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12:28pm on Saturday, 26th November, 2005:

Best Coverage


1960s footballing playboy George Best died yesterday. It was on the front page of The Independent.

It was also on pages 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 61, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79 and 80, plus it occupied a column of the letters page (38) and was the lead editorial (page 40). In addition to this, there was a formal two-page obituary, too (44-45). All in all, his death took up over a fifth of the newspaper, and very nearly a quarter.

His impending death took up the first 5 pages of yesterday's Independent, along with a special 8-page pull-out.

What the blazes is going on here? It was George Best who died, not The Queen!

When Elvis Presley died, his death was on the front page of the Daily Mirror for three weeks. The Princess of Wales managed to achieve something similar. The Independent is not, however, the Daily Mirror, and George Best was neither Elvis nor Diana.

Was The Independent's switch to tabloid size a statement of its intention to switch to tabloid values?

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Copyright © 2005 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).