The Media in the Press 13.1.10

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

In a quiet day for media news, the X Factor has reared its ugly head once more and is going stateside…

Simon Cowell revealed one of 'the worst kept secrets in showbiz' yesterday by announcing that he will leave American Idol at the end of its ninth season and will launch the X Factor in the USA in a £100 million pound deal with network bosses. Both the Herald (page 11) and the Daily Record (page 3) report that Cowell will serve as both executive producer and judge on the new show which will be screened by TV network, Fox, next year.

The Daily Star have been forced to pay undisclosed damages to socialite and television presenter, Peaches Geldof, over their front page headline claiming she was a prostitute. The Herald (page 11) and the Independent (page 22) both report on the Daily Star having to pay Ms Geldof a ‘substantial sum’ by way of damages and legal costs after court proceeding were brought over a September 2008 article which claimed that she charged £5000 pounds a night for sexual services.

Meanwhile, BBC Radio 1 has been criticised after senior BNP members said that the footballer Ashley Cole was “not ethnically British”. The Daily Telegraph (page 2) report that the interview, which was broadcast in October, has been slammed by the Corporation’s complaints unit for not sufficiently challenging the men. Radio 1 also attracted criticism for allowing the men to remain anonymous, instead of indentifying them as the party’s publicity director, Mark Collett, and Joseph Barber, who runs the BNP record label.

In world media news, political leaders have expressed their shock after Cyprus’s most powerful media mogul was murdered. The Independent reports that Andy Hadjicostis, the director of the Dias publishing group, was fatally shot on Monday night. Police are investigating allegations that it was a possible contract killing and there are worries that the killing will cause insecurity on the war-divided island (page 28).

And finally, The independent has reported on a row erupting over the future of a American late night television. Under the heading, ‘Presenter Gives a New Twist to ‘Tonight’ Saga’, the paper (page 32) reports Tonight Show host, Conan O’Brien – and his public rejection of plans by employer, NBC, to move the show to a 'graveyard slot' – saying that he “refuses to participate in the 'destruction' of one of America’s most prestigious TV programmes”. 

NBC wants to rearrange its schedule to accommodate another show – hosted by O’Brien’s predecessor, Jay Leno – which has been losing viewers in its current prime time position. There is also increasing speculation that O’Brien may resign and move to Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Network.