Your Noon Briefing: The media and Scots independence, sports marketing, AMS reader survey, etc

A STUDY of BBC, ITV and STV output over a 12-month period has found coverage leaning towards the Union, as opposed to Scots independence, by a ratio of 3:2.

Research by University of West of Scotland academic, Dr John Robertson, considered almost 730 hours of content between September 2012 and September last year.

Among the findings, the BBC’s Reporting Scotland early evening news programme was considered to have shown 262 news items that ‘benefited the No campaign’, and 171 ‘favourable to Yes’.

For STV’s early evening news programme, it was 255 versus 172.

The findings were picked up by SNP MSP, Joan McAlpine, in her column in the Daily Record, and also by the website, Newsnet Scotland – ‘set up [four years ago] in order to address what we believed to be an imbalance in the reporting of Scottish news and current affairs’ and supporting ‘major constitutional change for Scotland whether it be full fiscal autonomy, Devolution-Max or full independence’.

Meanwhile, columnist, Pete Martin, in The Scotsman today, wonders why Scots newspapers appear to have shunned what he believes to be the commercial opportunity presented by supporting Scots independence. Not least because of their falling sales.

He writes: “In the meantime, in default of delivery by traditional media, there’s a self-made digital publishing phenomenon happing in Scotland. From the fanzine style of Wings Over Scotland, the work-in-progress of the Caledonian Mercury, the creativity of the National Collective, the bravura of Bella Caledonia and the sheer cool of All Of Us First, new progressive thinking about Scotland’s future is bubbling up online.”

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THE owner of the Financial Times newspaper has reportedly warned of profits falling short of City hopes.

Writes Gareth Mackie, in The Scotsman, ‘tough trading conditions in the UK and US’ have hit the education publishing arm of  Pearsons.

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SOCIAL media forum, Facebook, could lose 80 per cent of its users within three years, warns researchers from Princeton University – says The Guardian, here, and, here.

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THE ‘Top Gear-ification’ of sport. Kevin Ferrie, in The Herald, returns to a pet theme, considering how sport is marketed in Scotland.

An article by him in November prompted this Media Senate feature on and – this may come as no surprise to Ferrie – there was zero response from the world of Scottish Sport to the invitation to add to the stock of comments sourced by the site.

(Thus making something of a mockery to the hope that ‘this could be huge’).

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IT’S been a while since the last one. If you are interested in helping shape the future of, plus perhaps joining a dedicated Scottish Media Club, and being able to source/provide expert quotes, then you will want to take part in our reader survey, found here.

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SCOTLAND on Sunday newspaper goes from broadsheet to compact this weekend, and the paper has produced a promotional video…


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CREATIVE industries – including the media – are estimated to be worth £8 million an hour to the UK economy, according to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport.

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THE death of the founder of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer group, Jocelyn Hay, has been described as the extinguishing of one of the ‘brightest stars in the broadcasting firmament’ – in an obituary today, by Scots media academic and commentator, Robert Beveridge.

Beveridge writes, in The Scotsman, of Hay, who died, aged 86: “After founding VLV in 1983, Jocelyn went on to chair annual Scottish conferences on broadcasting issues which provided unrivalled opportunities for the public to question and debate with broadcasters, regulators, politicians, journalists and academics.”

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THE Scotsman columnist, Joyce McMillan, has been re-elected chair of the Edinburgh Freelance branch of the National Union of Journalists.

It follows the branch annual general meeting, which also saw Mark Fisher re-elected as secretary.

The full line-up of office-bearers reads: Chair: Joyce McMillan; Vice-chair: Thom Dibdin; Secretary: Mark Fisher; Membership secretary: Andy Moore; Treasurer: Joyce McMillan; Training: Kay Smith. Edinburgh Trade Union Council rep: Simon Barrow; Welfare: Helen Fowler; Student rep: Sam Bradley and John Hewitt-Jones, Auditor one: Simon Barrow; and Auditor two: Rob Edwards.

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PS Your Noon Briefing is a new venture for We are no longer going to report news, story-by-story. Instead, we are going to find content we hope will be useful, in the belief it will prove to be a more comprehensive service.