Your Noon Briefing: Sports coverage, rethink required for Scots newspapers?, etc

BEGINS this blurb on the website of the Edinburgh International Book Festival: “Whatever the outcome of the referendum [on Scots independence], the media in Scotland needs a rethink.

“Newspapers here and elsewhere are suffering an excruciating long-term nosedive in circulation – and for some of Scotland’s best-known titles the decline might well be terminal. With the shift to online activity still far from throwing up a profitable business model, how can we create a viable forum for intelligent democratic discussion?

“Ruth Wishart chairs [a] debate [at the book festival] with journalists, Iain Macwhirter, Niki Seth-Smith – an editor of – and Stephen Khan, editor of The Conversation, an independent news website.”

The event is scheduled for the 20th of this month, from 1900 hours.

For more details, click here.

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REPORTS the website of the Marketing Society: “Marketing and communications are often cited by these organisations as an area where they lack the time, skills and resources to really do justice to their work.”

The story is about voluntary organisations offering the likes of sports opportunities to young people.

And, says the Marketing Society, a call has been made by The Robertson Trust – described as ‘Scotland’s largest independent funder’ – for volunteer marketing and comms experts.

Read more, here.

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NEWSPAPER sports editors considering whether to increase their coverage of cycling – following the success, last month, of the Tour de France opening stages in Yorkshire – might wish to consider this finding, in a survey of cycling fans:

“Cycling fans are particularly likely to be heavy consumers of both outdoor media and newspapers compared to the average adult (40 per cent and 21 per cent more likely respectively). The outdoor advertising they are particularly likely to see is that in washrooms/toilets, on supermarket trolleys and inside a bus.

“The quality press is what they are most likely to read, with i, The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times amongst the most effective titles to reach them. The newspaper content that they are especially interested in is sport (80 per cent more likely than the average adult and 36 per cent read about this) and national news (29 per cent more likely and 45 per cent read about this).”

The wider survey results – on the website of BRAD Insight, can be found, here.

It came to five main conclusions:

* Millions of adults cycle and similar numbers have an interest in it generally;

* Cycling fans tend to be older, but they have money to spare;

* This a culturally rich and distinctive target for whom the legacy of London 2012 exerts a powerful pull;

* Cycling fans engage with a variety of media types, especially outdoor and newspapers; and

* The actual online behaviour of cycling fans conforms to a large extent to what we know interests them and reveals some of the most efficient ways to reach them digitally.

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STAYING with sport, Scotsman columnist, Lesley Riddoch, was yesterday expressing her dismay that the media coverage of sport in Scotland is likely to revert to being football dominated.

Read her, here.

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EDINBURGH Napier University is among 12 universities to join the news and comments website, The Conversation – the UK version of which is edited by Scots journalist, Stephen Khan.

The dozen join the 20 founding partner universities on the site – which seeks to combine ‘academic rigour with journalistic flair’ – among them Aberdeen and Glasgow Caledonian.

Read more, here.

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A FORMER creative director at the Edinburgh-based comms agency, The Leith Agency, has written about how an independent Scotland might benefit the country’s advertising sector.

Gerry Farrell, who now operates as an independent consultant, outlined his views on website of The Drum media and magazine – here.

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THE Herald’s front page story begins today: “Alex Salmond has been installed as the favourite to win tonight’s historic first live TV leaders’ debate of the Scottish referendum battle.

“The First Minister is in the driving seat to beat Alistair Darling, leader of the pro-UK Better Together organisation, in the special STV programme, which is expected to be watched by hundreds of thousands of people.”

Read more, here.

And says The Drum media and marketing magazine today (here): “Commercial broadcaster STV is encouraging viewers from south of the border to keep tabs on tonight’s televised clash between the chief proponent of Scottish independence and the man tasked with keeping the United Kingdom together.”

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