NEWS SNIPPETS_______________

 

DECEMBER 2003

 

 

And another thing …

 

Soon we’ll be able to complain to one company about anything from last night’s TV to our phone tariff.  Ofcom is in for a busy time, says John Plunkett

 

The following is a short extract from the feature article in G2

 

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fcom has pledged to respond to each complaint within 24 hours.  But resolution of more complicated issues will take up to three months.  The regulator is yet to publish performance targets, but insiders admit they are into “unknown territory”.  Not good enough, says John Beyer, director of viewers and listeners group mediawatch-uk.  “The occasions when complaints are upheld are very rare, and the motivation for people to do it more than once are very small indeed,” he says.  “It’s very easy to complain if you know all the addresses, but one of the difficulties for viewers and listeners is that you are very rarely told where to write or encouraged to get in touch.  I long ago gave up writing about routine things but on really serious things I do try to write.  The idea that (Channel 4’s) Pornography: the Musical did not breach the programme code beggars belief.”  Nowt as queer as regulators?  Maybe.  But with the number of complaints set to soar, there will be nowt as busy either.

 

Ofcom comes into operation on December 29.  To contact Ofcom telephone 0845 456 3000, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.ofcom.org.uk

 

The Guardian 1/12/2003

 

Click here for Ofcom: Latest Developments

 

Click here for mediawatch-uk directory

 

Click here for Autumn 2003 ‘newsbrief’

 

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Coca-Cola deal pops up on BBC

 

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oca-Cola is to sponsor the pop charts in a £2 million deal which will give the soft drink giant regular plugs on the BBC.  The deal is likely to prove controversial as the Government considers a crackdown on food and drink adverts targeted at children.  The BBC said that the company will not be allowed to use its logo or provide funding for Top of the Pops.

 

The Times 2/12/2003

 

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Berlusconi victory on media reform

 

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ontroversial legislation allowing Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, to tighten his grip on the media was passed by senators in Rome last night.  The vote liberalises media ownership regulations, handing Mr Berlusconi the opportunity to extend his empire despite criticism from centre-Left opposition politicians, newspaper editors and the state broadcaster RAI.

 

Daily Telegraph 3/12/2003

 

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BBC2 loses a tenth of upmarket viewers

 

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BC2, the traditional television heartland of educated classes, has lost nearly one in ten of its upmarket viewers this year, new figures show.  The station saw its share of ABC1 viewing between 5.30pm and midnight fall by 8.4 per cent compared with the same period last year.  All of the five terrestrial channels are losing such viewers – many of them going to digital channels such as BBC4 – but the decline is far more marked on BBC2.  A BBC spokesman said that the channel had lost out to Channel 4’s recent proliferation of property programmes.  Another factor was that multi-channel television was shaking off its ‘low grade’ image and becoming more socially acceptable.

 

Daily Telegraph 3/12/2003

 

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Soaps ‘focus too much on the pub’

 

Soap operas encourage youngsters to go on binge-drinking sessions, say campaigners.  EastEnders and Coronations Street set a bad example by portraying the pub as the centre of the community, according to Andrew Varley, of the Institute of Alcohol Studies.  ‘It would be helpful if programmes such as these didn’t treat continual drinking as a totally normal activity’, he said.

 

Daily Mail 5/12/2003

 

For more information visit: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk

 

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A Playboy salesman for the American Dream

 

As Playboy limps, somewhat deflated, into the Viagra zone, threatened with an embarrassing circulation dysfunction, its time to consider what the Bunny has done for civilisation.  (It) has always be obvious that Playboy’s primary concern was not sex … it was devoted to something equally seductive and just as remote: a lifestyle.  Although when Hugh Hefner’s first edition appeared 50 years ago today, before the sexual revolution, the word lifestyle had not been coined.

 

Short extract from an article by Stephen Bayley to mark the 50th anniversary of Playboy magazine

 

The Times 5/12/2003

 

Click here for Warts and all!

 

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Regulator set to pass DirecTV bid by News Corp

 

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he Federal Communications Commission could finally approve the News Corporation’s bid to take control of DirecTV, the American satellite broadcaster, by Christmas.  The US regulator has this week put forward a formal recommendation that the five FCC members should approve the deal – with conditions.  The $6.6 billion deal would give News Corp control of the largest US satellite broadcaster with 12 million subscribers.

 

The Times 5/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.fcc.gov

 

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Police study links as second woman jogger is stabbed

 

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 woman who was repeatedly stabbed while jogging in a London park may have been attacked by the same man who murdered an American artist in similar circumstances in February, Police fear.  Police are warning women joggers to be on their guard, and not to go running alone.

 

Sunday Times 7/12/2003

 

Click here for ‘Promoting a Culture of Violence 2’

 

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Down-in-the-dumps Dyke

 

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riends of Greg Dyke say the BBC director-general is not a happy chappy.  One close chum said he is at the stage where he doesn’t want to get up and go to work.  The Hutton inquiry is taking its toll – the report is due in weeks.  Dyke is also about to incur the wrath of his own team by decreeing that BBC reporters cannot carry on writing freelance columns for newspapers.

 

Sunday Times 7/12/2003

 

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Torture

 

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an we squash this revolting idea (Giant TVs to invade city centres 30/11/2003)?  We already have television in pubs, shopping centres and benefits offices.  It’s even on my local bus.  Can’t there be some public space that’s protected from the cretinous drivel?  And once the BBC has them, every other channel will no doubt demand the same right.  Do we really want to be hounded by adverts for corn plasters whenever we fancy a stroll? 

 

Sunday Times Points 7/12/2003

 

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£1.4m payout for the ousted TV boss with no contract

 

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usted ITV chairman Michael Green has been given a ‘golden goodbye’ – even though he did not have a contract with the company.  Mr Green, who is already a multi-millionaire, will receive a year’s salary – worth around £700,000 – plus bonuses and share options.  On top of that he gets a £134,000-a-year pension for life.

 

Daily Mail 8/12/2003

 

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Porn inquiry fails

 

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olice have failed to investigate almost half of the 5,700 suspected paedophiles in England and Wales, whose names were handed to them almost 20 months ago by US police in one of the world’s biggest child pornography investigations.  Computers of 2,495 people have not yet been examined.

 

The Times 9/12/2003

 

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ITV chief to give up benefits under merger

 

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he contract of Charles Allen, the chief executive designate of ITV plc, has been stripped of frills in order to head off opposition from militant shareholders.  Documents released yesterday explaining the £5.1 billion merger of Carlton Communications and Granada to shareholders of both companies show that Mr Allen will no longer receive a two-year contract or the right to walk away from his job with compensation at 30 days notice.

 

The Times 9/12/2003

 

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3 brings adult videos to your mobile phone

 

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he mobile phone operator 3 is promising customers instant gratification from today, with a new video download service built around adult entertainment, music and news.  The company predicts that adult services will fuel sales of video-capable handsets over Christmas and during the next year.

 

The Times 9/12/2003

 

Click here for ‘Time to strengthen the law against pornography’

 

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Driver murdered by teenage ninja

 

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 teenager dressed as a ninja martial arts warrior stabbed a motorist to death in a random attack at traffic lights, a court was told yesterday.  Jamie Osbourne, 19, and his 16-year-old girlfriend ambushed the car by pressing a pedestrian crossing button.  The car stopped and Osbourne, dressed in black, wearing a mask and carrying a 12-inch ceremonial dagger, stabbed the driver four times in the face.  He was said to have had ‘delusional fantasies’ as a heavy smoker of cannabis.  He was jailed for life.

 

Daily Telegraph 9/12/2003

 

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Regional commitment

 

ITV executives told the Commons Select Committee that commitments on regional programming, particularly news, would be kept despite cost cutting after the merger of Carlton and Granada.

 

The Times 10/12/2003

 

Click here for mediawatch-uk submission to the Competition Commission

 

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BBC appoints deputy for Dyke to deflect criticism

 

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reg Dyke, the BBC’s director general, yesterday announced the appointment of a deputy director general in an attempt to head off criticism expected from Lord Hutton next month.  Mark Byford, who runs the BBC World Service and Global News, will be responsible for making sure that all BBC programmes comply with the corporation’s guidelines, and for dealing with all complaints.  An internal review of complaints was launched this year by the BBC but senior executives conceded yesterday that Mr Byford’s appointment was “not unconnected to with Hutton”.  A post of controller of complaints will be created and the editorial policy department, headed by the former director of the Broadcasting Standards Commission, will also report to Mr Byford.  The department deals with programme issues before they are broadcast.

 

The Times 11/12/2003

 

Click here for mediawatch-uk directory

 

Click here for extracts from BBC Producer’s Guidelines

 

Click here for autumn 2003 newsbrief on review of the BBC

 

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The BBC’s future is in the hands of the public

 

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he Culture Secretary, Tessa Jowell, yesterday posed 24 tough questions about the future of the BBC as the Government officially launched an extensive consultation as part of the review of the Corporation’s Royal Charter.  The questions range from how the BBC should be funded to whether it should remain a single integrated organisation – or have a charter at all.  The consultation comes against a background in which 50 per cent of UK homes will have digital television in some form by the end of this year.  The review, Ms Jowell said, would be arguably the “most complex and significant in the history of public service broadcasting”.  Despite all the questions the BBC will face, the Government, the Culture Secretary said, is committed to one pre-determined outcome: “the continuation of a strong BBC, independent of Government, both now and in the future.  The questions cover every aspect of the BBC’s structure and services.  The Government wants to know what the people think of the BBC’s contribution to the life of the UK and whether there are better ways to deliver some of the contribution that the BBC has traditionally delivered.  The questions the Government is seeking answers to include:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ms Jowell said that previous reviews of BBC charters had been by the great and the good, by ministers and civil servants.  “This review will be different.  For the first time the driving force will be the British people.  Through the licence fee that are in effect the BBC’s shareholders,” Ms Jowell said.  The public will be able to put the opinions directly to ministers in writing and at meetings to be held all over Britain.

 

The Times 12/12/2003

 

Click here for background information in autumn 2003 newsbrief

 

Click here for mediawatch-uk paper ‘Funding the BBC’

 

Click here for mediawatch-uk paper on Public Service Broadcasting

 

Click here for ‘A Fair Deal For Stakeholders’

 

Click here for ‘Towards a Viewers Charter’

 

If you have something to say about BBC programmes telephone the comment line: 08700 100222 or send an e-mail to [email protected]

 

For more information about the consultation visit: www.culture.gov.uk

 

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BBC1 ahead of ITV1 in annual ratings

 

BBC1 is set to beat ITV1 in the end-of-year ratings for the third year running.  Latest Barb figures for all hours show BBC1 currently has a share of 25.6 per cent against ITV1’s 23.7 per cent.

 

Broadcast 12/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.barb.co.uk

 

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New Chair at Ofcom

 

New super-regulator Ofcom has appointed Colette Bowe to the key post of chairman of its independent Consumer Panel.  Bowe, currently chairman of the council of the telecoms ombudsman service, will be responsible for chairing a panel of 10 to 12 part-time members representing the interests of consumers and small businesses.

 

Broadcast 12/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.ofcom.org.uk

 

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TV blamed for weak forensic courses

 

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he popularity of TV programmes such as Silent Witness that glamorise crime scene investigations has contributed to a big increase in degree courses in forensic science with little chance of a job at the end of them, a deputy chief constable has claimed. 

 

The Times 12/12/2003

 

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Save us from, like, cheap reality TV

 

TV REVIEW  SARAH VINE

 

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t’s generally assumed that it you’re watching TV between 8pm and 10pm on Friday, you’re either very young, very old or a bit of a no-friends.  After that there’s an assumption of drunkenness, hence Graham Norton, Chris Tarrant and Jonathan Ross – with the exception of Newsnight Review, tricky enough when sober, double Dutch after seven pints.  Thus those of us flat out on the sofa after an honest week’s toil face a bleak choice: slow death by David Jason on ITV, property porn on Five, or a lame mixture of sitcom and gardening from the Beeb.  The only channel providing anything halfway decent is Channel 4, and even that is bisected by the stale antics of Friends.

 

The Times 13/12/2003

 

Click here for Gruesome Reality TV

 

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TV film could turn more parents off the triple jab

 

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 TV drama about the MMR controversy could lead to a measles epidemic, NHS officials and a host of medical experts have warned.  They said the Channel five drama, Hear the Silence, could deter still more parents from letting their children have the triple vaccine.  The drama, to be screened on Monday, 15 December 2003, stars Juliet Stevenson as a mother who becomes increasingly convinced that her son’s autism and health problems have been caused by the triple jab.

 

Daily Mail 13/12/2003

 

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Graham Norton decamps to BBC

 

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he chat show host Graham Norton is to move to BBC1 next year to present a new Saturday night light entertainment show.  The corporation has poached Norton from Channel 4, where he made his name, to reinvigorate its schedule in the early part of Saturday evenings.  He will be expected to tone down the camp and risqué jokes, as he will be working for a mainstream audience.  The BBC was said to be thrilled to have him on board.

 

The Times 13/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.bbc.co.uk

 

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Consumer group criticises BSkyB

 

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he Consumers’ Association yesterday launched a fierce attack on BskyB’s “virtual monopoly” on screening Premier League games, describing the arrangements as “anti-consumer, anti-fan and anti-competitive”.  The Association said that the present arrangement effectively excluded at least 4.5 million fans a week from viewing the football games they wanted to watch.

 

The Times 13/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.which.net

 

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Boost for British films

 

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illions of pounds are to be poured into the British film industry to help home-grown movies achieve a higher profile at the cinema.  The Government is looking at ways to help low-budget British films emulate the success of such box office hits as Calendar Girls and Bend It Like Beckham.  Those films got made partly because their producers benefited from tax breaks, which Chancellor Gordon Brown announced he was extending during his pre-budget report last week.

 

Sunday Express 14/12/2003

 

For news and information about latest film releases visit: www.bbfc.co.uk

 

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Deja View

 

Fury as Christmas Day TV repeats soar to a new record

 

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ore TV repeats than ever will be shown on Christmas Day, Daily Mail research reveals.  Over half the programmes are reruns – almost twice as many as last year and more than five times the number broadcast in 1997.  Of the 138 programmes listed for December 25 in terrestrial schedules, only 63 are new.  BBC2 repeats have risen from ten in 2002 to 19 this year, including two episodes of Michael Palin’s Around the World in 80 Days.  ‘All our repeats are classic high-quality programming which people love to watch’, said a BBC2 spokesman.  ITV1 has the most marked increase, with 16 Christmas Day repeats compared with four last year.

 

Daily Mail 17/12/2003

 

Speaking today John Beyer mediawatch-uk director said that the Daily Mail observations are valid criticism and the viewing public is entitled to a better deal than this.  “With the BBC licence fee rising every year there ought be more original programming shown at a time when viewing figures are traditionally high.  The cynic in me suggests that this is a ploy to drive people to go digital so that viewers have a greater choice of channels.  Bearing in mind that the Government has launched a wide-ranging review of the BBC in the run up to Charter renewal in 2006 the number of repeats is a factor in determining whether the BBC does really offer value for money. The high number of repeats on ITV1 is not a very good start for the merged ITV either – viewers were promised better and more original programming before the merger was approved by the Government.”

 

For information on the Government consultation visit: www.culture.gov.uk

 

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The BBC’s big names are barred from freelancing

 

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he BBC’s star broadcasters are being banned from writing newspaper and magazine articles, it emerged yesterday.  Fourteen senior journalists are expected to receive compensation in the form of pay rises when their contracts come up for renewal nest year.  It is likely the public will foot the bill for any increases. 

 

Daily Mail 17/12/2003

 

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Broadcasting watchdog’s costs to run £36m over budget

 

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fcom, the new broadcasting and telecoms regulator, yesterday admitted that its costs will soar by 27 per cent next year, with £36 million more spent than earlier estimated.  The regulator, which assumes its new powers over Britain’s communications industry in a fortnight, disclosed yesterday that its annual costs would total £164 million in the year from April 2004.  At an open day yesterday Lord Currie of Marylebone, the Ofcom chairman, sought to explain to broadcasters and telecoms firms that “cheap regulation can be very expensive”.

 

The Times 17/12/2003

 

Click here for Ofcom: Latest Developments

 

For latest news and information visit: www.ofcom.org.uk

 

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The Ad in exceedingly bad taste

 

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 Christmas TV commercial for Mr Kipling cakes has been withdrawn following hundreds of complaints that it was blasphemous.  %70 viewers contacted the Independent Television Commission.  A spokesman for cake-makers Manor Bakeries said last night: ‘The very last thing Mr Kipling would want to do is cause offence’.

 

Daily Mail 18/12/2003

 

Speaking today John Beyer, mediawatch-uk director, welcomed the decision taken by Manor Bakeries to withdraw this promotion.  “We received a number of calls from people who had found it offensive and it is good that the company has taken action so quickly.  We hope that other companies will follow this fine example of self-regulation.”

 

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Warnings: TV damages your culture

 

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he votes have been published today on the television programmes that leading academics think are the most damaging to British culture.  Big Brother topped the 1,673-vote poll with 219.  Pop Idol was in second place with 109 votes, according to the survey in the Times Higher Educational Supplement.

 

The Times 18/12/2003

 

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Festive period boosts Freeview sales

 

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reeview is selling 100,000 boxes a week in the run-up to Christmas and is expected to be in 2.5 million homes by the end of the year, according to figures released this week.  Around 500,000 units are expected to be sold over the festive period.

 

Broadcast 19/12/2003

 

For industry news and information visit: www.broadcastnow.co.uk

 

For news and information about digital television visit: www.freeview.co.uk and www.sky.com

 

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ITC unveils 12 all-time top complaints

 

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he Independent Television Commission, set to be replaced in a fortnight by Ofcom, signed off this week by unveiling a list of the most complained about programmes in its 13-year history.  In its last programme complaints bulletin, the ITC reported 223 complaints from viewers about a trailer for the Uefa Champion’s League which featured a child flicking mashed potato at his grandmother.  These complaints were upheld on the grounds that the trailer encouraged cruel and violent behaviour against the elderly.

 

The programme that received most complaints (1,554) was the film ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ shown by Channel 4 TV in 1995.  Only two of the top-ten complaints were upheld and that was the Uefa trailer and Against Nature.

 

Broadcast 19/12/2003

 

Click here for Autumn 2003 newsbrief

 

For industry news and information visit: www.broadcastnow.co.uk

 

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BBC puts Charter debate onto TV

 

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he BBC is developing a series of programmes to allow viewers to take part in the Government’s public consultation on the future of the corporation.  The BBC is expected to air a number of radio and YV debates on its future in the run-up to Charter renewal, including a major show, as it did in the last Charter debate.  Regional radio phone-ins are also likely to be used.  The announcement came as Liberal Democrat media spokesman Lord McNally warned that the public could be unduly influenced by media criticism of the BBC by rivals with vested interests.  The public consultation, launched last week by media secretary Tessa Jowell, will see leaflets inviting licence fee payers to give their views on the BBC and a series of pu8blic meetings across the country to encourage direct discussion with ministers.

 

Broadcast 19/12/2003

 

The Consultation Paper on the BBC can be seen at: www.culture.gov.uk

 

For industry news and information visit: www.broadcastnow.co.uk

 

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Dyke plays down Hutton inquiry fallout for BBC

 

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one of the BBC’s senior executives will have to resign as a result of publication of the Hutton report next month, Greg Dyke, the Director General insisted yesterday.  Mr Dyke’s attempt to pre-empt the conclusions of the inquiry into the death of Dr David Kelly will be seen as part of a concerted damage-limitation exercise on an affair that has cast a dark shadow over the BBC and the Government.  Mr Dyke said: “Clearly we accept there were some failures and we said we would look at our processes and procedures and that is what we have done.”

 

The Times 19/12/2002

 

Click here for Autumn 2003 newsbrief

 

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Digital radios top Christmas gift list

 

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igital radios are this year’s “must have” present, according to retailers who have otherwise reported sluggish Christmas trading.  The main electrical stores said digital radios had at last caught the public imagination.  Since November sales of digital radios have gone up 276 per cent.  The big selling points of these receivers are the range of channels and the superior quality of reception.

 

Sunday Times 21/12/2003

 

For news and information about Digital Radio visit: www.bbc.co.uk

 

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Dyke shares row over BBC Nutcracker

 

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BC Director General Greg Dyke was embroiled in controversy last night after the corporation broadcast a Christmas show made by a company in which he has a £1 million stake.  The Nutcracker! – a racy reworking of Tchaikovsky’s ballet in the style of a 1930’s Hollywood musical – was shown on BBC1.  The screening is expected to boost the value of Mr Dyke’s shareholding through sales of DVD’s and tickets at Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

 

Daily Mail 22/12/2003

 

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Radio blunder

 

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ey 103, a radio station in Manchester, has been severely criticised by the Radio Authority and forced to apologise after a presenter gave a ‘light hearted’ step-by-step description of how to commit suicide to a caller who was suffering from depression and had already tried to kill herself.

 

The Times 23/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.radioauthority.org.uk

 

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Watchdog criticises erratic quality of ITV news

 

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he Independent Television Commission yesterday took a parting shot at ITV news and criticised Tonight with Trevor McDonald for being ‘uneven in range and quality’.  The commercial television regulator was delivering its final annual programme review before handing over to Ofcom which takes up its formal powers next Monday.

 

The Times 24/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.ofcom.org.uk where the ITC website can be accessed

 

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Humphrys gets a £50,000 pay increase for doing less work

 

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he BBC has agreed a deal which will pay John Humphrys £50,000 more a year for doing less work.  In return the veteran Today presenter has promised to stay with the corporation for another three years.  Director General Greg Dyke has said journalists who lose out by not writing articles for newspapers will be compensated.

 

Daily Mail 24/12/2003

 

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Today gives Tebbit a day to tell it his way

 

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rofessor Stephen Hawking, Thom Yorke of the band Radiohead, and Lord Tebbit will take over the Radio 4 Today programme next week when the editor’s chair is occupied by special guests.  After a year which has seen the BBC’s flagship radio current affairs programme attacked for Andrew Gilligan’s Iraq reports, the editor’s seat is being offered to enthusiastic amateurs.  They will choose which issues are to be tackled and be responsible for up to a third of the programme’s daily output.

 

The Times 24/12/2003

 

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Will Corrie swap the Rovers for an Internet café

 

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t is winning the battle for viewers but not, it would seem, the battle for young viewers.  Coronation Street bosses have ordered their writers to dream up more juicy plotlines involving the show’s younger characters in an attempt to lower the age profile of the audience.  The soap is currently just ahead of EastEnders in the ratings war, but only by around 800,000 viewers.  It draws 13.3 million, compared to the BBC rival’s 12.5 million.

 

Daily Mail 24/12/2003

 

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Christmas TV turns off a million viewers

 

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hristmas Day television proved a huge turn-off as audiences fell by one million on last year’s figures.  The days when families gathered around the TV set on December 25 appear to be on the wane, as viewers grow bored with the same old fare.  Audiences across all channels peaked at 27.2 million, compared with 28.3 million last year.  Currently, the BBC’s average share of the audience in 2003 is two points ahead of ITV1, though ITV1 is winning in primetime.

 

Daily Mail 27/12/2003

 

For news and information on ratings visit: www.barb.co.uk

 

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Brighter picture for television ads

 

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hristmas television advertising perked up at the last minute as retailers spent feverishly to convince us to buy gifts such as DVDs and CDs.  The latest burst of spending should take ITV’s advertising revenues to within £1 million of last year’s £124 million performance for December.  The latest industry figures show ITV down by 3.4 per cent in 2003, with advertising income of £1.62 billion, despite signs that the industry recession has ended.  The total of television advertising spending this year came to £3.16 billion.

 

The Times 27/12/2003

 

For news and information visit: www.itv.com

 

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Testing start for media watchdog

 

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ary Whitehouse would not have approved.  Today a new watchdog takes responsibility for holding back the tide of filth and depravity that she feared would swamp the small screen if broadcasters were left to their own devices.  But the Office of Communications – whose mission is to regulate with a lighter touch – is not just charged with over-seeing standards of taste and decency on radio and TV.  It must also rule on commercial radio licences, the telecommunications industry, newspaper mergers, and some aspects of the BBC.

 

The Guardian 29/12/2003

 

Click here for Speculative suggestion

 

Click here for Making Her Voice Heard

 

For news and information visit: www.ofcom.org.uk

 

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TV chiefs favour Muslims, says watchdog

 

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uslims are being given preferential treatment by Britain’s comedians and dramatists on television and radio, according to broadcast watchdogs.  Satirists who routinely mock Christians are said to have become ‘timid’, ‘cautious’ and ‘self censoring’ at the prospect of offending the Islamic faith.  Lord Dubs, chairman of the Broadcasting Standards Commission said: ‘In portraying Muslims they have held back, they have censored themselves, they are timid.  The BSC recently upheld a complaint about the use of the phrase ‘Jesus f****** Christ’ by Jamie Oliver on Channel 4.

 

Sunday Times 28/12/2003

 

Click here for ‘The Daily Grunt Part 2’

 

Form Monday 29/12/2003 Ofcom takes up its regulatory powers.  For news and Information visit: www.ofcom.org.uk

 

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Soaps ‘encourage binge-drinking’

 

T

V soaps have been accused of encouraging the dangerous culture of binge-drinking.  Research for the charity Alcohol Concern found that drinking scenes in soaps have almost doubled in 20 years.  Recent figures showed that alcohol misuse costs Britain up to £6.4 billion in the workplace, £1.7 billion on the health service and £7.3 billion in crime and public disorder.  Eric Appleby, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, criticised soaps for making binge drinking appear ‘normal and expected’.  He attacked writers for failing to use storylines showing the ‘more problematic side of alcohol’.

 

Daily Mail 29/12/2003

 

For more information visit: www.alcoholconcern.org.uk

 

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Bullying blamed on children’s TV

 

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harles Clarke, the Education Secretary, blamed children’s television programmes for encouraging bullying in schools yesterday.  He demanded that broadcasters investigate whether there was a link between television violence and bullying.  “What goes on television does have an impact on children’s view of violence” he said.  “The main argument I want to challenge, about which there is too much acceptance, is that violence on television encourages people to grow up thinking violence is an acceptable way of operating”.

 

The Times 29/12/2003

 

Click here for mediawatch-uk correspondence with Mr Clarke

 

Click here for ‘Promoting a Culture of Violence 2’

 

Click here for ‘How we make real a brutal make-believe’

 

Click here for ‘Television and Violence’

 

Click here for extracts from the Codes and Guidelines

 

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The soaring number of children who turn to crime

 

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he number of criminals aged 11 and under has soared 150 per cent over the past ten years, figures revealed yesterday.  The alarming Home Office statistics show child offenders are becoming younger and more violent.  There has also been a 50 per cent increase in the number of girls involved in crime.  Children aged between ten and 17 committed 49,200 crimes last year.  Their crimes included more than 6,000 acts of violence, over 5,600 burglaries, almost 1,500 robberies and more than 17,000 cases of theft or handling stolen goods.  There were nearly 400 sexual offences.

 

Daily Mail 30/12/2003

 

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