The Media in the Press 17.11.09

At least both the BBC and STV get it 'in the neck' from The Herald, the newspaper that is more prominent than most in today reporting tales about the media….

allmediascotland takes a peek at what's making the headlines….

Indeed, The Herald devotes its splash to the BBC. The Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 is going to cost £81 million more than originally expected – with the Scottish Government stepping in to provide the lion's share of the shortfall – and the First Minister, Alex Salmond, is saying the BBC is largely to blame. 

The BBC seems reluctant to pay more, or even the same, as it did to broadcast the Commonwealth Games when they were held in Manchester seven years ago – said to be £20 million. Meanwhile, the cost to the 2014 Games organisers of building the TV broadcasting infrastructure – not least because of technological developments, eg the 'Red button' service on people's televisions, offering a menu of events being televised simultaneously – is expected to be much more.

The story gets an airing too in the Scottish Sun (page 2), the Scottish Daily Express (page 17) and The Scotsman (page nine). The Herald also devotes some of its leader column to the matter. 

And so, on to The Herald and STV – a recently recurring item. This time, columnist, Teddy Jamieson, bemoans the 'Tunnock's Tea Cakes telly' that he says makes up most of the home-grown output that is becoming an increasing part of STV's programming, as it opts out, more and more, from the ITV network. 

He doesn't stop there. With the Glasgow broadcaster having recently published a poll of its top 50 programmes, Jamieson's take on Wheel of Fortune, Scottish Passport and various others making it onto the list, is to fume: “What a sorry, shallow reflection of the station's lack of ambition.”

The Herald also weighs in (page 5) with a claim made by BBC Newsnight presenter, Jeremy Paxman, that the ratings success of University Challenge 'proves' TV need not dumb down. 

But it is to a column in The Scotsman (page 33) that we now turn to; not quite media, but film (which allmediascotland used to occasionally report). Brian Pendreigh writes persuasively of film funders, Scottish Screen, having no cash and almost limping, bedraggled into a 'marriage' with the Scottish Arts Council, to become part of Creative Scotland – which no-one seems to want.

And back to the BBC. Says the Scottish Daily Mail (page 2), should the Tories be elected as the UK government at the next General Election, they may force the BBC to pull the plug on BBC Alba – the Gaelic language digital TV channel – on the grounds that the cost of running it is not being justified by the number of people tuning in.

Other media news:

* Good ratings for ITV from X Factor and I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! – Scottish Daily Express, page 9.

* Feature on BBC motoring programme, Top Gear – Scottish Daily Mail, pp 22 and 23.