Your Noon Briefing: Norman Mair, Matthew Ball, etc

ONE of Scotland’s most respected sports writers, Norman Mair, has died. He was aged 86.

A former Scotland international rugby union and cricket player, he reported both rugby and golf for The Scotsman.

Begins The Scotsman (here): “Tributes were paid yesterday to former Scotsman rugby writer and four-times capped Scotland rugby international Norman Mair, who has died after a long illness.”

And begins Allan Massie, in another article on The Scotsman (here): “Norman Mair was the best Scottish rugby writer of his time, probably the best of all time. He was most closely associated with this newspaper, for which he was the chief rugby correspondent for more than 20 years until he left to join the sadly short-lived Sunday Standard in 1982.”

Massie concludes: “Nobody has written with more authority, imagination, understanding and wit about Scottish rugby; he leaves successors but no equal.”

The Scotsman also carries an obituary, here.

His daughter, Suzi, is a news editor at STV.

Among his many achievements, Mair was a member of the inaugural inductee selection panel for the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame.

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EVERY one of the main national daily and Sunday newspapers available in Scotland have experienced dips in their their latest year-on-year sales figures in the country.

Figures released on Friday by the newspapers circulation body, ABC, concern average sales during November last year versus those from last month.

Read more, here – in the regular allmediascotland feature, The Media in Figures.

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THE Scotland-based magazine designer, Matthew Ball, has been named among the winners at an UK-wide awards ceremony hosted by the sector’s representative body, the Professional Publishers Association.

He has been named Designer of the Year at the PPA Independent Publisher Awards, which celebrates modestly-sized magazine publishers.

The ceremony was on Friday evening. Ball’s prize was for work on, among others, The RPS [Royal Photographic Society] Journal, the National Trust for Scotland’s ‘Scotland in Trust’ and the magazine for Historic Scotland.

Ball – who works at Glasgow-based, Think – was up against Tim Benton, Morris Visitor Publications; Damon Cogman, Motor Sport magazine; John Cottle, #studentfarmer, National Farmers Union; Matt Hasteley, Square Mile magazine, Square Up Media; Jon Heal, Enivronmental Health News, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health; Carol Herning, Fantastic Fun World, Littlest Pet Shop and Rainbow Fun, Signature Publishing; and Chris Hudson, National Geographic Traveller (UK), Absolute Publishing.

Last year, the Designer of the Year title went to Eric Campbell, from Edinburgh-based White Light Media.

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AN editor is being sought at Fish Farmer magazine, to be based in either Edinburgh or Oban – as advertised here, on

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SCOTLAND’S new newspaper, The National, is the subject of a discussion on the media-related podcast, Media Focus – here.

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WHERE are Scots, Adam Crozier, David Dinsmore and Steven Moffat, on the annual list of top media folk compiled by The Guardian newspaper?

Check out the latest MediaGuardian 100, here.

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FORMER First Minister, Alex Salmond, may have grabbed the headlines by announcing that he is seeking election to Westminster, as the MP for the Gordon constituency.

But as newspaper reporters, in particular, will have noted, one of his rivals will be Herald columnist, Christine Jardine, who is the Lib Dem candidate.

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BEGINS The Scotsman: “A major investigation has been ordered into the health of Scotland’s troubled film and TV industry following warnings that the country is lagging behind major European rivals because of a lack of funding, a shortage of suitable facilities and a talent drain.

“The Scottish Parliament has instigated an inquiry that will look at how the industry is performing, current levels of support, how to retain key skills in Scotland and what may be hindering potential growth.”

Read more, here.

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FESTIVE photos from viewers are to be a key feature of STV’s Christmas and New Year branding, which launches from today.

Read more, here.

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THE festive fare on BBC ALBA is outlined here, in a media release posted on…

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