The Media in the Press 2.4.10

MA journalism student, Matthew Nelson, of Edinburgh Napier University, takes a look at the media stories making the headlines today…

BBC director, Robert Johnston, is reported apologising for attempting to disguise big salaries. Johnston had planned to tweak the way the BBC publishes wage figures so that it would be less clear how many staff earn over £100,000.

The Scotsman (page 16) picks up the story, reporter Vicky Shaw saying Johnston had made “attempts to fudge figures showing the public how many members of staff earn more than £100,000”. A remorseful Johnston is quoted, saying: “I apologise if I called into question the BBC’s commitment to openness and transparency.”

Further commitment to openness and transparency is demonstrated by STV’s weathergirl, Jean Johansson: she is appears in the Daily Record (page 22) today minus the majority of her clothes.

It’s not stated whether or not the motivation to shed her business attire was fuelled by possible uncertainty at STV after it lost out to a newspaper consortium in a bid to run a publicly-funded news pilot on channel 3 in Scotland. A change in career does look to be on the cards for Johansson though, reporter Samantha Booth saying, “when not predicting the weather, she can be found at the University of the West of Scotland studying broadcast journalism”.

Meanwhile, BBC five live presenter, Nicky Campbell, has stirred up controversy for using foul language in a live broadcast. The Scottish Sun picks up the story on page 41 and can’t resist the profanity appearing in the headline, ‘Nicky C***bell’.

Campbell dropped the clanger while introducing pro fox-hunting group, Country Alliance, saying they were an “organisation which is of course pro-c***ing, er, hunting”. The Scot has since apologised, but sceptical observers may doubt the sincerity of this reparation given that Campbell is reported to have twice previously made the same mistake. The previous errors came while interviewing the master of West Kent Hunt.

The hazards of working with children and animals are often noted; perhaps channel Five presenter, Minnie Stephenson, will be campaigning to have rock stars added to the list. While filming a live interview with The Libertines, for Live From Studio Five, singer Pete Doherty spat beer at Stephenson.

The Scottish Sun picks up the story on page 3, the melodramatic headline declaring, ‘Doherty Spit Fury’. An unfazed Stephenson is quoted, saying: “A boy in a band is not going to throw me.”

The unlikely headline, ‘Wind, Rain, Snow and the Smell of Rhino Droppings’, announces the arrival of Scotland’s first 4D cinema (the Herald, page 4). The theatre has been added to the Our Dynamic Earth centre, in Edinburgh, at a cost of £700,000. After witnessing the first screening, an awestruck Phil Miller writes: “4D elements include seats that shake and move as the journey proceeds, special effects such as falling snow inside the auditorium when you are in the mountains, rushing wind while you are flying … and a grumpy rhino that tries to attack your flying vehicle in Africa.”

The venue opens today and is slated to host events in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Film Festival.