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Fears for the future of Scottish papers


N


ew cuts in journalists’ jobs at Newsquest’s Glasgow titles their


future at ”serious risk”, the NUJ has warned. The cuts come as concern


is growing that the ability of the country’s media to hold politicians to account is being undermined, just as Holyrood prepares to take over new powers form Westminster. Newsquest told staff at


the Herald, Sunday Herald, Evening Times and The National that it would cut 20-25 jobs to save £1m – the fourth round of redundancies at the Glasgow newspapers in the past 14 months. “There now are fewer than half the journalists employed at The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times compared to when Newsquest took over this historic Scottish publisher,” said NUJ Scotland organiser Paul Holleran. “Their promises to the


Competition Commission to nurture and grow the business now ring hollow. “There is a serious


risk to the future of the newspapers in this stable. ”We are concerned that a further reduction in quality is inevitable as talented journalists lose their jobs and those remaining struggle with an increasing workload to gather and produce news and features that help sell


the product.“ He promised that the NUJ would fight any compulsory redundancies. Wider concerns about the


condition of the Scottish media are reflected in a motion to the union’s upcoming delegate meeting. Edinburgh Freelance branch notes: “the continuing threat to the future of journalism in Scotland, which is suffering from chronic understaffing and a culture of cuts.”


“ ” ELIZABETH LEYDEN/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO RANGERS IN ATTACK ON PRESS FREEDOM


union after their work was axed collowing complaints from Glasgow Rangers footbll club. The union has


T P


wo Sunday Herald columnists are being strongly backed by the


condemned the pulling of columns by Angela Hagerty and Graham Spiers. The union has complained to the paper’s editor. Dominic Bascombe, NUJ assistant organiser for


Scotland, said: “The NUJ has alreaady defended Angerla over bullying and harassmernt dhe has suffered for doing her job. The axing of these columns sends a message


that the Herald is unwilling to stand up for it contributors, and is willign to sacrifice journalists when commercial interests are involved. This is totally unacceptable.”


DAVID ROBERTSON/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO Police snooping broke rules


olice Scotland broke data interception guidelines to track down a journalist’s sources because an officer “misinterpreted” rules, Assistant Chief Constable Ruaraidh Nicolson told a Scottish parliament committee. He admitted that a detective superintendent had warned


earlier about a potential breach of the interception guidelines. The surveillance target was Eamon O Connor, who was investigating the police inquiry into the 2005 Emma Caldwell murder. The Lord Advocate has since asked police to re-investigate the murder after media reports that police dropped their case against a local suspect in favour of prosecuting four Turkish men.


WESTERN MORNING NEWS SUNDAY CLOSES The Western Morning News has closed its Sunday edition less than two years after it was launched. At the same time, the Trinity Mirror-owned title has also merged the Western Morning News and Plymouth Herald websites.


theJournalist | 7


conference news in brief...


Their promises to the Competition Commission to nurture and grow the business now ring hollow


BBC PLANS ONLINE SCOTTISH CHANNEL The BBC is to launch an online TV channel for Scotland, director general Tony Hall told a Scottish parliamentary committee. He said the BBC is reviewing news services for Scotland, including a possible “Scottish Six” TV bulletin, admitting that it had been slow in adapting to the shift in political power from Westminster to Holyrood.


THREE COUNTRIES BAN NEW WEBSITE Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE have blocked the UK-based pro-democracy news website The New Arab (Alaraby.co.uk) and its Arabic language sister title al-Araby al-Jadeed. Editor of The New Arab, Sofia Petkar, said she had been given no explanation for the ban but speculated that it could be because of its pro-democracy stance.


BUZZFEED CENSURED OVER ADVERTORIAL The Advertising Standards Authority has censured Buzzfeed UK for failing to clearly label paid-for content. An advertorial for fabric dye manufacturer Dylon in October 2015 followed the same style as independent Buzzfeed editorial. Buzzfeed UK told the ASA it followed the US site as a guide to how it labelled ads.


GUARDIAN HAS JOINT POLITICAL EDITORS The Guardian is to have a joint political editor. The role is to be shared between Anushka Asthansa, currently a senior political correspondent at Sky News, and Heather Stewart, a former Treasury researcher who is currently The Observers economics editor and was, for two years before that, its business editor.


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