How popular press proves its worth – McLellan

THE popular press should be recognised for the funding it provides to allow war correspondents do their work.

Scotsman editor, John McLellan – in his weekly Editor’s Notebook column – was paying tribute to the Sunday Times war correspondent, Marie Colvin, who died on Wednesday while covering the conflict in Syria.

Yesterday, the Scottish press paid lavish tribute to her and today McLellan added his own.

But he continued: “… as many others have said better than I in the past 36 hours, nothing should get in the way of the job people like Colvin did and there is a real danger that a combination of risk aversion, the collapse of media company revenues and a crushing of the Press by over-regulation means that supporting [expensive to insure, etc] staff like Marie Colvin becomes well-nigh impossible.”

He adds: “The truth of News International is that the fine work of journalists like Marie Colvin has been bank-rolled by the success of News International’s popular papers, namely the Sun and the News of the World. Their robust style of journalism, now much derided by the chattering classes, was what paid the bills and losing the latter was a mortal blow to the entire group. Not surprisingly, Rupert Murdoch was keen not to let the phone-hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry hand the entire popular Sunday market to his rivals and the birth of the Sun on Sunday [this weekend] was only a matter of time.”