Media in the Press 17.3.11

Post-graduate Journalism student, Alessandro Brunelli, casts his eyes over the media stories making the press today…

Says the Daily Record (page 2), the Labour Party is complaining about a decision by BBC Scotland not to broadcast live their upcoming conference.

The conference, which will take place Saturday in Glasgow, will see Labour leader, Ed Milliband, support the candidature of Scots Labour Party chief, Iain Gray, for Holyrood.

A BBC spokesperson is quoted, stating the BBC refused to broadcast the conference because Labour's main conference had already been covered by the broadcaster in November.

The spokesperson is quoted, adding: “We ensure that each party get extended live conference programmes on one occasion each season between October and May and I'm afraid that Scottish Labour have already used their allocation.”

Labour MSP David Whitton reportedly hit out at the Corporation, saying: “This is a remarkable decision and demonstrates a serious lack of balance from the BBC.

“They are going to broadcast live from the Scottish Conservative conference, a party who would admit themselves they are not going to form the next Scottish government.

“Yet viewers are to be denied the opportunity to see live the speech by Iain Gray – one of only two men who could be the next First Minister.

“That is simply undemocratic and is probably against the BBC's own producer guidelines.”

The Scottish Daily Mail (page 19), meanwhile, is also on the BBC's case. TV correspondent, Paul Revoir, writes that, according a report, BBC executives are considering reducing its staff by a quarter, estimated to be 5000 posts.

Cost-cutting has begun at the BBC following a six-year freeze in the licence fee.

However, BBC chief operating officer, Caroline Thomson, is quoted denying the claims: “It is simply not true that the BBC is planning a 25 per cent cut in its workforce. As we have said repeatedly, just because we are making 20 per cent savings does not mean we need to cut 20 per cent of the workforce.”

Says Revoir, little less than two months ago, the Corporation announced up to a 100 job losses, including 650 at the World Service.

On to The Herald (page 11), where it's reported that Ambridge Extra, a spin-off of Radio 4 soap opera, The Archers, is being launched next month.

The show will be broadcast digitally on Radio 4 Extra and will allow listeners to get to know more about minor characters from the main show, as well as letting them follow characters' lives outside Ambridge, the fictional village where the soap is based.

The paper reports that 13 episodes, of 15 minutes each, will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Saturdays with repeats later on the same days, while an omnibus will be aired on Fridays and repeated twice on Sundays.

Turning the page, The Herald (page 12) also reports that Coleen Nolan is leaving Loose Women, ITV1's lunchtime chat programme.

It's understood singer, Nolan, will quit at the end of this series after having worked for the programme over the last decade.

Other media stories:

* Criminologist, David Wilson, in a column published on the Scottish Daily Mail (page 15) attack a reported decision by ITV to make a drama about serial killers, Rose and Fred West.

* The Scottish Sun (page 1, page 9) reports that Terry Taylor and Peter Murray, two boys who had talked about their alleged violent conduct in the streets of Dumfries – on ITV show, The Jeremy Kyle Show – are now receiving death threats. The pair are also claiming that their tales of attacks conducted with hammers and machetes were completely fictional.

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