The Media in the Press 21.4.10

Journalism student, Alex McConnell, from Strathclyde University, casts her eyes over the media stories making it into today's newspapers…

Oh dear, the BBC look like they are in trouble again, this time over executive expenses, reports The Scotsman (page 8), The Guardian (Page 13) and The Scottish Daily Mail (page 32). It follows the release, yesterday, of expenses details by the Corporation, including a reported £3561 spent on a hotel room for Radio 3 Controller, Roger Wright, during last year’s annual Proms festival. 

Say the reports, total expenses were down from last quarter’s figure of £188,284.98 to £173,527.04 and top managers’ expenses have also decreased. But still, £649.79 is said to have been claimed by director-general, Mark Thompson, for a car and driver on a trip to Seoul, in South Korea.

Elsewhere, Britain’s privacy watchdog has joined senior government officials from nine other countries in a bid to push Google to adopt stricter privacy controls – The Guardian, page 13.

Christopher Graham, the UK's information commissioner, is said to have joined co-signatories from, among others, Germany, Canada and Spain, in putting his name to a letter challenging Google to protect its users more.

Writes Paul Harris: “The letter, addressed to Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, claimed the concerns of citizens across the world were 'being forgotten' as Google introduces more and more products. It followed problems with Google Buzz, a social networking application that triggered a storm of protest when it was launched and automatically connected people via their email accounts. Google was forced to quickly change Google Buzz to allow users more choice in who would be in their networks.”

A spokeswoman for Google is quoted saying that the company was already very sensitive on issues of privacy and “vigilant” over concerns of its product’s users. She is also quoted saying the company would not be responding to the letter.

In other media news, the heavily guarded secrets of the iPhone 4G have been unveiled months ahead of its intended launch, thanks, it is being reported, to a hapless employee – The Times, page 18, and The Guardian, page 7.

Gray Powell, an Apple employee working on essential software for the phone, is said to have gone to a German beer garden in Redwood City, 19 miles from the company’s headquarters in California and left minus the new device. Posts of the phone are believed to have brought 20 million page views for the technology blog, Gizmodo, but – after having received the phone from another drinker in the beer garden – might it be guilty of handling stolen goods?

And finally, Adrian Chiles is expected to be replaced on the BBC's The One Show by Top Gear presenter, Richard Hammond. Reports The Scottish Sun and The Scottish Daily Mail, Chiles has agreed to defect to ITV in a reported £6 million pound move, and is expected to join the cast of GMTV following BBC executives’ decision to remove him from the Friday edition of The One Show to make way for Chris Evans.

Possible replacements include Richard Hammond, Dermot O’Leary or other One Show stars including Rav Wilding and Matt Allwright while DJ Colin Murray is hotly tipped to take Chiles’ spot in Match of the Day 2.