The Media in the Press 4.5.10

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…

British television viewers spend more than four hours a day watching the box, figures released today show.

The Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) has revealed average daily viewing this year jumped from three hours and 56 minutes to four hours and 18 minutes.

Says Tess Alps, chief executive of the marketing body for commercial TV, Thinkbox: “Anyone who doubted the continuing importance and popularity of broadcast TV in the UK should, hopefully, be convinced by these new figures.”

However, Alps urges caution, adding: “Record levels are unlikely to continue. We are nearing the peak, if we are not there already.”

‘Hooked on TV’ reads the Daily Record (page 3), while The Independent (page 35) features the rise under the headline, ‘British Spend Record Number of Hours Watching TV’.

The Herald (page 3), The Daily Telegraph (page 3) and The Scotsman (page 19) also allude to the increase, which sees viewers spend a day and a quarter of every week watching television.

Elsewhere, Simon Kelner has been appointed editor of The Independent for the second time, The Guardian (page 14) reports. Andreas Whittam Smith, co-founder of the newspaper, has also been recalled to the board of the newspaper group, The Daily Telegraph (Business, page 2) adds.

Says new, Russian owner, Evgeny Lebedev, on page 3 of the Indy: “I hope that this will mark a great new era for these remarkable newspapers, which have such a distinguished record of great journalism. It is my intention to help The Independent to prosper under new management and most importantly for it to continue to pursue journalism of distinction and impartiality.”

Meanwhile, Tom Ravenscroft, son of late DJ icon John Peel, has been given his own show on BBC 6 Music, several of today’s newspapers report.

Under the headline ‘Peel Jr Enters the Family Business with BBC 6 Music Show’, The Times’ (page 4) David Sanderson begins: “Given that his family home contains 26,000 LPs, 40,000 singles and 40,000 CDs, it was perhaps inevitable that Tom Ravenscroft would become a DJ. Given that his father was John Peel, it made a billet at the BBC even more likely.”

Moving on, and investigative reporter, Nick Davies, is back on the trail of the News of the World, over illegal phone hacking – The Guardian (page 2). Writes Davies: “The evidence is in the outline for a book planned by the private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire. The outline was written before Mulcaire signed a deal with the paper which stopped the book’s publication and gagged him from speaking about the scandal.”

Finally, The Herald's Tom Gordon speculates as the “angst” going on at the Labour-supporting Daily Record after its columnist, former Celtic and Hibs player, Murdo MacLeod, yesterday gave his backing to the Tories in the run-up to Thursday's General Election.

And also declaring his support for the Tories is former executive chairman of ITV, Michael Grade. Writes Grade in today’s Times (page 20): “It is now safe to come out. My first liberating move has been to send my subscription to the Conservative Party and become a fully paid up member. I do feel better!”

Other media stories:

* The BBC’s Director General, Mark Thompson, will give the MacTaggart Lecture at this year’s MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Festival – The Guardian (page 12).

* Apple has sold one million iPad portable computers in a month –- The Independent (page 35), The Times (page 5), The Daily Telegraph (Business, page 2), The Guardian (page 16).

* Karen Brady, vice-chair of West Ham United and former chief executive of Birmingham City football club, will become Sir Alan Sugar’s new adviser in the upcoming junior version of BBC hit, The Apprentice – The Herald (page 3), The Scotsman (page 11).

* Armando Iannucci laments over the Gillian Duffy affair that turned “the media into a pack of shrieking gibbons” – The Independent (page 9).

* Obituary of Irish radio broadcaster, Gerry Ryan, who has died aged 53 – The Daily Telegraph (page 29).