.

Much the same headline, in fact, that appeared on the front page of yesterday's Mail on Sunday:

Notice how the Express puts the Mail on Sunday's headline in quote marks.

And it's not just the headline the Express have, err, borrowed. Natalie Fahy's article is much the same as well.

It comes complete with the obligatory Express phone poll. Today, it asks 'Should British jobs go to British workers?'

The result will almost certainly be around 98% saying yes. But assuming a British job is a job in Britain, that would mean Express readers don't want anyone who is not British working in this country.

They're an enlightened bunch.

Half the letters in today's paper are about Muslims or immigration. In a note from Barry Clay, Norwich, he complains about a Conservative MP comparing burkhas to motorcycle helmets because, he says:

bike fans do a lot for various charities and are mostly decent members of the community.

And Muslims don't and aren't?

Back to the Express' front page and that Diana story is essentially another airing for claims the blood samples proving Henri Paul was drunk weren't actually taken from his body. It's not quite clear why this old nonsense is worth the front page as the paper has done this story once or twice before. Well, dozens of times.

On page 2, the Express gives results of two previous polls. 97% think Britain has been betrayed over the Falklands, while 98% think burkhas should be banned in public.

This is on page three:

This story was posted on the Mail's website on Saturday night and was prominent in their Femail section for much of yesterday:

Also on the Express' page 3, some gossip about Tiger Woods:

This wasn't in the Mail, but does seem to have been 'borrowed' from TMZ, where it was posted on Saturday:

On page 4, news of Labour plans for the House of Lords:

Which may have sounded familiar to anyone who saw yesterday's Sunday Telegraph:

Page 5 has the continuation of the front page 'Polish workers' story, plus another article about failed asylum seekers. And this:

And on page 17 this:

Guess what? Both the drink driving and raffled egg stories may have sounded, ahem, familiar to anyone who saw yesterday's Sunday Times:

On page 6, the strike at BA:

Which was framed in much the same way as Sunday's News of the World version:

Page ten turns to politics, including how former GMTV political editor Gloria De Piero is standing for Labour at the election:

This obviously had nothing to do with a page seven spread in yesterday's Mail on Sunday on the same topic:

The next page of the Express has the tale of two Brits who kissed in Dubai:

Which was on page 42 on yesterday's Mail on Sunday:

On page 17, the inevitable Cheryl Cole story:

Ashley Cole thrown out within 20 minutes? You don't say:

Two pages later, the inevitable Jon Venables article:

Which started life on the front of yesterday's News of the World:

In fact, one of the only Sunday front page stories the Express haven't used today is this one:

It's not hard to work out why.

There are other stories the Express have included which they have also borrowed from other newspapers too. Such as:

Essentially, almost every 'news' story in today's Express has appeared in other media outlets, mainly other British newspapers, at some point over the last few days.

Where's the journalism?

The latest ABCs show another fall in the Express' circulation - down 1,689 since January to 672,951 copies sold per day.

Is it any wonder? Leading with decade old claims about Diana, and then filling the bits between the many, many adverts with stories that have appeared in other newspapers.

We know the Express is starved of resources, but this is a dismal state of affairs - especially for something that laughably calls itself the 'World's Greatest Newspaper'.


  1. Too many newspapers, not enough quality.

  2. 'journos' in outsourcing writing stories to other journos shock.

    Makes a change from outsourcing to PRs then.

  3. Time to also look at some of the crap on the NotW though - their ongoing claims about Jon Venables which have no basis in anything other than they fit the NotW agenda (mind you recycled at length by PA and various other media outlets). Given the veracity of any NotW story is highly questionable - £2m in out of court settlements to not reveal their phone-tapping activities not to mention many court case losses. Also in NotW was a story about how "paedos" using chatroulette - no proof of course just part of the encompassing agenda but the inevitable outrage and spokesperson from some concerned charity.

  4. Wonder if the 'Win a Campervan' competition is going to turn out like the previous one, mentioned in Private Eye a couple of years ago? When the lucky winner received their prize, far from being the shiny new campervan pictured on the front-page, it was fairly grubby and encrusted with moss. Oh, and it was a left-hand drive.

  5. if the jon veneables case doesn't go to court it will be the fault of the tabloids in my opinion. their demands for "justice" are in fact, destroying justice.

  6. If you look at any newspaper on a Monday they will all have articles recycled from Sunday papers. And if you had access to the PA newswire, you would know that all the stories in pretty much all of the newspapers are recycled from there. So it's not just the Express.


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