Westminster committee to hear evidence on ‘crisis’ within Scottish newspaper industry

A WESTMINSTER committee is investigating a ‘crisis in the Scottish press industry’ by hearing today from four key figures from within it.

Trinity Mirror’s Mark Hollinshead is to be joined by Newquest’s Tim Blott in Committee Room 16 at the House of Commons, from 2.15pm, for the Scottish Affairs Committee meeting. Also attending will be The Scotsman’s editor, John McLellan, and Jim Raeburn, of the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society.

Hollinshead is managing director of Trinity Mirror’s nationals division, which includes the Daily Record and Sunday Mail.

Blott, meanwhile, is managing director of the Herald group of newspapers, comprising The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times.

McLellan was recently appointed editor-in-chief of The Scotsman and sister titles, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News.

Raeburn told allmediascotland.com: “We are looking forward to constructive discussions with the Scottish Affairs Committee on the state of the newspaper industry in Scotland.

“The meeting affords us the opportunity to give the Committee a complete picture on current issues, including the implications of the loss of local authority recruitment advertising to the CoSLA [Convention of Scottish Local Authorities] electronic portal and the proposed transfer of public information notices, which we believe to be seriously defective in terms of democracy.

“We will be pointing out how broadband take-up in parts of Scotland is quite low e.g. 32 per cent in Glasgow, according to [broadcasting regulators] Ofcom’s Nations and Regions survey in 2008, and compares poorly against the household penetration of newspapers.”

Watch the proceedings on the internet, here.

More: 8.44am: allmediascotland.com hears the managing director of the Scotsman group of newspapers, Michael Johnston, is a late addition to the quartet.