Your Noon Briefing: NUJ to meet Herald management, Scottish TV first, etc

A BALLOT on possible industrial action by journalists at the Herald and Times Group might be avoided later today, following a meeting between management and the National Union of Journalists.

Last week, the NUJ chapel at the group – which comprises The Herald, Sunday Herald, The National and the Evening Times – voted for a ballot, following news that 20 posts were at risk of redundancy.

But NUJ Scottish Organiser, Paul Holleran, is today meeting management to urge restraint.

He told “We’re being told that it’s a 20 per cent cut immediately – which is 20 posts – and a radical restructuring next month. Our position is, let the applications for voluntary redundancy come in over the next few days and then let’s together talk about restructuring.

“It’s still not ideal, but would be more civilised and hopefully avoid de facto compulsory redundancies, with certain posts being earmarked for redundancy. Anything that feels like compulsory redundancy will likely lead to some form of industrial action, which won’t be good for anyone, so let’s try to avoid it.”

The meeting is understood to be scheduled for 4pm.

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SAYS STV: “STV will make television history next week when it becomes the first broadcaster in the UK to televise a Scottish court hearing live and in full.

“STV News cameras will be operating inside Court 1 at the Court of Session in Edinburgh to report on proceedings brought on by the legal challenge to the election of Liberal Democrat Alistair Carmichael as MP for Orkney and Shetland.

“Beginning at 10.30am on Monday, 7 September, the case will be heard by judges Lady Paton and Lord Matthews in the Election Court, which will sit for the first time in Scotland since 1965.”

Read more, here.

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BEGINS an announcement from BBC Scotland: “The story of Scottish art and its impact on the international art world will be celebrated in a new four-part series on BBC Scotland.

“Presented by acclaimed artist, Lachlan Goudie, the series covers 5,000 years, from the earliest Neolithic art to the present day – the most ambitious television series about Scottish art in recent times.”

Read more, here.

The story is picked up The Herald, here.

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THE Scotsman columnist, Peter Jones, is wary of politicians getting involved in the BBC Charter renewal process – writing on the back of Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, both speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival last week and both speaking extensively about the BBC.

Read him, here, and also in The Scotsman (here) a story that begins: “Former First Minister, Alex Salmond, has said the BBC’s coverage of the referendum was a ‘blind spot’ that he did not factor into his independence strategy.”

The latter follows an appearance yesterday by Salmond at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which The Herald reports thus, on its front page: “The BBC sees itself as a ‘unionist institution’, according to a former BBC editor who accused the broadcaster of propaganda during the independence referendum campaign.

“Paul Mason, former economics editor for Newsnight and subsequently for Channel 4 News, said the BBC is led by unionists with a neoliberal point of view.

“Former First Minister, Alex Salmond, who chaired a discussion with Mr Mason at the Edinburgh Book Festival, said his own perception of bias at the BBC was a ‘blind spot’ that he did not factor into his independence strategy.”

Read more, here.

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BEGINS an announcement issued by one of Scotland’s best-known independent TV production companies, Tern: “Scotland and Northern Ireland based indie, Tern TV, is celebrating the success of its Channel 4 daytime series, John Barrowman’s Small Animal Hospital, which will make the jump to a new primetime slot this autumn.

“The original series will be re-versioned as three, one-hour episodes and given a new title, Pet Hospital (working title).”

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