Press Awards facing boycott threat

NEXT year’s Scottish Press Awards is a facing a boycott as a protest against the chair of its organisers.

At a mass meeting of staff at The Scotsman group – who had gathered yesterday to hear of on-going talks between the National Union of Journalists and management – a motion from the floor against the awards received an unanimous vote in favour.

The chair of the organising body, the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society, is Donald Martin, whose first day as editor-in-chief at The Herald group, earlier this month, saw all the journalists at the group’s three titles – The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times – being told they were being made redundant ahead of being invited to re-apply for 30 or so fewer posts.

The motion begins: “In protest at the proposed changes in this company and in solidarity with our fellow NUJ members at Newsquest [The Herald group], and noting that the newly-appointed chair of the SDNS which organises the Scottish Press Awards is Donald Martin, this meeting calls on all NUJ members here present and across Scotland to boycott the 2009 Scottish Press Awards”