Your Noon Briefing: Media academics in new indy analysis team, local TV channel for Glasgow launching, etc

SOME of Scotland’s best-known media academics have been recruited in an ambitious project to comment at least weekly on the upcoming referendum on whether the country should be independent.

They are part of a team of 14 – some of them relatively household names – recruited by the news analysis and comment site, The Conversation, that seeks to bring academic writing to a mainstream audience.

Says The Conversation: “The Conversation has assembled a panel of Scotland’s smartest academic minds from a range of disciplines including history, economics, politics, media, literature and business to analyse and comment on the final months of a campaign that promises to be dramatic and divisive.

“Every week, members of the Scotland Decides ’14 panel will consider referendum developments and issues. The first regular piece is published today [Friday, March 28]. There will also be specials and stand-alone reaction pieces in the run-up to, and on the night of, September 18.”

Included are Prof Neil Blain, director of the University of Stirling’s Media Research Institute; the programme leader in journalism at Edinburgh Napier University, Kate Smith; and columnist, Lesley Riddoch, who is completing a PhD at Strathclyde and Oslo universities.

The Scotland editor of The Conversation is Steven Vass, the recent deputy business editor on the Sunday Herald.

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A LOCAL TV channel for Glasgow is being launched on June 2.

A collaboration between STV and Glasgow Caledonian University, the channel will be available in the west of Scotland on Freeview channel 26.

It will operate between noon and midnight.

STV is also involved in a similar, local TV initiative, launching relatively soon in Edinburgh.

For more information, click here. And here.

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CONGRATULATIONS to the magazine, The People’s Friend. The DC Thomson-published title has been named a winner of awards celebrating sponsorship.

The People’s Friend sponsors afternoon programmes on ITV3.

And, says an announcement on the DC Thomson website, it has picked up the ‘First Time Sponsor Award’ at the UK Sponsorship Awards 2014.

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TO what extent might a yes or no vote, in the upcoming referendum on Scots independence, impact on the Scottish media?

Craig McGill – writing in The Drum media and marketing magazine, here – says the future will be more about technology than politics.

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SAYS the standfirst to a piece by Kevin McKenna, in The Observer newspaper, yesterday: “The writing on the Bella Caledonia and Wings Over Scotland websites is of a very high quality and often surpasses what appears in paid-for titles.”

Columnist, McKenna, was reacting to reports earlier this week that a Wings Over Scotland advert had been removed from the Glasgow subway system, that included the line: “There are 37 national or daily newspapers in Scotland. Just five of them are owned in Scotland. None of the 37 supports independence. Wouldn’t you at least like to hear both sides of the story?”

It’s a provocative read, that has McKenna opining: “Really, though, many of the journalists who claim to be offended by some of the more saucy and belligerent [online] postings really need to behave themselves and get a grip.”

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THE columnist and broadcaster, Tam Cowan, penned his final column for the Daily Record on Saturday, ahead of moving to The Scottish Sun.

And he looks back on his 16 years with the Record, here.

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AN exhibition of the work of Edinburgh cartoonist and illustrator, Bob Dewar, is opening in the capital on Saturday.

And Susan Mansfield, in The Scotsman, on Saturday, previews it.

For details of the exhibition, click here.

Meanwhile, reports The List magazine, there is a festival celebrating the work of the late Scots, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Norman McLaren, with The Herald newspaper adding that a McLaren exhibition is set to open at a museum across the road from where he was born, in Stirling.

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BEGINS Tim Sharp, City editor on The Herald: “Edinburgh-based publisher, Johnston Press, has confirmed it is still seeking to refinance its £300 million debt pile this year to avoid penal interest rates that kick in after the end of 2014.

“A focus on cutting costs, including the loss of 607 jobs during the financial year to December 28, helped the publisher of the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post newspapers to an underlying pre-tax profit of £54.3m, up 2.5 per cent on the year before.”

Johnston Press on Friday issued its financial results for last year.

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LECTURERS have reportedly called on ‘lads mags’ to be banned from university campuses.

Begins Andrew Denholm, in The Herald: “Academics from the UCU ­Scotland union are demanding shops on campus are either stopped from selling the publications or prevented from putting them on display.”

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A TV programme being transmitted this evening – about ships built on the River Clyde – is extensively previewed in the Press, including here in the Daily Record and here in The Herald.

‘Clydebuilt: The Ships That Made The Commonwealth’ is on from 2100 hours on BBC Two.

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CHECK out this media release promoting the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the NCTJ – posted on allmediascotland, the ideal place to connect with the media.

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