Your Noon Briefing: John MacKay, indyref sales surge reported by Scotsman, etc

BEGAN the STV website, yesterday: “It has been 20 years to the day since the steady voice of John MacKay first beamed into homes across Scotland.

“Barely a few weeks after his 29th birthday, the blue-eyed, fresh-faced journalist took up the microphone for broadcaster STV – beginning a career that would see him witness and cover some of the biggest moments in Scottish history.”

Read more, here.

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THE Scotsman newspaper and its sister title, the Edinburgh Evening News, have reported a sales surge in and around last week’s vote on Scots independence.

Says the titles’ publisher, Johnston Press, the Thursday print edition of The Scotsman was up 13 per cent compared to the same day the previous week. The Edinburgh Evening News was, meanwhile, up five per cent, week-on-week.

The following day, Friday, is estimated to have delivered a 21 per cent week-on-week increase for both The Scotsman and the Edinburgh Evening News.

And on Saturday, the estimated hike for The Scotsman was 25 per cent, week-on-week.

Adds an announcement from Johnston Press: “Meanwhile online, on the day of voting itself, The Scotsman achieved a staggering one million page views for the first time ever; 50 per cent higher than the previous record. Additionally, in total, unique browsers for both of the titles have already topped three million for the first half of September, which equates to approximately 56 per cent of the Scottish population.”

The story is picked up by The Guardian, here.

Yesterday, allmediascotland noted the Sunday Herald tweeting its own estimated sales surge.

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THE Drum media and marketing magazine is reporting (here) an out-of-court settlement from the publishers of The Scotsman, following an article in the paper about the editor of the pro-Scots independence website, Wings over Scotland.

The story is also reported on the STV website (here).

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HOW did the mainstream media perform during the independence referendum, including the BBC? The question was the subject of a news item on the BBC Scotland current affairs programme, Scotland 2014, last night.

Among the interviewees is Richard Walker – editor of the Sunday Herald, the only paper to come out in support of a Yes vote.

The item includes a studio discussion involving Ric Bailey, BBC chief advisor, politics; John McLellan, director of the Scottish Newspaper Society and former Scotsman editor; and Mike Small, editor of the website, Bella Caledonia.

Watch it here, on the BBC iPlayer.

During the programme, Small announced the launch of new news project.

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CHECK out the background to a documentary about The Sunday Post newspaper, being broadcast at the weekend.

‘A Century of Scottish Sundays – 100 Years of The Sunday Post’ is being screened on BBC Scotland ay 1900 on Sunday evening. And how it was made is told here, on

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BEGINS the website, “Entries are now open for one of the most the prestigious awards in UK investigative and campaigning journalism.

“The Paul Foot Award, now in its tenth year, was set up by The Guardian and Private Eye in honour of Paul who died in 2004 aged 66.”

Read more, here.

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THE Herald reports that its publisher, Newsquest (Herald & Times), “has seen its profits fall amid difficult conditions in the newspaper market in 2013″.

Says the report, on page 29 of today’s newspaper, turnover slid by 5.7 per cent to £53.8 million and operating profit fell to £9.1 million from £12 million.

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