FROM THE JOURNALS; A Weekly Roundup of News and Opinions from the Professional Press

Article excerpt

Campaigners have called for new laws to clamp down on offensive jokes about disabled people on TV and radio. Both the BBC and ITV failed to halt recent incidents, including jokes made by Jonathan Ross and Frank Skinner. One possibility would be to introduce an equivalent to the offence of incitement to racial hatred. Ross compared a man on his 19 April radio show to "someone you'd see in a Variety bus". Skinner's comments about people with restricted growth in his Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned show on ITV on 26 March sparked fresh anger after the Broadcasting Standards Commission upheld earlier complaints.

A survey into the way people see the police has revealed that bad stereotypes from TV and the press still dominate public perception, especially among the young. Former North Yorkshire constable Chris Cherry interviewed people mostly aged under 30 in what he describes as Middle England. The negative view of the police in the report contradicts the 2002 British Crime Survey, which said that 74 per cent of the population view the police with respect or great respect. …