The Media in the Press 11.5.10

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…

Gordon Brown announces his intention to resign as leader of the Labour party, paving the way for a possible coalition with the Liberal Democrats, and, in one tiny corner of the Westminster maelstrom, tempers begin to fray.

‘TV Adam Loses Rag’, says The Scottish Sun (page 6) of an explosive face-off between Sky News’s political editor, Adam Boulton, and Labour’s former director of communications, Alastair Campbell, live on-air following Brown’s announcement. Continues the Sun: “Fiery Sky News political editor Adam Boulton almost came to blows with ex-Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell in a bust-up live on air yesterday.”

‘And the News is: A TV Bust-up’, writes the Scottish Daily Express (page 4), while the Scottish Daily Mail adds (page 5): “The argument spiraled as Mr Boulton accused Mr Campbell of ‘cooking up’ a PR strategy with Peter Mandelson to allow Labour to cling to power.”

Featuring the story also is The Scotsman (page 6), which reads: “As Mr Boulton gesticulated wildly, their heated exchange almost reached boiling point. Sky News’ presenter Jeremy Thompson was forced to intervene as the pair edged nearer and nearer, looking dangerously close to pushing each other.”

The Guardian (page 4), meanwhile, pitches in with a transcript of the interview in which Campbell claimed Boulton was “obviously upset that David Cameron is not Prime Minister”. The remarks provoked a furious response from the 51 year-old broadcaster, who retorted loudly: “Don’t keep casting aspersions on what I think… I’m fed up with you telling me what I think.”

Adding her own interpretation into the mix, columnist, Marina Hyde, comments on page five: “… Sky News viewers were treated to a live dust-up between two men, one of whom was hysterically queenly and psychotically aggressive and turned puce, and the other of whom was Alastair Campbell.”

Elsewhere, BBC Radio 6, the digital station facing closure as part of plans to downsize the Corporation, won two Gold Awards at the Sony Radio Academy Awards last night, reports The Times (page 19). Among the other winners were Radio 4’s The Today programme and Radio 5 live, which picked up prizes for the Best Breakfast Show and UK Station of the Year respectively.

Former editor of The Daily Telegraph, Charles Moore, has lost his fight with the BBC after refusing to pay the license fee, says the Scottish Daily Mail (page 25).

Moore had warned he would not pay the £142.50 a year cost until Jonathan Ross had left the Corporation over his involvement in prank phonecalls to former Fawlty Towers actor, Andrew Sachs. He was yesterday fined for the protest.

Moore, who still writes a column for the Telegraph (page 21), explains in today’s broadsheet: “It was against my conscience, I told the magistrates, to be made to pay for the weird ideology which thinks that cruel jokes by Ross are justified because they “push the boundaries”.

Thomson Reuters is launching an online video service to half a million financial customers in what it “hopes will shape the future of news”, reports the Times (page 46). The move will see thousands of hours of video produced by its own reporters and 150 financial partners pooled together for paying subscribers to pore over, with the possibility of expanding the service to non-financial customers also.

Mike Stepanovich, managing editor of Reuters Insider, is quoted in today’s Times, saying: “What if this becomes the way people consume news? What if all news providers decide to come together to share content and syndicate information?”

Finally, Lord Sugar returns to television screens tomorrow night with a new junior version of The Apprentice. And according to both The Herald (page 7) and Scotsman (page 14) newspapers, viewers will get to see a softer side of the business tycoon. Writes Vicky Shaw in today’s Scotsman: “Lord Sugar takes on the role of a 'firm but fair' headmaster -and shows his softer side – in his new series Junior Apprentice.”