The Media in the Press 15.4.10

Second-year Journalism student, Kane Mumford, of Edinburgh Napier University, takes a look at the media stories making it into the pages of today’s papers…

Leaders’ debate this evening and the papers are covered with comment pieces on the implications of a televised discussion. In The Times, John Ryley excuses Sky News for any “self congratulatory pat on the back” for their election debate campaign, launched last September. He says that Britain desperately needs debates in order to judge the leaders without carefully prepared speeches, “written by others and delivered by rote”. 

Elsewhere in The Times, Ben Macintyre reports: “For weeks, Mr Cameron has been taking part in mock debates with his shadow cabinet colleagues.” The Conservative leader has also been working with Barrack Obama’s debating coach, Nancy Dunn, for the last few months, says Macintyre. The first lead in today’s Times cites the dangers of televised debates turning British leaders into 'presidential-style' politicians.

Patrick Wintour, in The Guardian, meanwhile reports that polls and leaders alike predict that viewers will take tonight’s debate seriously: “Half those who said they will be watching insisted it will influence their vote.”

Outside of General Election talk, The Guardian reports that the chief executive of the European newspaper group, Mecom – David Montgomery – has awarded himself a 50 per cent pay increase after sacking 850 staff and reporting a 28 per cent drop in profits.

Also in The Guardian, Mark Sweeny tells of a reported boycott of the Cannes film festival by Reuters and Getty Images who are “considered to be critical to gaining worldwide profile for the event“.  The agencies are said to have claimed “unfair restrictions” for the dispute.

In other news, the BBC Director General Mark Thompson will “invite the Corporation’s stars to cash in” on new plans for spending, says Patrick Foster in The Times. This is part of a shake-up in funding which will see £600 million diverted from areas such as internet and digital radio into making the BBC more “content and talent-centric” – including a promise to bring more highbrow programming to the BBC and to increase shows’ production values.

The celebrities Thompson will meet today include Jeremy Clarkson, Bruce Forsyth and Mariella Frostup. Meanwhile, broadcasting unions have said that the new strategy would decrease production of new shows and that 200 jobs could be lost in the sector.

Also in the papers today: 

The Daily Record says Apple have delayed the launch of the iPad in Britain because of the high demand for the gadget in America.

The US Library of Congress is to begin archiving its Tweets, says The Guardian, under the headline, 'OMG! @librarycongress to archive all tweets #posterity'.

And a Scottish firm, Iomart, has been awarded a contract by record companies to track the listening habits of fans, online.