Media in the Press 18.1.11

POST-graduate Journalism student, Alessandro Brunelli, from Edinburgh Napier University, reviews the media stories in today’s newspapers…

Of all the Scottish newspapers, it’s the Scottish Daily Mail which provides most of today’s media stories.

On page 5, the paper reports excerpts from a provocative interview with former BBC Radio presenter, Terry Wogan, which has been published on Radio Times, BBC’s weekly listings magazine.

Sir Terry is quoted, saying: “Today, lunatics have taken over the asylum. Agents and publicists rule and the BBC even sends people to monitor interviews in the name of ‘compilance’. It is so restrictive.”

Reporter, Liz Thomas, reminds readers of new regulations adopted by the BBC following a prank on BBC Radio 2, three years ago and involving presenters, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand.

On the back of a reported 54,000 complaints which followed what were deemed offensive phone calls to the actor, Andrew Sachs, the Corporation introduced its ‘compliance system’, which tightened up procedures as to what content might be unsuitable for broadcast.

Wogan is also reported criticising BBC executives for “being more concerned about their pay packets than the prestige of working for a world-renowned public service broadcaster”.

In the same interview, Sir Terry also doesn’t spare attacks on young comedians on screen such as Scot, Frankie Boyle, and Ricky Gervais, as well as talk show hosts, Piers Morgan and Larry King.

Staying with the Scottish Daily Mail (page 12), Prime Minister, David Cameron, is reported defending Andy Coulson, his chief spin doctor, who – four years ago – resigned as editor of the News of the World when it was embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal.

With the phone-hacking controversy still brewing and it being rumoured that Coulson has offered to resign his current post, Cameron is quoted, saying: “Obviously, when he was editor of the News of the World, bad things happened at that newspaper. I always think that the danger at the moment is that he is effectively being punished twice for the same offence. I gave him a second change. I think that sometimes in life it is right to give someone a second chance.”

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 35) also reports that ITV is to produce a new drama about serial killers, Fred and Rosemary West, who murdered at least ten young women and girls during the 1970s and 1980s.

ITV is reported stating that it will “handle the story ‘sensitively”, and it will “focus on how the killers were brought to justice”.

Given the delicacy of the subject, Gloucester Police had to “act as an intermediary between producers and some of the victim’s families”, and ITV avoided recostructing the murders.

However, this didn’t spare fears by both the relatives of the victims and the West Family, worried that the programme “would drag up terrible memories”.

Other media stories:

* Following ‘sick taunts’ allegedly published by killer, Brian Venuti, on Facebook after his imprisonment in Addiewell Prison, West Lothian, the Scottish Prison Service and Kalyx, which runs the prison, is reported launching an investigation into Venuti’s mobile phone and vowed to closed down his Facebook pages. The Daily Record, page 9.

* BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme presenter, Justin Webb, is reported revealing to The Radio Times that he’s the secret son of former BBC newsreader, Peter Woods. The Herald, page 5.