The Media in the Press 19.1.10

Following on from yesterday’s run-in with Sky, broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, has hit the headlines once again…..

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

Strict TV advertising rules that require public service commercial broadcasters to sell all their allotted commercial breaks could be changed after Ofcom, the media watchdog, announced a review of current regulations.

‘Regulator Looks to Ease TV Advert Rules’, says The Daily Telegraph (Business, page 3) while The Times (page 47) runs with the headline, ‘Advertising Reprieve’.

Enforced in 2003, the strict requirements have been condemned by broadcasters for driving down prices. The decision to review the rulebook could boost broadcaster revenues by tens of millions, triggering a positive reaction from those parties who stand to benefit.

“ITV welcomes Ofcom’s proposed review of the advertising sales and scheduling rules and its recognition that further deregulation may be necessary given the substantial changes in the TV sector,” an ITV spokesperson is quoted saying. Fellow PSBs, Channel 4 and Five, could also reap the rewards of regulative change.

Elsewhere, BBC Newsnight presenter – Scot, Kirsty Wark – features in several of today's papers following comments made in an interview yesterday with the Guardian newspaper.

Today’s Herald (page 10) reads ‘Ageism Issue for Women in Media World, says Wark’ with the Scottish presenter saying the problem extends across the entire industry. “I don’t think it is particularly a BBC issue; I think it’s a broadcasting issue. The BBC obviously gets the brunt of it, and rightly so: a public service broadcaster has an extra duty to reflect the country back to itself,” she said.

The Daily Record (page 23), meanwhile, focuses on Wark’s seeming discontent with parts of the press for 'anti-Scottish' comments directed her way, while the Scottish Daily Express (page 9) hones in on the 'south of £500,000' salary the broadcaster is quoted to take home each year.

And finally, British broadcasters have come under fire for the “sensationalist and unduly critical nature” of religious programming shown on today’s television, reports The Guardian (page 5). The Church of England will debate the issue of a decline in religious output next month.

Other media stories:

* As reported on allmediascotland last week, former journalist with Glasgow’s Evening Times, Brian Sykes, has died aged 70 – The Herald (page 16).

* Millions of Freeview users will need to pay upwards of £170 for new equipment if they wish to receive free high definition channels being launched this year – Scottish Daily Mail (page 13).

* The BBC plans to launch a new drama similar to 1990s success story, Our Friends in the North – The Independent (page 16).