The Media in the Press 12.3.10

MA Journalism student, Matthew Nelson, from Edinburgh Napier University, reviews the media stories making it into today’s newspapers…

The BBC has apparently sent staff on courses on how to use social networking sites – such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo – and it hasn't gone down well with The Scottish Sun (page 33) which headlines its reporting of the story: ‘Beeb Blows Fortune on Facebook Classes’. 

Says the Sun, the day-long classes for its 23,000 workforce cost license fee payers more than £100 a time despite the fact that many staff are already seasoned social networkers. Reporter, Leigh Holmwood, remarks that “the splurge has left many employees furious. Some have even gone on Facebook to blast the idea.” A cruel irony, further compounded in a cheeky sidebar that informs readers, in six easy steps, how to set up their own Facebook account.

While the BBC tries to keep up, another stalwart of British culture have found itself swimming against the tide of the information society. Pink Floyd has successfully outwrestled their record company to ensure that the artistic integrity of their concept albums is protected. A court ruling has banned the sale of individual tracks online, thus preserving their best-selling albums such as Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall as individual entities. The Herald (page 13) hails the ruling, declaring: ‘Pink Floyd Saves the Concept Album’.

Plans by porn film director, Anna Arrowsmith, to stand as a LibDem candidate at the General Election has been picked up in most of today’s papers. The Scotsman runs with the story on page 25, its reporter, Angus Howarth, saying that Arrowsmith “was spurred into standing for the election by the MPs' expenses scandal and a belief that women are under-represented in parliament'. Meanwhile, The Scottish Sun (page 4) can’t resist reeling off some of her film titles, such as ‘Be My Toyboy’ and ‘Hug a Hoodie’. 

Meanwhile, the much-criticised logo for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games finds itself on page 3 of The Herald. The opening par starts: “The panel that decided on the new logo for the 2014 Commonwealth Games was seduced by 'salesman’s talk', one of the UK’s leading designers has said.” Michael Wolff, the man behind the Labour Party's rose emblem, criticised the logo itself and the design selection procedure. However, Mark Noe – the managing director of the Glasgow-based branding agency, Marque, behind the logo – has defended it, saying that it is “really rooted in integrity”. 

Apparently, the series of circles that appear in the logo are fractions that represent key numerical information pertaining to the games – the number of competitions held, the days the competition lasts for. 

Finally, the media are preparing themselves for the impact of what The Scotsman has called the 'Sam Missile'. The projectile in question is David Cameron’s wife, Samantha. The Scotsman (page 8) reports that Mrs Cameron is set to be unleashed on the British public in an interview with Sir Trevor McDonald which is to be aired on ITV this Sunday. Reporter, Martyn McLaughlin, notes that the interview will mark the first time that Mrs Cameron has spoken publicly. Political analyst, Jo-Anne Nadler, plays up the importance of the move saying that Mrs Cameron is “the only Conservative woman to have achieved the elusive status of being fashionable”. Nadler goes on to say that Mrs Cameron “embodies the values Conservative modernisers would like voters to associate with their rebranded party”.

Other media news:

* Thousands of mourners congregate at Murrayfield rugby stadium in Edinburgh, to mourn the loss of 'the voice of rugby', Bill McLaren – The Scotsman, page 3.

* Comedian, Harry Hill, has netted a new, two-year deal with ITV. Hill will continue to make favourites such as TV Burp and You’ve Been Framed, as well as new projects.