Media in the Press 17.1.11

POST-graduate Journalism student, Fearghus Roulston, from Edinbugh Napier University, takes a look at the media stories in today’s papers…

It’s slim pickings for media stories today in the indigenous Scottish press. The Scottish Sun (page 4) leads with a report that Marvin Baird, who featured in the BBC Scotland documentary, The Scheme, has been secretly filmed taking heroin despite claiming to have kicked his habit.

Baird was previously mooted by politicians as a figure to deter young people from drug use. The Sun reports hims as saying last year: “Anything that I can do to deter young kids from going down the same route as I went down is ideal.”

Confronted by the paper now, he is quoted saying: “I was disgusted with myself even doing it. I’ll not being taking it again.”

Not surprisingly, perhaps, it is being claimed the Scottish Government is reconsidering its use of Baird as an anti-drugs campaigner following today’s allegations. Although Baird claimed he was due to give talks to schools on the dangers of heroin use, The Sun reports a Scottish Government source as saying: “There’s never been any plans for Marvin to meet Nicola [Sturgeon, Health Secretary] and visit schools. It’s nonsense.”

The Sun also claims a potential poster campaign showing the effect of heroin use on Baird will be scrapped.

In other news, it has been widely reported that former England footballer, Paul Gascgoine, will be the latest celebrity to sue the News of the World over its alleged phone hacking.

A host of other celebrities are reportedly set to sue the paper. The Scottish Daily Express (page 4) says that the actor Steve Coogan, the jockey Kieran Fallon, and television presenter Christ Tarrant, are all preparing for legal proceedings.

A spokesperson for the owners, News International, is quoted as saying the paper is ready to co-operate with police enquiries.

Finally, The Scottish Sun alleges that the BBC has spent £2 million on pot plants and gardens over the last five years, across its UK offices. The information was revealed following a Freedom of Information request.

The paper quotes Conservative MP, Philip Davies, as saying: “This just goes to prove the BBC has so much money they hardly know what to spend it on.”

The Sun claims the Corporation defended the outlay, pointing out the budget was spread over 450 properties.