Your noon briefing: Edinburgh freelancers preparing to party, Blair Jenkins, etc

THE Edinburgh Freelance branch of the National Union of Journalists is seeking to track down as many former office-bearers as possible, to help it celebrate its 50th birthday.

Longest-serving member, Gordon Smith, has helped current branch secretary, Mark Fisher, pin down some early historical details.

Says Fisher: “It was on Sunday July 6 1964 that a group of journalists gathered in the old Edinburgh Press Club for the branch’s inaugural meeting. Things had been set in motion by Roy Thomson’s takeover of the Evening News the previous November and its subsequent merger with [now defunct newspaper] the Evening Dispatch.

“Staff had been made redundant on a ‘last in, first out’ basis and several were forced to go freelance. The NUJ had a rule that if a branch had more than nine freelances, they had to form their own branch.

“On that day, George Millar was elected chair, John Scott secretary and Gordon Smith treasurer. Also present were Gordon Dean, Bill Rae, Magnus Williamson, John Wilkie, Malcolm Dunbar and Isobel Lockie.”

The 50th birthday party is scheduled for the 21st of this month.

For more details and to help in tracking down former branch office-bearers, email

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WHAT did Blair Jenkins, chief executive of Yes Scotland, make of a recent protest at the BBC, accused of anti-Scots independence bias?

The former head of news and current affairs at BBC Scotland is quoted in the Sunday Herald, as saying: “I understand the unhappiness with particular items on particular programmes… but I don’t personally subscribe to the view that we are facing an organisation that’s got some systemic anti-Yes agenda.”

And when asked whether he would join such a demo, he is further quoted, as saying: “I wouldn’t, but people are perfectly entitled to do that.”

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WHAT might a Yes vote, in the upcoming referendum on Scots independence, mean for the country’s TV sector?

The Independent’s Ian Burrell considers, here.

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BEGINS the website “Heart listeners using DAB digital radio in Central Scotland need to retune to continue listening to the station.

“From 5th July, the station continues on the Edinburgh and Glasgow local multiplexes; its transmission on the regional Central Scotland multiplex is withdrawn.”

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FASCINATING read by Chris Huhne, in The Guardian, that carries the headline and standfirst: “Andy Coulson’s pointless jail term only plays to the pitchforks – Our prison obsession is driven not by evidence that it works, but by a cruel, tabloid-fuelled schadenfreude in our nation’s psyche”.

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