Media in the Press 7.12.10

Today’s media focus is on two veteran Scottish broadcasters – political commentator Andrew Marr and Radio 4 presenter Jim Naughtie – who, as reported yesterday on allmediascotland, both accidentally swore when they mispronounced the name of Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

The Scotsman (page 17) picks up the story, making a valiant effort to describe the duo’s error without actually repeating it. Writes reporter, Martyn McLaughlin: “Jim Naughtie, an anchorman on Radio 4’s flagship Today programme, mispronounced Mr. Hunt’s surname, replacing the first letter with a C. Later, it was a case of ‘oops I said it again’ as the gaffe was repeated on the same station by Andrew Marr.”

During the broadcast Naughtie, formerly a journalist for The Scotsman, attempted to explain his gaffe to listeners. He is quoted, saying: “Some of you thought it was funny, some of you were frankly offended. All I can say is that occasionally, in live broadcasting, these things happen and I’m very sorry to anybody who thought it wasn’t what they wanted to hear over breakfast.”

Marr, also a former Scotsman journalist, repeated the error barely an hour later on his cultural discussion programme, Start The Week. When discussion turned to Freudian slips, in reference to Naughtie’s earlier mistake, Marr reassured listeners we would not make the same mistake – before proceeding to do so when he attempted to pronounce the Culture Secretary’s name correctly. Defending his verbal slip, the paper reports that Marr told listeners: “I must apologise for saying it again, but it’s very hard to talk about it without saying it.”

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 12) takes a mischievous line with the same story. Reporter Paul Harris’ opening par reads: “It would probably have been less embarrassing if they’d called him a runt. Maybe they could have offered some explanation for suggesting he was a wunt (it’s a Herefordshire name for a mole).”

Adds Harris: “But accidentally mis-pronouncing the first letter of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt landed the BBC in all sorts of trouble yesterday. Twice as it turned out. And no, they weren’t suggesting he was a punt.”

Elsewhere, today’s Scottish Sun (page two) reports further embarrassment for the BBC. A mysterious hoaxer managed to trick BBC bosses into believing he was a Liberal Democrat MP on air.

Writes reporter Tom Newton Dunn: “The man claimed that he was Mike Crockart and told Radio 4’s World at One he would vote against increased tuition fees and could quit.”

A BBC spokesperson is quoted, saying: “The World at One broadcast an interview about tuition fees with a person wrongly believed to be Mike Crockart. A personal apology has been issues to Mr. Crockart and we also apologise to our audiences for the error.”

Meanwhile, today’s Daily Record (page 9) reports that broadcasting watchdog, Ofcom, have been besieged by complaints from viewers of popular talent show X Factor claiming that the show’s semi-final was fixed.

Writes John Dingwall: “Hundreds of viewers jammed the phone lines at ITV1 and broadcasting regulators Ofcom after the semi-final was ended in a sing-off instead of the public having the final say.” Previous semi-finals had been decided by the outcome of the public vote.

A spokesperson from Ofcom is quoted, saying: “ITV’s terms and conditions say X Factor is based on a combination of elimination based on the public vote and the judges’ decision at the producers’ discretion. Because of that there is no evidence rules have been broken.”

And finally, today’s Herald (page 20) runs an obituary for photographer Tom Fitzpatrick – as reported here and here on allmediascotland. Writes The Herald, Fitzpatrick “… was one of Scotland’s star news and sports photographers.” 

Fitzpatrick – who twice won the title of Press Photographer of the Year and was also voted Sports Photographer of the Year in the Scottish Press Awards – is described as a passionate Celtic supporter. After seeing his team win the European Cup in 1967, The Herald writes that Fitzpatrick “… managed to shoot a couple of frames for the Express before his emotions got the better of him and he could be seen on TV jumping up and down for joy”.