Your Noon Briefing: Scottish Newspaper Society’s centenary celebrations, The Scotsman, etc

BEGINS the website of the Scottish Newspaper Society: “A General Election preview with four senior Scottish editors will be at the heart of an SNS  reception at the Scottish Parliament this Thursday to celebrate the centenary of the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society.

“Founded in 1915, the SDNS merged with the Scottish Newspaper Publishers Association five years ago to form the  Scottish Newspaper Society.

“Damian Bates (The Press and Journal), Richard Walker (Sunday Herald/The National), Jim Wilson (Sunday Mail) and Gordon Smart (The Scottish Sun) will join director, John McLellan, for a look ahead to the May 7 poll and to discuss the possible landscapes in which the media will operate after that.”

Read more, here.

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THE conclusion – pens former Scotsman editor, John McGurk – is this: “Given all of the above, the time is surely approaching when The Scotsman, as a printed newspaper, is no longer viable or sustainable.”

McGurk – writing in the new-look website/eNewsletter, Scot-Buzz, where he is co-editor – was taking a look at the figures behind the figures issued last week, regarding the circulation of the UK’s regional newspapers, which including The Scotsman.

Last week, auditing body, ABC, issued its six-monthly regional newspapers figures, including for daily, evening and Sunday titles (as noted here) and also for weekly locals (as noted here).

ABC now also provide details of not just print distribution but online readership, insodoing providing comfort that, while, print sales may be declining, there is a decent and usually growing online readership.

But McGurk – who also includes editing The Scotsman’s sister titles, Scotland on Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News, on his extensive CV – was noting that not all The Scotsman’s average print output is paid-for, there being a batch given away, for free.

He recommends a move exclusively online.

He writes:  “Producing it online only would eliminate newsprint, production and distribution costs in one fell swoop and, hopefully, allow some of these savings to be ploughed into making the best Scottish news and current affairs site available.

“The Scotsman is still a potent brand around the world; making it distinctive and original by concentrating on what it can do best may even persuade digital readers to pay for the pleasure.

“There are downsides; the price advertisers are willing to pay for digital stuff is nowhere near what they used to pay for print while Scotland and Sunday and the Edinburgh Evening News would have to fall into line.”

His final line – here – reads: “The Scotsman is an old friend…it’s miserable and painful to watch it suffer much longer.”

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BIG essay by the BBC Scotland business and economy editor, Douglas Fraser, which looks at Scotland’s shifting media landscape, including falling print sales of newspapers in Scotland, what appear to be improving fortunes at STV, etc.

Read it here.

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THE Herald Magazine columnist, Fidelma Cook, pens her own tribute to Gordon Airs, the former chief reporter of the Daily Record, who died recently (as noted here on allmediascotland).

She writes, from her base in France: “Over the years, I’ve finally come to an uneasy peace with where I am now in the world.

“Both literally and mentally. Apart from the odd cry from the wilderness, the constant nagging sense of lack of purpose, I’m settled. More or less.

“And then, as seems to be happening increasingly frequently, another old friend and colleague dies. Another chunk of the wall around the inner house of my being falls off to crumble into dust, leaving me just a little more exposed.

“And stuck here with no direct flights to Scotland, no carer for a still semi-doubly-incontinent pup, I realise just how far, far away I am from all that figured so hugely in my life.

“I can’t be at the funeral of the ‘legendary’ Gordon Airs, former chief reporter of the Daily Record. Won’t be back with my tribe at the undoubtedly raucous reception afterwards; will take no part in the topping of stories; will make no contribution to the often drunken escapades that made our lives a messy, rip-roaring, glorious daily adventure.”

Read more, here.

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THE organisers of a marketing awards competition have reported a record number of entries this year.

Says the Marketing Society Scotland, of its annual Star Awards: “We’ve received a record number of Star Awards entries this year. We’re delighted to see all categories well represented with many organisations entering the awards for the first time. The first stage of judging will take place at the end of March.

“[Indeed] we’ve extended the deadline for nominations until Friday 6 March. If you know any Rising Stars in your organisation you can nominate them for the following: Rising Marketing Star, Rising Agency Star or Rising Creative Star.”

Read more, here.

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