Your Noon Briefing: Public service broadcasting, Johnston Press, etc

BEGINS Ofcom, the broadcasting regulators: “Ofcom has today published the conclusions of its third review of public service TV broadcasting, the first review since 2008.

“The review examines how the BBC, ITV, STV, UTV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and S4C have fulfilled the purposes of public service broadcasting (PSB), and identifies options for how the system could be maintained and strengthened.

“Ofcom is required by Parliament periodically to review how PSB is performing.

“Ofcom’s review finds that the public service broadcasters continue to make a significant contribution to UK broadcasting.

“Viewers value PSB programmes, and audience satisfaction is high.

“Close to eight in ten viewers (79 per cent) believe PSB is delivering on its purposes – such as trustworthy news and high quality programmes that reflect the UK – a notable increase from 69 per cent in 2008.

“Over half of all TV viewing is to the main PSB channels – BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, UTV, STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – rising to over 70 per cent when all the channels broadcast by PSBs, such as time-shifted ‘+1’ channels, are taken into account.

“The PSBs make a significant contribution to content creation in the UK. In 2013, they invested just over £2bn in new UK programmes, not including sports content, compared to around £350m from non-PSB sources.”

Read more, here.

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MEANWHILE, a news item in the latest bulletin from the national executive of the National Union of Journalists: “The NUJ has secured agreement in Scotland on a range of workplace issues at Johnston Press [publisher of The Scotsman and several local newspapers in Scotland] including a new ‘house agreement’, a five per cent pay increase on the basic rate with some staff securing between 16-20 per cent rise and a minimum of two per cent across the board.”

The announcement continues: “The company has also agreed to create six new posts and this could be increased over time. These improvements have been achieved following a previous lack of consultation. The union aims to replicate this success in other parts of the company.”

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A LIST of the ‘most powerful women’ – produced by the BBC radio programme, Woman’s Hour – might have placed Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, at No.1.

But – as Roy Greenslade, in The Guardian, notes (here) – “that four of the top ten hold senior positions in the media and a fifth was, until recently, also a journalist”.

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WE recommend a large punch of salt might be taken with this announcement from former BBC Radio Scotland, presenter, Derek Bateman: “I’m announcing… that I’ve been offered and have accepted a role writing for the Daily Mail. They’re looking for more diversity in their coverage and think I’ll provide balance.”

And if our interpretation happens to be wrong, then apologies to all parties concerned.

Judge for yourself, here.

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REPORTS “A website and magazine dedicated to ‘positive’ journalism has raised nearly £170,000 in crowdfunding.

“Positive News claims that if it hits a £200,000 target on the website,, by 8 July it will become the world’s first crowdfunded global news media cooperative.

“It is selling shares and giving each shareholder a say in how the publication is run.”

Red more, here.

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SEEN anything you think readers of should be made aware of? Then just send the weblink to here and we’ll do the rest. All suggestions gratefully received. We’re back at noon tomorrow.