The Media in the Press 5.5.10

Alex McConnell, second year at Strathclyde University takes a look at the media stories making it into today’s papers…

With less than 24 hours to go before the public take to the polls, the press are making their intentions clear about who they want to run the country, who they think will run the country and the ramifications of what promises to be the closest General Election in a generation.

In the broadsheets, the front pages centre on Labour’s poll strategy as Gordon Brown calls for a “maximum Labour vote” contradicting his Cabinet colleagues who have suggested that voters use tactical voting to stop a Tory Government. In an interview with the Times (page 1, 8-13), the Prime Minister has accused “newspapers, newspaper proprietors, a few television pundits and a few businessmen” of trying to decide the election before people have voted and asks people to vote for Labour regardless of the situation within their own constituency.

In other media news, Doctor Who fans have accused the BBC of trying to ‘sex up’ the popular sci-fi show in a bid to attract more adult viewers. The Corporation has received a number of complaints over last Saturday’s show over an “overtly sexual scene” which Vivienne Pattinson of Mediawatch UK is quoted saying “sailed pretty close to the wind” (The Scottish Daily Mail, page 5). The scene involved the doctor's assistant “lying seductively on a bed and kissing the Doctor”.

Moving on, The Herald reports on the banning of a Renault advert for using French figures to back a claim that the car-maker is reducing CO2 emissions (page 10). The nationwide press advert described Renault's plan for four electric vehicles, that they say will reduce emissions by 90 per cent compared to a current diesel model. However, the small print said the comparison was based on a “French average electric mix” and the Advertising Standards Authority has therefore ruled that the advert must not appear again in its current form as readers were unlikely to know the difference between electricity generating mixes between France and the UK and how this would affect CO2 savings.

And finally, Lynsey Hanley offers an interesting comment piece in The Guardian (page 34) about the dangers of exposing pre-school children to too much TV as new figures show that the average Briton now watches an average of four hours of television a night. “CBeebies exists to serve parents, not their children. And it stultifies us all”, she opines.