Outside Edge: News Junkie - Between the lines in last week's media

Elton John gives more of his wealth to charity than any other millionaire in Britain, according to The Sunday Times. The singer donated £22.6m, or 12 per cent, of his £185m fortune to good causes, according to the paper's annual Rich List. But his largesse is the exception rather than the rule: only 23 of the hundreds of the super-rich who responded to the poll said they gave more than 1 per cent of their wealth to charity.

From the top of society to the bottom, and The Guardian reviewed a biography of a homeless man by charity worker Alexander Masters. The author, who worked at the Wintercomfort shelter in Cambridge, led the campaign to release his bosses from prison after they were jailed for permitting heroin dealing on the site. But although that story had a happy ending - Ruth Wyner and John Brock won their freedom after 200 days inside - his book does not. Stuart Shorter, the book's subject, stepped in front of a train shortly before publication.

The Observer claimed medical charities are the targets of 'guerrilla' promotion by drug companies, banned from advertising directly. It said the Depression Alliance receives 80 per cent of its funding from drug companies.

And a cynical view of the charitable impulse in The Times: a correspondent suggested charity wristbands should be inscribed with the message "I give to charity and want others to know".

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