Your Noon Briefing: Nelson named Political Journalist of the Year, Grierson Awards issues call for entries, etc

THE Scots journalist, Fraser Nelson – columnist on The Daily Telegraph and editor of The Spectator magazine – has been named Political Journalist of the Year, at the UK Press Awards.

The awards – organised by the Society of Editors – were held last night in London and it wasn’t quite as successful an evening for Nelson’s fellow shortlisted Scots, Catherine Deveney and Ian MacNicol.

Deveney had been nominated for Scoop of the Year for a piece in The Observer – UK’s top cardinal accused of ‘inappropriate acts’ by priests – while freelancer, MacNicol, was in the running for Sports Photographer of the Year.

Among the winners, The Guardian was named Newspaper of the Year.

Read the full list of winners, here.

* * *

THE publisher of The Scotsman newspaper has disposed of its Republic of Ireland interests, a reported 14 newspaper titles in total, for £7.2 million.

As announced here on the company’s website.

In a memo to staff, chief executive, Ashley Highfield, says: “Around 170 employees are affected, including some Johnston Press Ireland head office staff. The sale does not include any titles in Northern Ireland and Jean Long will remain as managing director of the Northern Ireland publishing unit.”

He is quoted in the announcement, as saying: “The disposal of our trade and assets in the Republic of Ireland will increase our ability to focus on the growth of our business in the United Kingdom and in particular our digital initiatives, in line with our stated strategy. We believe that it is in the group’s best interests to dedicate our resources to these opportunities.”

Both The Irish Times and holdthefrontpage claim the newspapers were purchased for £115 million nine years ago.

The titles involved include the Donegal Democrat, the Leinster Leader, the Limerick Chronicle and the Tipperary Star.

* * *

A LITTLE late in us reporting: THE journalist-turned-MSP, Joan McAlpine, has been found to have breached no Holyrood expenses rules involving a photography commission.

McAlpine was last week cleared by the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, a decision welcomed in a statement (here) by her political party, the SNP, and reported by The Herald newspaper.

McAlpine had recently found herself the subject of various front page splashes in the Scottish Daily Mail over the issue.

She is a former deputy editor of The Herald and also former editor of The Sunday Times Scotland. She currently pens a column for the Daily Record.

She last week issued a tweet, thanking people for their support.

* * *

HONEST, if you see anything that readers of should be made aware of, all you need to do is send the link to us here, and we’ll do the rest.

And self-promotion is allowed!

* * *

WELCOME… to a new student newspaper, The Call, produced by journalism students at Glasgow Clyde College and announced here.

* * *

TWO part-time digital community managers are being sought, to work in/around Edinburgh, by Maverick Television.

As advertised here.

* * *

ENQUIRIES are being sought with a view to setting up a possible media hub in Edinburgh.

Several office spaces – of varying sizes – are available at relatively modest cost, with the possibility that a cluster of them might then sustain the setting up of a media cafe and lecture space.

For more information, email here.

* * *

THE UK’s most prestigious documentary filmmaking competition has issued a call for entries.

Named after the Scot, John Grierson – dubbed the ‘father of documentary’ – the Grierson Awards has a deadline for applications of the 30th of next month.

Say the organisers: “The Grierson Awards commemorate the work of pioneering Scottish filmmaker John Grierson (1898 – 1972), famous for making Drifters and his association with Night Mail – the man widely regarded as the father of the documentary. Established in 1972, the Griersons annually celebrate documentaries that have made a significant contribution to the form. The list of past winners – which includes John Battsek, Kevin Macdonald, Penny Woolcock, Norma Percy, Molly Dineen, Nick Broomfield, Kim Longinotto, Paul Watson, Angus Macqueen and Pawel Pawlikowski – is testament to the high standard of work which is celebrated through these awards. They are the ultimate UK prizes for documentary filmmakers from across the globe.”

For more information, click here.

* * *

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

PS Your Noon Briefing is a relatively 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.