For the most part, things that go into newspapers must be fresh, new and not seen anywhere else.
There is, however, an important exception. It’s Sunday. That’s the one day of the week when that strict and sacred rule isn’t worth a half-chewed toffee. You see, on Sundays – the day when Monday’s paper is prepared – recycling is fair game. So anything even slightly interesting that appeared in the Sunday papers will be re-hashed for Monday’s eager newsstands. Theoretically, the stories will be “taken forward”, that is some hot and exciting facet added to the already gripping tale. In reality that’s not always possible.
Sundays – the day of rest for most people – are typified by empty PR offices, people on no-telephone days out with their families and a general inability to get hold of anyone knowledgeable about anything.
Over the years at a couple of papers, I’ve worked on a Saturday for the Sunday edition and then on Sunday for the Monday version of the same organ. It’s a very odd thing to find yourself working on the same story two days in a row – you do try to find a new headline.
But what’s to be done? While newspapers carry on their sorry limp into the internet generation, probably nothing. The problem is Mondays – new week, new beginning – demand a big proper paper chock full of all the information you’ll need for a well-informed successful week, yet Sundays – flabby, stay-at-home-in-your-PJs-and-eat-too-much, snoozy – mean nothing much happens. Business is shut, as is legislation and the wheels of justice. Government offices are silent and even Katie Price is sleeping off her hangover.
So, really, we’ll just have to put up with the Sunday roast disguised with a new sauce on Monday. Either that or we’ll have to make do with stories that come from Big Brother, I’m A Celeb or any programme featuring Simon Cowell.
PS For the purposes of this discussion I’ve ignored the fact that there are actually very few properly new stories and, in fact, only the names and places change.