SubScribe: Five sex scandals and a pop star on the edge - one clear winner Google+

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Five sex scandals and a pop star on the edge - one clear winner

The trio of ageing stars on trial for alleged sex offences dominate six front pages and make pictures or a puff in three others.

The Mail and the Express have the same idea - but the Mail hammers home its superiority in the execution. The puff is truncated, the pictures more dramatic and the page is not diluted with text. The headline is decidedly iffy - yes vile crimes if they took place, but these trials will not be about offences that are known to have been committed by someone, they will be about whether they happened at all.

The Express cannot be parted from dementia or the tantalising offer of a free cup of tea or coffee at BHS - quaintly described as a 'hot drink', so it has less room to play with. The photographs are squashed and the headings leaden.

Not as leaden, however, as the Times's. Hampered by a huge count and not much to say, it comes up with 'TV entertainers', which doesn't do the job. It conjures up the wrong image: Morecambe and Wise were TV entertainers; DLT is a disc jockey and Roache is a soap actor. The photograph of Rolf Harris - with a convenient blonde just ahead of him - would be good if he were the only one in court yesterday. But it was the fact that three household names were on trial on one day that set this story apart, and that was what needed emphasising (as the Mail does) if it was going to work as a splash in a serious paper.

The Mirror and the Star both focus on the Roach case, which is now getting into the detail of the allegations. Here we can see how much classier the Mirror is than the Star. It opts for themore interesting of the two stories aired in court and finds room for the other two cases as insets above the splash heading. The heads are all good and the page is unencumbered by anything other than a modest puff alongside the titlepiece.

Just as the Express is wedded to its diseases of the elderly, so Celebrity Big Brother is obligatory for its redtop stablemate. At least it had the sense to use a picture of a woman with clothes on - and the splash head is fine.

The Telegraph's triptych points to modest coverage on page 4, and the Independent limits the trials' front-page presence to a puff. The Guardian stays aloof,looking instead at another sex scandal - that of M Hollande across the Channel.

The Sun thought that an out-of-focus picture of Liam of One Direction posing on a ledge 360ft up made the better splash. I'm not sure. 1D are certainly more likely to appeal to its young audience and it deals with the court trio neatly in column one. You can hear the case being argued in the conference room: 'We knew they'd been accused, people are tired of old men and child abuse, this is much fresher.'

The two Indies triumph over everyone , however, by going their own way with an investigation into sex-selection abortions - with far more compelling results. The Independent's heading and scan picture win the day.

1 comment:

  1. l am heartily sick of seeing and hearing about BBC sex scandals and the sooner the trials end and sentences given (if the defendents are found guilty of course) the better. The investigation and coverage in "i" concerning the sex-selection abortions makes frightening and horrifying reading. How far will today's "must have exactly what l want now" society go? It is already beyond the Pale. We can only hope those involved in these abortions are soon brought to book. Maureen Graves