Media in the Press 10.1.11

POST-graduate journalism student, Fearghus Roulston, from Edinburgh Napier University, has a look at the media stories making it into today’s newspapers.

The focus continues today on one of the biggest media stories of the past few months: the perjury trial of former Scottish Socialist Party leader, Tommy Sheridan, who last month was found guilty of lying under oath following a successful defamation case, five years ago, against the News of the World.

As reported yesterday in the Sunday Herald, a juror in the trial is said to have made derogatory remarks about her colleagues on Facebook.

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 12) reports that the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has revealed how she and other jurors voted on the case. She is alleged to have described, on Facebook, other jurors as “pure b******s”, and while also stating that she and her husband were determined to support Sheridan.

A Crown Office spokesman is quoted, saying: “As proceedings in this case are still live, it would not be appropriate to comment.”

The Herald (page 4) says that the woman could face jail under Section 8 of the Contempt of Court Act.

Meanwhile, The Scottish Sun (page 4) turns the spotlight on a different aspect of the case. Under the headline, ‘Tommy to blame, says Alex’, it repeats quotes from First Minister, Alex Salmond – again in the Sunday Herald. Salmond is reported as saying: “In terms of the perjury charge, he did kind of bring it on himself. At the end of the day, I don’t think anyone’s responsible but Tommy.”

From one long-running saga to a potential one: the cot death storyline on BBC soap, EastEnders (where one character, played by Samantha Womack, swaps her dead baby with the new born of another).

The Scottish Daily Express (page 22) reports that Womack has threatened to quit the show over the controversial storyline. She is quoted as telling a friend: “…I feel like it’s ruining my life. I wish I could leave tomorrow. I’ll never go back to that show.” The BBC is understood to have received up to 9000 complaints about the story.

Indeed, the Scottish Daily Mail claims that the plot is now the most complained-about in the iconic soap’s 26-year history.

Other media stories:

* Former BBC presenter, Angela Rippon, has been voted off reality television show, Dancing on ice – Scottish Daily Mail, page 21;

* Fans of Channel 4 show, Deal or No Deal, are reported claiming a recent episode was fixed – The Scottish Sun, page 4, TV supplement;

* BBC programme, Crimewatch, is to help in trying to finder the killer of Bristol woman, Joanna Yeates.