Media in the Press 3.2.11

PATRICK McPartlin, a post-graduate Journalism student at Edinburgh Napier University, reviews the media stories in today’s papers…

Barely a week has passed since the Sky Sports ‘sexism row’ was on all the front pages of Scotland’s newspapers, but today there is very little in the way of media stories at all.

A former STV trainee has been appointed as Prime Minister, David Cameron’s new spin doctor. Reports the Daily Record (page 2) the hiring of BBC executive, Craig Oliver, follows the resignation of former News of the World editor, Andy Coulson, who is under scrutiny following the allegations of phone tapping by News of the World journalists. Oliver is reported to be on course to earn £140,000-a-year in his new role.

The story also appears in The Scottish Sun (page 2), with Oliver quoted, saying: “I’m delighted to be joining David Cameron and his team at such an exciting and challenging time. This is an opportunity I can’t turn down.”

However, a lot of emphasis is placed on Oliver’s father Dr Ian Oliver, who resigned as the Chief Constable of Grampian Police in the late ’90s, following his exposure as a ‘love rat’ by the same paper, and the backlash his force received over their handling of a child murder probe.

The Scottish Daily Express (page 19) provides a little more on Oliver’s background, telling us that the PM’s new director of communications is a graduate of the University of St Andrews, before which he attended a Scottish comprehensive school – not identified but anyone reporting the story.

The Coalition Government is hoping that his appointment will “offset criticism over the dominance of public school-educated people at the top level of government.”

Oliver has also worked for Channel 4 and ITV – where he oversaw the Lunchtime News, Evening News and News at Ten – and is married to BBC newsreader Joanna Gosling. The paper also reports the ‘surprise appointment’ of Oliver, suggesting that the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman, Gabby Bertin, and ITV’s political editor, Tom Bradby, were two of the favourites for the post.

The Scotsman provides very little detail on the appointment of Oliver, choosing instead to focus on a leaked email from Labour leader, Ed Miliband’s director of strategy Tom Baldwin, which urges senior MPs to “avoid attacking Rupert Murdoch’s News International ‘out of spite.’” Baldwin of course, should know how to deal with Murdoch’s empire, having worked as a journalist at The Times prior to his role in the Labour party.

Choosing a slightly different tact, The Herald (page 5) headlines with Oliver’s past as a STV trainee, echoing The Scotsman in reporting the leaked email and The Scottish Sun in making reference to his father.

Lastly, the aforementioned sexism row hasn’t quote gone away. The Scotsman (pp 32-33) publishes an opinion piece by a Professor of Applied Philosophy at Glasgow Caledonian University, exploring sexism against men, as opposed to the much-publicised sexism case involving assistant football referee, Sian Massey. Writes Hugh McLachlan: “Some professional sports depend on ‘sexism’ in order for women to be likely to win.”