Ofcom judges what constitutes an offensive joke

Katie Price, Frankie Boyle Image copyright Other
Image caption Ofcom called Comedian Frankie Boyle's joke about Katie Price's disabled child joke offensive

This round-up of today's biggest media industry stories finds offensive jokes have been keeping media regulator Ofcom busy.

Ofcom upheld complaints against a joke about Katie Price's disabled child but cleared Top Gear after the show's presenters called Mexicans feckless and flatulent.

The BBC reports Ofcom has censured comedian Frankie Boyle and Channel 4 for broadcasting "offensive" jokes about Katie Price and her son Harvey. Ofcom upheld 500 complaints about Boyle's routine, broadcast in December. It appeared to "target and mock the mental and physical disabilities" of the eight year-old, Ofcom said. The Independent adds that Katie Price has attacked Ofcom for failing to demand that Channel 4 broadcast an apology.

The Guardian says Ofcom has cleared BBC2's Top Gear of breaching broadcasting regulations after it described Mexicans as "lazy, feckless, flatulent [and] overweight". The watchdog said the comments had the potential to be "very offensive" but were justified by the programme's "irreverent style and sometimes outspoken humour". The Mexican ambassador in London complained to the BBC about the programme, branding it "xenophobic" and "offensive", while Ofcom received 157 complaints.

In the Telegraph Gillian Reynolds reflects on the changes in audio listening habits following the rebranding of Radio 7. She notes that there was "a seismic shift" in her kitchen at the weekend.

She says the portable digital radio has moved in alongside the old analogue set, "the one that's been there since the great frequency reallocation of 1978". She thinks the main difference between Radio 7 and 4 Extra is the schedule and, she adds "thank goodness, the departure of the ghastly CBeebies".

The Guardian reports Football League clubs face a cut in income after the league signed a TV deal for £23m a season, less than the previous contract. The new agreement, from 2012-13, will lead to 75 live Football League matches and the Carling Cup returning exclusively to pay TV in a deal worth £65m a year. The Guardian says it is believed that the BBC declined to bid for live matches this time around.

The BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones asks if Facebook is now the most important weapon in a politician's digital armoury. Mr Cellan-Jones suggests that Barack Obama certainly seems to think so.

"The US president has just launched his re-election campaign, and Facebook seems to be at the centre of it," he comments.

Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith has criticised media regulator Ofcom after it rejected his complaint over Channel 4 News reports about him, according to Press Gazette. The multi-millionaire MP was involved in a live on-air spat with Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow after the programme broadcast allegations about his election spending.

Details of the first round of job losses in the armed forces have provoked fighting talk in the papers, as featured in the BBC's newspaper review. The Sun says "don't you know there are two bloody wars on?" The tabloid adds that cutting numbers whilst committing troops to more fighting is "bizarre".