The Media in the Press 8.12.09

With this year’s death toll in Afghanistan reaching 100 and the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit underway, the media has fallen a few notches down the press pecking order. There are, however, still a few tales to be told…

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…

As reported yesterday, in allmediascotland's review of the media stories in the press, the BBC may soon require to publish the salaries of its top talent, under government plans to 'name and shame' those earning excessive public sector salaries.

It follows yesterday's call by Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, for public sector bodies, “including publicly-funded media”, to disclose details of those earning more than £150,000 a year in a bid to curb a “culture of excess”.

Says the Guardian, page 4: “Publicly funded bodies such as the BBC Trust will be urged to publish the salaries of some of their on-screen talent, such as Jonathan Ross and Jeremy Paxman.”

Under the headline, ‘Ross and Paxman Pay May go Public’, The Sun (page 6) reports Bill Cockburn, the chair of the Senior Salaries Review Body, who is conducting the inquiry into senior public sector pay, will have the final say on whether the Beeb be fully transparent.

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 6) carries the story also, while The Times (page 24) claims 105 senior managers – paid more than £150,000 by the Corporation – would be named under the proposals. 

The BBC has so far named 80 staff who earn more than £150,000. However, the newspaper understands 25 more, excluding on-screen talent and employees of BBC Worldwide, have yet to be revealed. “It has resisted calls so far to name the remaining 25, claiming that they do not have enough responsibility to warrant being identified,” The Times says.

In other media news, ZenithOptimedia, the media group owned by French advertising group, Publicis, claims spending on adverts will rise next year. Despite warning global advertising expenditure had suffered an “unprecedented” downturn due to the recession, the group says that signs of recovery will be visible from next year onwards. The group also predicts the internet will overtake newspapers as the second-largest advertising medium by 2015 (The Daily Telegraph – Business, page B5).

Meanwhile, ITV has apologised after a rat was allegedly killed and cooked during an episode of I’m A Celebrity – Get Me Out of Here! “ITV apologises for this error, and to the celebrities, and will put in place procedures for next year’s series to ensure that this cannot happen again,” an ITV spokesman says in today’s Herald (page 8).

Elsewhere, Ofcom, the media watchdog, has been busy rapping the knuckles of radio and television broadcasters. The Big Top 40 Show, which airs on more than 140 commercial radio stations, has come under fire for the number of on-air references to iTunes (The Scotsman, page 6), while – as reported yesterday by allmediascotland – STV faced criticism after the channel’s Business Briefing programme was found to be in breach of the Broadcasting Code (The Scotsman – Business, page 2).

And the Daily Telegraph (Sport – page S8) reveals Scottish Premier League managers could face punishment for refusing to speak to the media. Read the full story here on allmediascotland.

Other media stories:

* Former Sun reporter, George Lynn, has died, aged 84 – The Sun (page 16).

* Scotsman publishers, Johnston Press, which owns more than 300 local newspapers, has named Geoff Iddison as a non-executive director of the company -– The Scotsman (Business, page 2).

* The Daily Telegraph will be recognised today after it was voted Best National Newspaper in the Plain English Campaign awards – The Daily Telegraph (page 2).

* Daily Record columnist, John McKie, condemns the rise or reality television during the 21st century. “Is it too much to ask that by 2020 talent will be back in fashion?” he asks – Daily Record (page 13).