Your Noon Briefing: Spying on journalists’ sources, more on Ian Bell, etc

BEGINS the Sunday Mail’s political editor, Mark Aitken: “police chiefs have admitted ­hunting down journalists’ sources at least 12 times in three years

“Scotland’s national force revealed they had intercepted phone calls and billing data on seven individuals suspected of passing ­information to reporters, in addition to the four targeted during an illegal operation to find Sunday Mail sources in April.

Read more, here.

And begins Paul Hutcheon, in the Sunday Herald: “Police Scotland has confirmed that spying legislation was used in an attempt to flush out journalists’ sources on 12 separate occasions.”

He later writes: “The information had been sought by Scottish Newspaper Society director, John McLellan, who asked for details of historical applications [to determine journalists’ sources].

Read more, here.

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THE Herald, on Saturday, began (here): “Tributes have poured in to Ian Bell, the award-winning journalist and columnist for The Herald and Sunday Herald, who died on Thursday aged 59.

“The BBC’s Andrew Marr described Bell as ‘Scotland’s finest journalist’, while former First Minister Alex Salmond described news of his death as ‘gut-wrenching’.

“Condolences were also paid by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, The Proclaimers, who described Bell as ‘the finest journalist in the UK’, author Chris Brookmyre and a host of others from the worlds of journalism, culture and politics.”

And yesterday’s Sunday Herald carried the following message on its front page: “This edition of the Sunday Herald is dedicated to the memory of Ian Bell – friend, colleague, award-winning writer and Scotland’s greatest journalist.”

The paper then devoted pages eight, nine and ten to extracts of Bell’s work, plus tributes from his son, Sean Bell, and comment editor, Susan Flockhart.

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AS previously intimated, a week tomorrow: the last Your Noon Briefing. Two years ago, began to curate media news already ‘out there’, having previously sourced stories itself.

And now the site format is to change yet again.

Remaining: media jobs, media releases and the media shop. Upcoming: a hopefully much more effective media directory.

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A COMMUNICATIONS officer is being sought by the Police Investigations & Review Commissioner – as advertised here, on the media jobs board.

Plus, Canongate Communications is seeking an editorial assistant/researcher – as advertised here.

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AN improved performance by the NHS in Scotland, and Professor John Robertson wonders why BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland appears not to have given the story much, if any, air time.

He writes here, on the website,

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MARTIN Williams, in the Sunday Herald, begins: “The SNP has criticised leaders of a major inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting for repeated delays in engaging with Scotland.

“The Future for Public Service Television inquiry indicated last month it would hold an event in Scotland to elicit opinion, after the SNP claimed it was ‘weighted heavily towards southern England’.

“Scotland’s Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, told the Sunday Herald the inquiry should immediately ‘take account of Scotland’s views’.

“But nothing firm has so far been arranged leading to concerns that Scotland’s voice will not be heard when the UK government produces its white paper on BBC charter renewal due in early 2016.”

Read 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.