Thursday, 19 August 2010

Five Star

The Daily Star is well known for writing sensationalist but untrue stories about celebs, computer games, films, immigration, Islam, reality TV, the McCanns, volcanic ash clouds and much more besides.

But it's not all made-up crap.

In the last month, the Star has become notable for one other type of story too - the puff piece for Channel Five:

Obviously this is absolutely unconnected to the fact that the Star's owner, Richard Desmond, recently bought Channel Five.

A year ago, Desmond lost (yes, lost) his libel case against Tom Bower. While giving evidence, he said, under oath, somewhat surprisingly, that:

'I give no orders on the editorial. The editor decides what goes in the papers.'

Presumably, the lack of Star articles about Channel Five's ratings, programmes and presenters before Desmond bought the channel is mere coincidence.

MediaMonkey noted on 27 July that the Star's TV critic Mike Ward seemed to have started noticing Channel Five programmes rather more:

...his "What's hot to watch today" column in today's paper features no fewer than four Five programmes out of a total of six recommended: Neighbours and three episodes from CSI and franchises, one of which is at least four years old.

And it wasn't just the Star:

Over at the Express, meanwhile, Ward's opposite number Matt Baylis reflects on last night's TV, penning a lengthy piece in praise of Neighbours, above a fact box detailing several things you might not have known about one of its former stars, Stefan Dennis.

And it wasn't just that day.

On 28 July, three of Ward's five recommendations were on Channel Five. On 30 July it was four out of six. On 6 August three of six. And on 12 August, Baylis was praising Neighbours again.

Of course, Desmond's lot aren't the only ones playing this game - the Sun praises Sky while Sky News tries to avoid debate about phone-hacking at the News of the World.

It is tiresome and obvious. But, sadly, it seems inevitable that such cross-media promotion follows cross-media ownership.


  1. Good job no other papers do that for media they are mates and/or have media relationships with

  2. There's one of these on Page 29 of Todays express, it's hilarious really because it portrays a channel 5 related show of preventing suicide!


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