The Media in the Press 23.3.10

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…

Today’s newspapers are bursting with tributes to Harry Carpenter, the BBC’s Voice of Boxing, who has died in hospital aged 84.

The legendary commentator spent nearly 50 years at the Corporation, becoming a firm favourite in both broadcasting and boxing circles.

Writes Simon Barnes in today’s Times (page 7): “Television no longer has the monolithic nature of the great days of the BBC, and no one person will ever again be the voice of anything.”

The broadcaster’s former chief golf commentator, Peter Alliss, pays tribute to “one of the nicest, most professional men you could ever imagine” in the Scottish Daily Mail (page 13). “His death aged 84 at the weekend robs us of one of the icons in the world of television presenting – and means I have lost a very dear friend,” adds Alliss.

Meanwhile, Chris Green delivers a poignant reminder in today’s Independent (page 24), writing that “champions might come and go, but the undisputed voice of boxing was Harry Carpenter”.

Similarly, the Daily Telegraph’s chief sports writer, Kevin Garside, comments that “Carpenter was a boxing hall of famer who never threw a punch” (Sport, page 9).

Carpenter may be remembered by most for his double act with Frank Bruno, following the world heavyweight champion’s catchphrase, “Know what I mean, ‘Arry”.

And boxer Bruno, 48, was left devastated by the news of the commentator’s passing. “I am so sad. There will never be another like him,” says the boxer in the Scottish Sun (page 15).

Bruno’s sentiment was shared by several other boxing greats with Sir Henry Cooper quoted in the Daily Record (page 17), saying: “I knew him for more than 50 years. He was a lovely man and he knew the game.”

Today’s Scotsman, meanwhile, carries a quote from George Foreman on its back page. “We were all accustomed to boxing people bustling in but Harry was a real classy human being,” he is quoted, saying.

In other media news, GMTV broke broadcasting rules by promoting money-saving expert Martin Lewis’ website, TV watchdog, Ofcom, has ruled.

The broadcasting regulator upheld a complaint against the programme for its reference to Lewis’ on its website. Viewers trying to download a free gym pass from GMTV’s web page were redirected to the third party website, leading Ofcom to say the link breached editorial impartiality rules.

Says the regulator in both the Daily Record (page 7) and the Herald (page 5): “Irrespective of whether or not the site generated revenue as a result of the deals promoted within the programme, Ofcom considers that this third party website is nevertheless a commercial business.”

Elsewhere, Project Canvas, the joint venture involving the BBC, ITV and BT that aims to deliver web-connected television programming to digital viewers, will be investigated by the Office of Fair Trading, The Times reports (page 41).

The OFT said it would examine whether the proposals constituted a merger and whether that would lead to less competition. Virgin Media and BSkyB have already voiced their opposition to the plans on the grounds that a single platform would restrict consumer choice.

Times Newspapers Limited, publisher of The Times and The Sunday Times, lost £87.9 million in the year to June 28 2009 as a result of dwindling advertising revenues, the Daily Telegraph (Business, page 5) reports. The drop resulted in a £4.5 million pre-tax deficit for Rupert Murdoch’s entire British newspaper holdings, writes Rupert Neate.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s world affairs editor, John Simpson, says in today’s Indy (page 18) that 'ageism' at the Corporation is not restricted to just women.

Other media stories:

* ITV1 will broadcast England’s first two World Cup games in South Africa this summer – The Scottish Sun (page 9).

* BBC3 controller, Danny Cohen, has defended the use of celebrities to present hard-hitting documentaries as a means to engage younger viewers – The Daily Telegraph (page 14).

* Actor Philip Glenister has criticised reality TV shows such as X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent for “bullying disguised as entertainment” – The Herald (page 5), Daily Record (page 3).

* Internet giant Google has shut down its search service in China as part of a dispute over censorship – The Guardian (page 1), The Times (page 49), The Independent (page 30).

* The European Union has warned Iran to stop jamming western TV channels or face punitive measures – The Scotsman (page 28).