Media in the Press 6.1.11

Post-graduate journalism student, Claudie Qumsieh, from Edinburgh Napier University, reviews the media stories in today’s newspapers….

And it's just not going away, the furore over BBC soap opera, EastEnders, and it's New Year's Eve storyline that saw one of its characters swapping her dead baby for that of another character – and reported extensively yesterday on allmediascotland.com.

Reports the Scottsh Daily Express (page 27): “According to [broadcasting regulators] Ofcom, the BBC soap has so far garnered almost 400 complaints about the 'distasteful' episode, which showed one mother swapping her dead child with the live son of another character.” The newspaper adds: “The BBC itself has received almost 3500 complaints.”

Ofcom is reported to have said to the Daily Express: “We are not driven by complaint numbers. We will look at the broadcasting code and try to establish if we think a rule has been broken. In this case, we will wait until he storyline has played out”. The Scottish Sun (page 5), meanwhile, reports: “Hundreds of angry viewers have hit out at EastEnders cot death story on Facebook.” They quote one campaigner who calls for a boycott of EastEnders until the storyline has ended adding, “the BBC and Eastenders has apologised to all those this storyline has caused so much upset and distress for”.

Elsewhere, The Scotsman (page 6) turns its attention to the lawyer of a suspect in the Jo Yeates murder case, who has criticised the media’s portrayal of his client, Christopher Jeffries. “This may ultimately prejudice his right to, and any prospect of, a fair trial,” the lawyer is quoted, as saying.

Meanwhile, a News of World senior journalist has been suspended over claims of illegal phone-hacking. Says The Scotsman: “A document lodged in the High Court allegedly links News of the World executive, Ian Edmondson, with the interception of voicemail messages from [actress, Sienna] Miller and Jude Law.” The paper also quotes from the News of the World: “We can confirm that this person was suspended from active duties just before Christmas. The allegation is the subject of litigation and our investigation will take place in tandem wit that. If the allegation is proven, appropriate action will be taken. News of the World has a zero tolerance approach to any wrong-doing.”

Moving on, and Twitter and Facebook-driven stories are making the news. The Scottish Sun says that 'social media crimes' are allegedly on the rise (page 6). “Cops in Scotland are being bombarded by soaring numbers of complaints about vile hate crimes in social networking websites. Terrified web users are reporting thousands of death threats, racism and obsence material being posted on Facebook, Bebo and Twitter,” it says.

And the Daily Record (page 17) adds that rock star, Courtney Love, is understood to be first person to be sued for defamation over comments made on Twitter. “The Hole singer, 46, will appear in court over remarks she made about fashion designer, Dawn Simorangkir.”

The Herald's take is that a Facebook user was allegedly ‘left to die’ after suicide post. Simone Back, 42, is believed to have told over 1400 friends on Facebook that she would commit suicide before doing so. Her mother, Ms Landgbride, is quoted to have said: “It is upsetting to think nobody did anything.”

A happier ending is reported in The Scotsman (page 23), in a story headlined, 'Celebrity Twitter campaign helps bring teenager home'. The 14 year-old girl, “whose plight was highlighted by a clutch of celebrities on Twitter”, is said to have been found by police. 

And finally, the Daily Record notes that Prince William has apparently revealed plans for the Royal Wedding over Twitter (page 23): “Royal occasions were once announced by solemn Palace proclamation. But Prince William and Kate Middleton yesterday began to share their wedding plans with fans on Twitter – the first British Royal couple ever to do so.”

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