The Media in the Press 4.11.09

The BBC’s independence will be under threat if the Conservatives come to power, the culture secretary, Ben Bradshaw, has warned….

Second-year Journalism student, Alan Robertson, of Strathclyde University, takes a look at the media stories making it into the pages of today’s papers….

The Guardian covers Bradshaw's address to the Labour pressure group, Progress, in which he claims that the Tory pledge “to tear up the multi-annual charter and licence fee represents an unprecedented assault on the BBC’s independence that no previous government, not even Margaret Thatcher, contemplated.” Bradshaw also argues that the commercial interests of Rupert Murdoch’s News International dictated David Cameron’s media policy, while calls for an end to impartiality in broadcast news “would pave the way for a UK version of Fox News” (page 17).

Meanwhile, the digital switchover will get underway today, The Scotsman reports. Seven million viewers will take part in the switch, with analogue BBC2 the first to be turned off (page 6).

Also in The Scotsman, columnist, Gerry Hassan, despairs the growing link between self and social networking (page 31). The danger of becoming too self-involved with such sites, Hassan argues, is that people begin to define themselves on the approval of others.

“Now we are all encouraged to have lives filled with imaginary friends, and to judge our worth by how many we have and to avoid the pitfalls of appearing electronically friendless,” he writes.

Today’s Scottish Daily Mail claims Chris Moyles will leave his Radio One breakfast show next year due to falling listening figures (page 9). Under the headline, ‘Moyles faces axe from Radio 1’, the paper states that Vernon Kay is the favourite to take up the morning slot after nearly 700,000 listeners deserted Moyles between July and September. However, a spokesperson for Radio One denies the claim, saying: “There is absolutely no truth in this.”

And talking of the BBC, 50 complaints have been received for broadcasting offensive comments about the Queen on Have I Got News For You. The latest instalment of the comedy quiz show featured guest host, Miranda Hart, describing the monarch and her husband as ‘that Greek twit and his Kraut wife’ (Scottish Daily Mail, page 27).

Other media stories:

* Independent News and Media has defeated an effort to remove two of its most senior figures – The Guardian (page 31).

* Google has released a list of 140 questions that will be asked by the company at job interviews – The Daily Telegraph (page 24).

* A drunken man got more than he bargained for after confronting a television reporter with a black belt in karate – The Daily Telegraph (page 17).

* Radio, television and film producer and scriptwriter, Harry Alan Towers, has died at the age of 88 – The Independent (page 35).