The Media in the Press 16.3.10

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 has once again come into the sights of The Scottish Sun, this time over its coverage of the upcoming World Cup Finals in South Africa.

Says the Sun (page 15), up to £1 million of license fee payers’ money could be spent on putting up 84 of the Corporation’s staff in a 'luxury' Cape Town hotel during this year’s World Cup finals. Accompanying reporter Nick Parker’s 'We’ll Cop £1m BBC Hotel Bills' exclusive is, of course, a highly condemnatory editorial (page 6) which remarks that “if there was a World Cup for abusing public money, the BBC would win every time”. Aside from blasting the broadcaster, the top-selling tabloid manages to sneak in a less than subtle political point of view. “The BBC get away with this because it toadies to Labour”, it says, adding: “It might not find the Tories such a soft touch.”

Today’s Herald (page 3) reports television presenters, Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer, are set to launch their own Glasgow-based independent TV production company. Having spent 10 years at IWC Media, the duo – known best for Channel 4’s property programme, Location Location Location – has opted to launch a rival production house, Raise the Roof. The pair are quoted, saying: “Raise The Roof is a fantastic new venture for us and we’re looking forward to developing new programmes with local production talent.”

Former BBC war correspondent, Kate Adie, has denounced an alleged decline of serious news coverage, the Scottish Daily Express (page 8) reports. Speaking at the Emirates Airline Literature Festival in Dubai, Adie is quoted, saying: “Why are all the women in TV news the way they are? It is the insistence on the young, the fluffy. It is becoming more showbizzy, to be perfectly honest.”

Under the headline, 'This Morning’s Love Lessons Turn off the Viewers', the Scottish Daily Mail (page 19) reports that “scores of viewers”  are said to have complained about a special 'sex week' on ITV's This Morning programme. Says Vivienne Pattison, director of Media Watch UK: “Lots of people were offended. This was broadcast well before the watershed and when young children are likely to be watching. It is not appropriate. ITV have crossed a line here.”

Other media stories:

* Real Radio Football Phone-in host, Ewen Cameron, speaks about the recent loss of his father to lung cancer – The Scottish Sun (page 24-25).

* Lord Mandleson’s Digital Economy Bill, aimed at combating web piracy, has passed through the House of Lords – The Scotsman (page 17).

* The Daily Telegraph’s commentator on broadcasting, Gillian Reynolds, condemns the BBC’s “monstrous downgrading of radio drama” – The Daily Telegraph (page 30).

* Comedian, newspaper columnist and TV and radio broadcaster, Tam Cowan, is reported to have hurled a “vile insult” at a Father Gerry Magee while speaking at a sportsman’s dinner. The matter is said to be now in the hands of the police – The Scottish Sun, pages 1 and 7.

* News Corporation could earn up to $400 million from the Oscar-winning Avatar – The Daily Telegraph (Business, page 1).