The Media in the Press 26.4.10

Events may have since overtaken this morning's reporting of SNP leader, Alex Salmond's appearance in a televised debate yesterday and a fundraising appeal to raise £50,000 to legally challenge the SNP's absence in a forthcoming debate – involving the leaders of the Labour, Tory and Lib Dems parties – on the BBC…..

Not that Salmond's appearance in the debate, on Sky, featured heavily in The Scottish Sun, which left it until the final two paragraphs of a side panel on page 6 to report: “Meanwhile, the SNP is planning legal action over Alex Salmond's exclusion from this Thursday's UK party leader leaders debate on the BBC.”

Under the headline, ''Desperate' Salmond Shown up in TV Clash', the Daily Record's Torcuil Crichton, on page 2, begins: “Alex Salmond has launched a bid to force his way on to the leaders' debate on Thursday by appealing for funds for a legal challenge against the BBC.”

While the Scottish Daily Express says Salmond was the strongest in the Sky TV debate – which also included Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy, and the Tories' David Mundell and the Lib Dems' Alistair Carmichael – Allan Massie in the Scottish Daily Mail (page 14) rates his performance as three out of five, behind Carmichael on four, on a par with Mundell, and ahead of Murphy, on two. 

The Herald, meanwhile, on page 7, carries a strong picture of Salmond taking direction from a member of the Sky's technical crew, as he prepares for the debate. Writes Robbie Dinwoodie: “Alex Salmond finally got his chance to appear on a televised UK election debate on Sky – but judges will be asked to rule tomorrow on whether the BBC should be forced to give him the same opportunity.”

Moving on, and also on page 2 of the Record, Jason Beattie writes: “Some of Britain's biggest stars yesterday hit out at Tory plans to “destroy” the BBC. More than 40 actors and comics, including David Tennant, Harry Enfield and Peter Kay, warned that the Tories want to undermine the BBC to boost commercial rivals such as Sky.”

The Herald's front page features an attractive, large photograph of BBC Scotland news anchor, Jackie Bird. It's on the back of a full-page interview by Mark Smith, inside the paper. Among other things, Bird says that she would be out of a job by now had attitudes towards women working in telly not recently changed, for the better.

Staying with The Herald, page 5 features a tale by Brian Pendreigh, about a movie being made in the Highlands and featuring a former soap star, Melissa George – ex of Australian soap, Home and Away.

Other media stories:

* The Record's Sally McLean – running for CLIC Sargent – is described as feeling “ecstatic” after completing the London Marathon yesterday: it was her first Marathon, and she ran it in five-and-a-half hours. Scots GMTV host, Lorraine Kelly, was another finisher, in six hours, 13 minutes.

* Tributes were being paid to former Daily Record journalist and trade union leader, Harry Conroy – page 22, Daily Record.