The Media in the Press 23.2.10

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.

With all of today’s papers delving into a debate over the Prime Minister’s character, the media has well and truly slipped onto the backburner. There are, however, still a few stories worth mentioning…

Broadcasting regulator Ofcom has cleared Dancing on Ice judge, Jason Gardiner, over comments made to a contestant, the Daily Record reports (page 19).

More than 400 viewers complained to the watchdog after the TV judge told Olympic swimmer, Sharron Davies, her performance was “like watching faecal matter that won’t flush”.

Ofcom concluded that Gardiner’s outburst was “unusual” and “potentially offensive” but within the rules.

Today’s Scottish Daily Mail (page 19) says that Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Carlile, has called for talks with the BBC concerning the broadcaster’s reporting of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

“His demand for talks with BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons and Director General, Mark Thompson,  follows complaints from MPs over coverage that some say has amounted to a campaign in favour of allowing people to kill desperately sick relatives,” reads the Mail.

Lord Carlile is chair of the Care Not Killing Alliance and the Government’s independent reviewer of terror legislation.

Elsewhere, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has called for warning symbols to accompany digitally-enhanced photographs as part of an effort to tackle eating disorders. Under the headline, ‘Psychiatrists Call for Media to Help in Fight Against Eating Disorders’, The Scotsman (page 9) reports the college’s proposal that advertisers and publishers adopt a 'kitemark' to alert readers to airbrushed images.

Says Dr Adrienne Key, a consulting psychiatrist, in today’s Daily Telegraph (page 9): “There is a growing body of research that shows the media plays a part in the development of eating disorder symptoms – particularly in adolescents and young people.”

Meanwhile, comic, Frank Skinner, will return to the BBC to lead a new series called Frank Skinner’s Opinionated. Skinner will scrutinise news issues from “his own unique perspective” in his first BBC2 show since Fantasy Football in the 1990s, the Daily Record (page 11), The Herald (page 2) and The Scotsman (page 27) reveal.

And Sky and Ofcom have come to blows once again after the regulator ruled that the company had breached broadcasting regulations over sponsorship of The Simpsons, The Guardian (page 24) reports.

And finally, a renewable energy development firm is to sub-let the third floor of STV’s Pacific Quay office block. Says Tom Durham, the broadcaster’s head of facilities, in today’s Scotsman (Business, page 3): “This high-quality space is surplus to our occupational requirements and it made good financial sense to go down the route of sub-letting.”