Thursday, 21 March 2013

Budget coverage: It's The Sun what wins it

The Sun's Budget coverage is quite brilliant. How to deliver a double whammy to the Government over the Budget and Press regulation with one waspish front page. Note the 'proper gander' strapline. George Orwell would have approved.

The Daily Mirror also takes a robust campaigning stance with a damning verdict of the Chancellor's Fudge-it Budget. I love the contrast between the black and white urchins and a smug Osborne. Another page that would have scored well with Orwell.

The most disturbing front page, though, is by the Mail. The paper may take a positive view of the Chancellor's measures - but it hasn't done him any favours by morphing him into a grotesque Thatcher hybrid. It's not just the gruesome image of Osborne's face with Thatcher's hair, but the grizzled hands that will keep me awake tonight.

The Daily Telegraph may have the straightest headline of the day, but it has by far and away the best picture. As @SimonNRicketts commented on Twitter, it's the worst Abbey Road tribute ever.

And within minutes David Stokes @scottywrotem had posted this. Great comic value on a day that didn't really offer much to make you smile.

The Guardian also has a bold front. It uses a classic Budget day front page cartoon showing Osborne the slug struggling at the bottom of a beer jug. Nice.

The Times also goes for a cartoon, by the brilliant Peter Brookes, with Osborne proclaiming 'We're on the right track' as he waits helplessly for his fate.

The Independent returns to its Watchmen theme that it used for the autumn statement. Then it had the Chancellor pulling a skeletal rabbit out of the hat. Now he has killed the rabbit and is reaching for the beer bottle. The drink theme - and the Drown your sorrows headline used in The Guardian - is accenuated by Osborne's bulbous red nose. 

Drown your sorrows is also the line in i.

The Scotsman also chooses a cartoon for its front page illustration, portraying the Chancellor as Dandy character and well-known Scot, Desperate Dan.

The Northern Echo is another paper taking to drink with its Small beer verdict.

Meanwhile the Express decides the Budget is all good news for everyone and produces the most ordinary page on a day of otherwise extraordinary pages.

There are clearly some great papers around. Please make sure you buy at least one. 

Thanks to  and @hendopolis

Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Sun goes on the offensive

Well done to The Sun for a fine front page that recognises the importance of what is happening tomorrow. Let's hope MPs see it and come to their senses. I'm not hopeful though ...

Friday, 1 March 2013

The final newsquiz. 13 points to beat

The Mail Online trainees at the Manor in Howden
The Mail Online trainees left Howden today and will begin their six-month placements at regional titles and agencies from Monday. They had three-days with video trainer Andrew Glover and the final two days with Mike Watson and me. We finished with the final newsquiz. It was won this week by Wills Robinson with 13 points. He collected the scratchcard which paid out £20. It wasn't quite enough to catch Kieran Corcoran though. Kieran had the top score for the previous three weeks and finished on a total of 49, 1.5pts ahead of Wills. Well done to them - and good luck to them all. See if you can do better. There are 23 points up for grabs.

Kieran with the Champagne and Wills with his winning scratch card

1. What is the name of the UKIP candidate who came second in the Eastleigh by-election? For a bonus, in which county is Eastleigh? 
2. Daniel Day-Lewis won the best actor Oscar for Lincoln. It was the third time he has won the award. His first was for My Left Foot but for which film did he win his second Oscar? And for a bonus, who tripped up the stairs at the Oscars?
3. Chef Gordon Ramsey has lost the contract to run the restaurant in which London hotel?
4. Chelsea's interim manager Rafa Benitez had a well-publicised pop at the club's owner and fans on Wednesday night after a 2-0 away victory. Who were Chelsea playing?
5. A couple of businesses were sold this week so, for one point each, who bought ESPN and who bought the Republic chain of shops?
6. The BBC apologised after more than 600 viewers complained about a sadistic sex scene in which programme?
7. Which band at the Big Reunion did not have the full original line-up?
8. Independent councillor Colin Brewer, who told a social worker that  'disabled children cost too much and should be put down,' resigned from which council? 
9. Which weather phenomenon forced Beijing residents to stay indoors?  
10. Which diocese did Cardinal Keith O'Brien resign from?
11. Australian billionaire Clive Palmer is planning to build a replica of what?
12. Which charity was Prince Harry working for when he said he hoped his mother would be proud of him?
13.  RBS chief executive Stephen Hester warned there was 'another ________ year ahead for us'. What is the missing word?
14. Why was 48-year-old Michael Rennie in the headlines?
15. One of the Great Train Robbers has died at the age of 81. What was his name?
16. Pope Benedict stood down at last night. By what name will he now be officially known?
17. Clara Oswald, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman, is about to become whose companion? 
18. Which Tory MP has been rebuked by the Commons spending watchdog for sending 'abusive and insulting' messages? 
19. Why are the posh 'Deans Dinners' at Magdalen College, Oxford, under threat? 
20. Harry Hill is to edit which publication for Comic Relief?