The Media in the Press 16.2.10

Second-year journalism student, Aleksandra Jurczak, at Edinburgh Napier University, takes a look at the media stories making it into today’s newspapers….

The Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, gets a thorough airing across many of today's newspapers.

The Independent (page 43) suggests Apple’s domination of the mobile phone application market is under threat from a team of 24 telecoms operators who have formed the Wholesale Applications Community. 

The alliance, including such brands as Vodafone, T-Mobile and O2, is expected to bring the next generation of applications to three billion mobile phone users around the world. The move is to be supported by the world’s largest device manufacturers: LG Electronics, Samsung and Sony Ericsson. Geoff Blaber, director of devices and software platforms for research group CCS Insight, is quoted saying: “In the mobile industry there are many different standards, and this is looking to bring them all together. The motivation is to bring some consistency to the industry by creating one development platform.”

The Times (page 51), meanwhile, reports that Vodafone has used the Congress to launch what is claimed to be the cheapest mobile handset in the world. Priced at less than £10, the handsets are aimed at customers in emerging markets like India, Turkey and Africa and will offer basic voice and text services.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is hoping to win the mobile phone market with the release of its new software, Windows Phone Series 7, aimed at 'smartphones' and focusing on giving users easy access to social networking, music, video and mobile phone applications, reports The Guardian (page 27). The first phones using the new software are not to be expected until the end of the year. The presentation at the Congress came simultaneously with the announcement of a competitive tie-up between the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer, Nokia, and chipmaker, Intel, to create a free software platform, MeeGo, which would lead to a new generation of wireless communication devices.

In other media news:

* BBC Trust, the broadcaster’s governing body and representative of the licence fee payer, has said there is a need for “more varied and challenging selection of programmes” on BBC Radio 2 for the station to win back its older listeners. Research has shown the number of 16-34 year-olds who are tuning into the station has risen 62 per cent since 1999 – The Independent (page 4), The Times (page 4).

* The Guardian newspaper (page 1) is speculating that the News of the World might be about to strike an out-of-court settlement with celebrities PR, Max Clifford, regarding alleged illegal information-gathering via phone tapping. Says the Guardian: “The Clifford case threatened to bring important new material into the public domain. Two weeks ago, his lawyers won a court order for the disclosure of material which, the high court was told, would reveal widespread crime at the paper during Coulson's time there. Today, however, there were signs at the high court that the case is being stalled or dropped.”

* Head of the RAF, Sir Stephen Dalton, is reported saying that armed forces should engage in 21st-century 'cyber warfare' by using YouTube and Twitter. He highlighted the use of the internet by the Israeli Air Force during last year’s conflict in Gaza involving propaganda through Twitter and a ‘’ blog, as well as targeting strategic communications and defence systems. “The exponential growth in the availability of information means that we must understand how to deliver and protect our national interests in the cyber domain”, Sir Dalton is quoted saying – The Independent (page 8).

And finally, veteran film director and restaurant critic, Michael Winner, is reported to have broken down in tears on TV whilst filming his new show, Michael Winner’s Dining Stars. Says The Herald (page 3), a story of a Lancashire woman with two severely sick children, which is to be broadcast in the new ITV1 show next week, hit him “very strongly suddenly”. 

The Herald goes on to say he is the latest male celebrity to be caught on TV crying, following Alistair Campbell; singer, Peter Andre; and PM, Gordon Brown. In the meantime, the Prime Minister denies speaking about the death of his newborn daughter on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories to grab votes in the forthcoming General Election. The PM is quoted, saying: “I think that people have a right to know who you are, what you stand for, where you come from and what you are trying to achieve.”