Your Noon Briefing: New BAFTA Scotland chair, Prof. John Robertson, etc

A CO-FOUNDER of a well-known Glasgow independent TV production company has been named the next chair of the Scotland branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).

Sarah Walmsley – who set up Raise the Roof Productions with Jane Muirhead, Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer four years ago – succeeds freelance executive producer, Claire Mundell, after her two-year tenure.

Says a BAFTA Scotland media announcement about her election: “[During the last four years] Walmsley has overseen the development and production of over 200 hours of television and ten network series which have been sold to 37 countries, worldwide. Raise the Roof Productions is now the largest true independent and Channel 4’s biggest supplier in Scotland.”

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BEGINS a column in The Drum media and marketing magazine, by Professor John Robertson, from the University of the West of Scotland: “When I published academic research at the beginning of the year examining the impartiality of broadcast news reporting ahead of the Scottish independence referendum, I didn’t expect one of the subjects of my report – BBC Scotland, no less – to take such a strong reaction to the findings.”

Read more, here.

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BEGINS The Guardian’s media commentator, Roy Greenslade: “I have often taken part in debates about the merits or otherwise of PR in its various guises – public relations, press office, communications and its latest manifestation, ‘reputation management’.

“I have listened to PR advocates whose main defence for their activities appears to rest on the fact that there is a moral equivalence between PRs and journalists.

“Both are spinners in the pay of their masters (and mistresses). Therefore, according to the PRs, it’s a bit rich for hacks to complain because everyone is in the propaganda game.

“At first listening, this argument has something to commend it. But, on reflection, not much. Think instead of two factors that overwhelmingly favour journalism: intention and result.”

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REPORTS The Herald, today (here): “More than 600 BBC staff will be on duty to cover the Commonwealth Games as the broadcaster strives to ensure viewers are given a ‘front-row seat’ to the action.

“The Corporation revealed yesterday an army of employees and freelancers would be deployed to document the 17 sports taking place at 14 venues during the 11 days of competition, with coverage extending across TV and radio.”

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STARTS The Scotsman: “Danish supermodel Helena Christensen and the Glasgow-born celebrity photographer John ‘Rankin’ Waddell are to top the bill at a major new Scottish fashion festival [the Edinburgh International Fashion Festival] this summer.

“The pair, renowned as two of the world’s most influential fashion photographers, will be visiting Edinburgh to unveil a major exhibition of their work as part of the week-long event next month.”

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GEORGE Monbiot starts his column in The Guardian, thus: “Three hundred years of press freedom are at risk, the newspapers cry. The government’s proposed press regulator, they warn, threatens their independence. They have a respectable case, when you can extract it from the festoons of sticky humbug. Because of the shocking failures, so far, of self-regulation, I’m marginally in favour of the state solution. But I can also see the dangers.

“Those who cry loudest against the regulator, however, recognise only one kind of freedom. In countries such as ours, the principal threat to freedom of expression comes not from government but from within the media. Censorship, in most cases, happens in the newsroom.”

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