Media Broth: Serving you, every time

IT was, as you might imagine, a lively debate in Edinburgh, last week, when the topic for discussion was the media’s reporting of Europe.

The event – organised by the Europa Institute at the University of Edinburgh – was chaired by well-known journalist, Lesley Riddoch, and included columnist, Alex Massie, who did a valiant job defending the media against various accusations, including inaccuracy.

But the mood in the room positively chilled, when he declared, “Leveson is, obviously, awful.”

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JOINING Massie on the panel was The Irish Times journalist, Paul Gillespie, who raised arguably the biggest chuckle of the evening, when he observed: “I suppose small countries know they are small; some larger countries don’t know how small they are.”

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THANKS, as ever, to Ken Smith’s diary column in The Herald, this time for this: “The Sunday Herald caused a bit of a stir with its support for independence, and now it seems Sunday’s paper, with the Alasdair Gray thistle on the front, is becoming a bit of a collector’s item. A Raddy1980 – not his real name we suspect – from Cumnock in Ayrshire, is selling his copy on eBay and has so far had 11 bids with the top offer so far being £11. We have to say, though, that Raddy is a bit of an eclectic seller on eBay. He is also offering a pile of 49 10-pence pieces for sale with a reserved price of, yes you’ve guessed it, £4.90. No takers so far.”

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WHO says the media is losing its power to persuade? When, towards the end of last month, the well-known Scots journalist, Fiona Armstrong, suggested a driver with the delivery outfit, Parcelforce, ought to be named Employee of the Month, it might well have been more in hope than expectation.

Armstrong was writing in the weekend magazine of The Courier newspaper, telling – in her regular column – of how the driver not only greeted Armstrong’s pet dogs with friendly pats on their heads, but had dog biscuits to hand as a treat.

Cue an email sent in to the paper by Mel Clark, operations manager for Perth Parcelforce, who wrote: “I read the article, ‘That’s Life’, in The Courier weekend magazine and was surprised there was reference to one of my drivers, namely Julie-Ann and her dog biscuits, a fantastic story and very well-written and put together.

“I’m always pleased to get good feedback about the Perth Parcelforce depot, [and] I can report that, on the strength of this story and Julie-Ann’s professional open attitude, she will be getting ‘May employee of the month’, lots of pats on the back for Julie-Ann from the guys today and a big well done and thank you from me.

“Can I also say a thank you to Fiona for this great story involving one of our great drivers.”


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THANKS to the Drumlanrig column in Scotland on Sunday, for this: “Poor old Sally Magnusson. The BBC Scotland journalist always seems to be on duty when technical gremlins sabotage the news. Almost a year ago, Magnusson (left) threw her arms in the air and let out a cry of exasperation live on telly when glitches ruined the lunchtime news.

Late on Friday, she was struck by another technical curse when a news package on Nigel Farage’s Edinburgh visit and coverage of the probe into RAF servicemen at Lossiemouth failed to materialise. Magnusson gamely improvised before turning to the weather man. In a desperate attempt to pad out the programme, she got him to forecast the weekend weather, the forthcoming week’s weather and, finally, the weather for the whole of the summer.”

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