Media in the Press 14.2.11

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

Broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, features in the papers this morning with news of the launch of a new logo for programmes which contain product placement. According to The Scotsman (page 19): “Television channels will broadcast a logo for three seconds at the start and end of programmes which have been pain to feature products.” The logo is being launched today ahead of the introduction of product placement on the 28th of this month. The paper continues: “Product placement will be allowed in films, dramas and documentaries, running series, soaps, entertainment and sports shows. It will be banned in all children’s and news programmes and in UK-produced current affairs, consumer affairs and religious programmes.”

The story is also mentioned in The Herald (page 2): “The logo will also appear after advert breaks, following the introduction of product placement on February 28. Channels will also run films explaining the new product rules.”

Also featured in The Herald (page 11) is a report on the launch of a £5 million pound copyright campaign by the UK film and television industry: “The £5 million Moments Worth Paying For campaign plays on audiences’ passion for film and TV content and asks them to show greater respect for copyright and creativity.” Liz Bales, director general of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, is quoted as saying: “Our previous campaigns have helped to make the public more likely to do the right thing. This campaign goes one step further by also showing where they can do this.” The article states that the campaign provides viewers with information about official film and TV services both online and offline.

Under the headline, ‘Jeremy’s Woman Pax it In’, the Daily Record (page 24) reports that producer of The Big Questions, Elizabeth Clough – partner of Jeremy Paxman – has quit her job rather than move to Glasgow with the show. Writes Keith McLeod: “Sources close to the couple, who have three children, say the move effectively forced Elizabeth to choose between her high-flying career and her 30-year relationship with Newsnight host, Paxman.”

The article also comments on the move of other programmes from London to other UK regions: “BBC staff having to relocate from London to regional centres to fulfil director-general Mark [Thompson]’s pledge that 50 per cent of all production will take place outside London are being offered huge incentives.”

The BBC is also featured in the Scottish Daily Mail this morning (page 12): “The BBC is dumbing down its output to get more ethnic minority staff on air, a former executive has claimed.” According to the article, ex-head of current affairs, Dr Shamir Shah, “has cited Radio 4 as an example of how the BBC is lowering its standards to attract a more diverse audience”. The piece states that Dr Shah spoke out after a review by the BBC Trust which ruled that the station needed to increase its appeal to minority groups. The article states that Dr Shah claimed “he had been ‘embarrassed’ by the declining quality”.

According to The Herald this morning (page 10), undercover footage for a Channel 4 film being screened tonight apparently shows extremism being taught in British mosques. Says the paper: “Access to [a Birmingham] school was gained when the undercover investigator got a job as a volunteer in 2009.” It continues: “In July last year, he went into one of the rooms where he heard Islamic studies was being taught and he left a secret camera.” The programme is due to air on Channel 4 at 8pm.

Dancing On Ice is in the papers again, this time concerning ex-TV soap star, Sam Attwater. The Scottish Sun reports (page 3): “Dancing On Ice star Sam Attwater apologised last night after dragging ITV into another faking scandal – by pretending to date his dance partner Brianne Delcourt.” The article reports that the ex-soap star gave a series of interviews about the relationship but was caught kissing another of the show’s professionals at the weekend. The report continues: “ITV fears being linked with another scandal after coming under fire for fixing its GMTV quiz, the British Comedy Awards and reality shows.”

Also featured in The Scottish Sun (TV Biz, page 3): “Ant and Dec are celebrating after the first of their revamped Push The Button gameshow pulled in 700,000 more viewers than last year.” An average of 5.9 million viewers are reported to have watched the live programme on ITV1.

Meanwhile, Matt Baker is said to be the new permanent host of BBC One early evening programme, The One Show (The Scottish Sun, TV Biz, page1): “He got the £100,000-a-year job after Jason [Manford], 29, quit over The Sun’s revelations that he sent sleazy Twitter messages to a fan and indulged in cyber sex.” The article goes on: “Matt added that bosses were so sure he’d be squeaky clean they didn’t warn him to watch himself.”

And finally, a new children’s programme is a favourite with adults, according to the Scottish Daily Mail (page 23). Says the paper: “Since launching in January, Rastamouse has become the most watched show CBeebies show, with a cult following not seen since the Teletubbies.” The show is about a super hero, Rastafarian mouse who plays in a reggae band. The article claims that this popularity is due in part to its older viewers. “Well, the sky-high ratings owe something to the number of adult viewers.” The article finishes with news that there is an album in the works for the animated mouse.