The Media in the Press 13.4.10

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….

Turning away from the mountain of manifesto promises pored over in today’s press, there are a few other stories worth mentioning.

Among them, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has backed calls to save BBC radio station, 6 Music, the Guardian (page 4) reports.

In an interview with Radio Times, the Labour leader endorsed the campaign, saying: “[I] think, personally, that the BBC should not have succumbed to pressure to cut certain things – but they have.” Asked if he supported efforts to save 6 Music, Brown added: “Yes because it’s the next stage you worry about. The Conservatives have said that they’ll hive off Radio 1.”

Staying with the Corporation, and Mark Damazer has quit as Controller of Radio 4, to become head of an Oxford college.

Says the Independent (page 3): “The move has been interpreted in some quarters as the latest example of a wider exodus of senior BBC executives in the wake of new pension rules that dramatically reduces employee entitlements.”

Damazer has spent almost six years leading the news and current affairs station and will “be a hard act for the BBC to follow”, comments media editor, Ian Burrell.

He will become Master of St. Peter’s College in Oxford as of this October and is quoted in today’s Indy, saying that he is “leaving behind a network which is passionately sustained and supported”.

Meanwhile, broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, has criticized Radio 5 live after US rock group, Rage Against the Machine, swore four times on the breakfast show, several of today’s papers report.

‘BBC Rap for Rage Swearing’, says The Scottish Sun (page 3), while The Scotsman (page 8) adds: “Ofcom said apologies given by the BBC and the preventative measures it had taken meant the issue had been resolved.”

Another BBC tale and the Corporation’s hopes of having party leaders sit down for a half-hour interview with Jeremy Paxman in the run-up to next month’s General Election were dealt a lift yesterday, as Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, took part in the grueling one-on-one.

Reads The Times (page 10): “Last night he [Clegg] went where other party leaders have so far feared to tread, by submitting himself to half an hour with Jeremy Paxman.” Gordon Brown and David Cameron have not yet responded to invitations issued months ago.

Elsewhere, Eamonn Holmes could return to the GMTV sofa to pair up with former X Factor host, Kate Thornton, the Scottish Daily Mail (page 24) reports. Says the Mail: “ITV chiefs see the pairing of Holmes and former X Factor host Miss Thornton as a dream team.” Holmes currently hosts the Sunrise show on Sky News after leaving ITV’s breakfast programme five years ago.

And finally, in today’s Scottish Daily Mail, columnist, Richard Littlejohn, laments the rise of the internet and its effects on televised political coverage. Opines Littlejohn: “Why do people feel it necessary to put their every random thought on the world wide web? It’s a sort of technological Tourette’s.”

He continues: “… wouldn’t it be wonderful if, just for once, political reporters spoke their minds and actually told us what happened, instead of all agreeing on that day’s artificial ‘line to take’?”

Other media stories:

* Chris Evans is set to replace Adrian Chiles as the host of BBC1’s The One Show on Friday nights – The Guardian (page 7).

* Under the headline, ‘Honest Debate or Stage-managed Charade?’ the Telegraph’s Neil Tweedie discusses the upcoming televised political debates – The Daily Telegraph (page 20).

* The BBC is considering selling Radio Times magazine – The Times (page 39).

* The Indy “offer a consolation 'Well done'” to the National Enquirer for its story on the extramarital affair of US Democrat presidential candidate, John Edwards, after the tabloid failed to land the Pulitzer Prize for the scoop – The Independent (page 36).

* A Spanish Court has thrown out a case against five newspaper executives accused of belonging to the separatist group, ETA – The Guardian (page 19), The Scotsman (page 27).

* Popular soap, EastEnders, has had to ban actors from slapping one another due to health and safety guidelines – Scottish Daily Mail (page 21), The Scottish Sun (page 25).