The Media in the Press 17.2.10

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

Media news is in short supply today as people are still getting over the shock of Lady Ga Ga’s doily dress at the Brits last night but there were a few stories that caught my eye….

The majority of today’s dailies cover revelations made by BBC presenter, Ray Gosling, that he carried out a mercy killing on a former lover who was suffering from Aids. Gosling told viewers of the Inside Out programme that he had smothered the man, who he refuses to name, with the tacit consent of a doctor after the two men made a pact. Detectives from Nottinghamshire homicide unit have now launched an investigation into the claims and have interviewed staff involved in the production of BBC East Midlands Inside Out programme.

The BBC said it would be “co-operating fully” with a police investigation (The Scotsman, page 15) but has been criticised by anti-euthanasia groups for not referring the case to police earlier, despite having known about the programme for two months.

The Herald (page 8), meanwhile, reports the launch of a new online streaming service which will bring programmes from BBC, Channel 4 and Five together on the one site. SeeSaw went live with more than 3000 hours of content from the three channels as well as independent production companies. At the moment, the service is currently free and funded by adverts, but SeeSaw plans to introduce a pay model for high profile US dramas.

In other media news, Working Title Films, the UK production company behind box office hits including Atonement, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Shaun of the Dead is to launch a new TV division. WTTV is a joint venture with NBC Universal International which will be based in London and Los Angeles. WTTV’S first US commission is a romantic comedy, Love Bites, which was created by executive producer Cindy Chupack – The Guardian, page 27.

Sony Ericsson has breached advertising rules during the launch of a new mobile phone which ‘exaggerated’ its ability to use Facebook, a watchdog has ruled (The Herald, page 4). The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the TV ad was misleading as it showed a woman using the Satio phone to take pictures and showed several applications, including Facebook, but a viewer complained after buying the phone and finding that the Facebook application was incompatible with the handset. Sony Ericsson said the software problems were to blame for the phone not running the application.

And finally, have you ever fancied having a kitty casserole? Well, an Italian chef has been indefinitely suspended from the country’s version of Ready Steady Cook for recommending stewed cat to viewers. RAI, the public broadcasting network dropped Beppe Bigazzi after their switchboard was inundated with complaints from animal rights protestors. Bigazzi said that the casserole of cat was a famous dish in his home region of Valdarno, Tuscany, and that it was “Better than chicken, rabbit or pigeon.” The deputy health minister has also called for the producers to be investigated involving incitement to mistreat animals – The Times, page 40.