There is one thing you can be sure about if you bothered to read all or most of those thousands upon thousands of words in your newspaper this morning about the formal beginning of the federal election campaign. You were one of a very small minority of Australians.

For most of the people who will vote on 24 November the daily words written by journalists and uttered on radio and television by pundits and politicians are a crashing bore. Certainly the vast majority of people prone to change their mind about how they vote will do nothing more than glance at a headline, or more likely a picture, and listen to a phrase or two before turning the page or tuning out.

Researchers for political parties are well aware of the problem of getting through to swinging voters. They confront the boredom that ordinary people have with politics in their daily focus groups as they search for a way of cutting through the disinterest.

The internet provides us all with an easy way of grasping the point. Unlike newspaper editors who have no exact measure of the extent to which so many of their pages are irrelevant, websites can measure exactly what on their sites is read.

In order to provide a reality check to those of us who look for significance in every single remark by a politician, we will therefore be publishing at regular intervals during this campaign the Crikey Reality Check listing the most popular stories of the day.

This morning’s summary:

The West Australian Sydney Morning Herald
1. One man dead, three survive boating tragedy 1. Gore gets a cold shoulder
2. Call to return Inconvenient Truth Oscar 2. The bare facts about ‘naked DSL’
3. Record $23m for Claremont mansion 3. NZ women most promiscuous: survey
4. Three die on WA roads overnight 4. Gore sees no hope of beating Clinton
5. New underground stations open today 5. More human bones found at Kurnell building site
ABC Advertiser
* PM announces November 24 poll 1. Rucci picks Crows 2008 team
* Bus crashes into Brisbane retirement village 2. Battle for future
* Election campaign begins in earnest 3. ‘Nothing’ can stop stand in park
* Exclusive Brethren ‘smuggling campaign cash’ into Aus 4. Delta’s lucky punt
* Election about Australia’s future: Rudd 5. Rundle Mall gun alert
Sydney Telegraph Melbourne Herald Sun
1. The Right Brain vs Left Brain 1. Right Brain v Left Brain
2. Lleyton’s bodybuilding sister 2. Wooley’s wobbly
3. Stuart fumes at ‘cheap shot’ 3. Gore under attack
4. Tozzi in a cossie looks the part 4. Hewitt bulks up
5. Lohan blows $8m on grog, drugs 5. Bulldogs bypass Whitnall The Age
1. Maddie footprint clues emerge 1. The bare facts about ‘naked DSL’
2. Mums stick with swapped babies 2. ‘Right’ leadership v ‘new’ leadership
3. Hugh Grant in drunken romp with… 3. Series revenge for Symonds
4. Jaslyn muscles in 4. A foreigner in his own kingdom
5. Lindsay Lohan down and out 5. Libs bid to bury ‘worm’ for TV debate
The Australian Courier Mail
1. Contrasting styles with substance 1. Rudd in trouble in Queensland
2. It’s new leader vs right leader 2. Left Brain v Right Brain Test
3. Staff ‘not quizzed on rape’ 3. Gore’s climate theory savaged
4. Israelis targeted Syrian reactor 4. Doctor cleared over complaints
5. Poll date launches intense campaign 5. Rudd’s home-state battle

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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