Enterprise Minister seeks ‘better future’ for Scottish newspaper industry

FINDING a “better future” for newspapers was the ambition of Scottish Government minister, Jim Mather, yesterday, during the first of what might turn out to be a series of ‘conversations’ with the industry.

Mather – Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism – was speaking at a summit he had himself convened following disquiet expressed in the Scottish Parliament at staff reorganisation plans announced in December by the Herald group of newspapers, whereby all but a handful of its 250 staff were told they would have to re-apply for around 40 fewer posts.

Despite anger that not all Scotland’s key ‘media players’ had received an invitation to attend, the event – hosted in collaboration with Glasgow Caledonian University – generated constructive and enthusiastic discussion, with Mather adopting the role of facilitator.

Among the 60-strong audience was Tim Blott, managing director of the Herald group of newspapers; Michael Johnston, MD at Scotsman Publications; Donald Martin, editor-in-chief at the Herald group; Allan Rennie, Sunday Mail editor; Paul Holleran, Scottish Organiser at the National Union of Journalists; and Ted Brocklebank MSP.