Media in the Press 6.12.10

The latest edition of the influential reference book Who’s Who is published today – with some prominent Scottish media figures among this year’s new entries.

The Herald (page 3) reports that one of their own is featured in the latest edition. Writes reporter Sarah Swain: “Iain Macwhirter, political commentator for the Herald, is among those chosen.”

Meanwhile, The Scotsman (page 3) reports that the editor of their sister Sunday publication also makes the list. Writes reporter Tristan Stewart-Robinson: “Media personalities include Ian Stewart, 50, editor of Scotland on Sunday, who lists ‘mostly worrying’ as his only recreation.”

The tome – priced at £200 per copy – contains biographies of 33,000 of the most rich, famous and influential people in Britain.

Returning to The Herald (page 8), the paper reports that BBC director-general, Mark Thompson, has defended the decision to air the Panorama exposé of alleged corruption in Fifa – football's world governing body – just three days before England’s final World Cup bid. As reported in last Friday, there has been widespread media speculation that the programme may have harmed England’s chances of hosting the competition in 2018.

Thompson, who was speaking on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, is quoted, saying: “… if you believe that you have a matter of real public concern to broadcast, there have got to be overwhelmingly powerful reasons for not broadcasting.”

He adds: “I believe we were right to broadcast and I believe we have a very strong support from the British public on broadcasting.”

Elsewhere, today’s Scottish Sun (page 21) reports that SPL football teams are to be offered anti-bigotry classes set-up by the Catholic Church. The move follows the departure of former SFA referees’ chief, Hugh Dallas, after he was accused of sending an offensive email about the Pope.

Writes reporter Paul Thornton: “Victims of sectarian abuse – including priests – will visit clubs to educate players and staff. The church intends to write to all top-flight sides this week offering the new lessons.”

Peter Kearney, director of the Scottish Catholic Media Office – whose comments bemoaning anti-Catholic sentiment in Scotland were reported in last week – is quoted, saying: “The time has come for a more specific approach. The one-size-fits-all model hasn’t worked. If you want to tackle anti-Semitism you need to speak to Jewish people, if you want to tackle anti-Catholic attitudes you need to speak to Catholics.”

Staying with The Scottish Sun (page 19), the paper reports that ITN’s footage of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s engagement interview is generating a fortune for charity.

Writes Royal Reporter James Clench: “Broadcasters from non-Commonwealth countries must pay £1500 per minute for footage of the chat. All profits go to good causes through the foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry – set up last year.”

A spokesperson from ITN is quoted, saying: “It’s selling well so the charities are really benefiting from it.”

Elsewhere, the Daily Record (page 15) reports that the audience of a popular German TV show were left stunned after an amateur stuntman broke his back live on air.

Writes reporter Stephen White: “Samuel Koch, 23, was trying to jump over moving cars on a pair of sprung stilts when he hit an Audi driven by his father. He somersaulted through the air and crashed to the ground, where he lay motionless for several minutes as presenters and medics ran to his side.”

The show, titled Wetten Das – a live version of the former UK programme You Bet – was taken off air after the accident.

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