The Media in the Press 9.2.10

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 BBC features on several pages of today’s press ahead of an announcement that the Corporation spends £229 million each year on artists, presenters, journalists and contributors.

Figures published today will also reveal that the broadcaster’s 'top talent', including the likes of Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton, are paid £70 million in total. Individual salaries will, however, remain secret.

Under the headline, ‘BBC Pays Actors and Presenters £230m’, the Scottish Daily Mail (page 7) reveals the true total could be as much as £290 million due to a failure to include deals overseen by independent productions companies working for the BBC.

The Scottish Sun (page 2) includes details of today’s disclosure also, while The Times quotes a BBC insider who says: “We have been consistent in that we want to drive down the cost of talent. These figures will show that around 6.5 per cent of the license fee goes to our talent, which is less than many people would expect.”

Staying with the Corporation and today’s Herald (page 9) contains a call from the chair of the BBC Trust for an end to “excessive salaries”. “The BBC needs to be more confident that people will accept the most extraordinary discount to come and work for it,” Sir Michael Lyons said yesterday.

In other media news, Hollywood stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Julie are suing the News of the World over claims that the couple were set to split, the Guardian (page 5) reports. The story, which featured in the Sunday tabloid last month, has been labelled as “false and intrusive” by the law firm representing the pair.

The Daily Mirror and Daily Record invaded the privacy of Dannii Minogue by reporting that she was pregnant prior to her 12-week scan, the press watchdog, the Press Complaints Commission, has ruled. While both papers argued the news was in the public domain because another newspaper and website had already written about it, the PCC upheld the X Factor host’s complaint and said the article constituted “a regrettable lapse in editorial judgement” (Daily Record, page 3).

And several of today’s papers carry the news that ITV has been fined for animal cruelty by an Australian court after two contestants on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! killed and ate a rat. The Scotsman (page 13) quotes a spokesperson for ITV who said the incident was an “oversight” and that the broadcaster is “putting in place a comprehensive training programme to ensure that this does not happen in future series”. The ruling also appears in The Scottish Sun (page 28), the Daily Record (page 11), The Scotsman (page 13), The Times (page 16), The Independent (page 13) and The Herald (page 11).

Other media stories:

* The BBC has agreed to reveal license fee-funding payments to some of its leading sports presenters to a House of Commons spending watchdog – but not to the public – The Scotsman, page 6.

* BSkyB has sold 10.4 per cent of its 17.9 per cent stake in ITV after a court ruling ordered the broadcaster to reduce its shares in the company – The Daily Telegraph (Business, page 1), The Times (page 36), The Guardian (page 28).

* Fife local newspaper group, Dunfermline Press, has suffered a 35 per cent drop in profits, falling from £5.4 million to £3.5 million last year – The Herald, page 27.

* Two German newspapers have erected online 'paywalls' ahead of The Times’