Media in the Press 10.3.11

Post-graduate Journalism student, Orla Ni Sheaghdha, from Edinburgh Napier University, reviews the media stories in today's newspapers…

The publishers of The Scotsman and numerous local titles in Scotland, Johnston Press, features in many of this morning's papers, not least the news – as reported yesterday on allmediascotland – that chief executive, John Fry, intends to stand down. The announcement came as the company released their latest financial figures. Says The Herald (page 28): “Johnston Press chief executive John Fry has announced he is quitting after just two years, as the publisher revealed advertising revenue has continued to tumble amid Government cuts.” Writes Tim Sharp: “ The news caused shares in the owner of the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post newspapers to plunge 19 per cent as they closed down 2.33p at 9.92p.”

According to The Scotsman (Business, page 2): “Johnston Press shares fell 19 per cent or 2.3p to close at 9.92p last night as chairman Ian Russell said there had been a weaker-than-expected start to 2011.” The article continues: “Total advertising revenues for the first nine weeks of the year fell by 11.4 per cent.”

The Scottish Daily Mail adds (page 69): “John Fry is stepping down after two years at the Scotsman and Yorkshire Post publisher to 'spend more time with his family'. Shares in Johnston Press slumped 2.33p to 9.92p in the wake of his resignation, with shareholders further unsettled by a sharp downturn in its fortunes since 2011.”

Meanwhile, calls by the Scottish Government for a publicly-funded Scottish digital TV station – again reported yesterday in allmediascotland – also make today's newspapers. The Scottish Daily Express reports (page 19): “The SNP yesterday demanded that a new digital television station for Scotland should get £75 million-a-year funding from taxpayers.” Paul Gilbride writes: “The demand for funds comes as the BBC faces a six-year licence fee freeze. Supporters of the Scottish Digital Network point out that Wales already receives £95 million a year from the licence fee to fund Welsh language channel S4C.”

The Herald's Robbie Dinwoodie continues (page 6): “A minister has lodged a formal expression of interest for the creation of a Scottish Digital Network, funded by the licence fee.” Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop, is quoted as saying: “The UK Government has agreed with the BBC that the licence fee will in the future provide £95 million of funding support for Welsh language channel S4C, and will provide a significant subsidy for local television services.”

The nominations for this year's Scottish Press Awards feature in most of this morning's newspapers.

allmediascotland declined – during its reporting yesterday of the shortlist – to identify totals per publisher, now that many newspapers are part of a wider production unit. The Herald reports (page 3): “The Herald & Times Group has received 20 nominations at the 32nd Scottish Press Awards. Eighteen journalists from The Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening Times are up for prize.”

The paper continues: “David Pratt, who is filing dispatches from Libya for The Herald, is nominated as Reporter of the Year. Phil Miller and Brian Beacom are shortlisted in Arts/Entertainment. Ian Bell is nominated as Columnist of the Year and Steven Camley is named in the Cartoonist section.”

According to The Scotsman: “Scotsman Publications has received 19 nominations across its three titles in the Scottish Press Awards shortlist. The Scotsman and Scotland on Sunday dominated the Magazine Writer of the Year shortlist, with four out of five nominations coming from the titles, including Catherine Deveney and Peter Ross for the Scotland on Sunday, and Chitra Ramsawamy and Aidan Smith for Scotsman Publications.”

The Scottish Daily Mail reports (page 2): “Home Affairs Editor Graham Grant has been shotlisted for one of the most prestigious awards, Scoop of the Year, and Jonathan Brocklebank is nominated in the Newspaper Feature Writer of the Year category.”

The Scottish Sun writes (page 2): “Andrew Nicol is in the running for top political journalist, and Bill Leckie for columnist and sports writer of the year.” According to The Daily Record (page 2): “Record sports journalist Keith Jackson is up for the Sports News Writer of the Year, and David McCarthy is up for the Sports Feature Writer gong. Winners will be announced on April 21.”

Elsewhere, three BBC reporters in Libya have suffered beatings, according to The Herald (page 16): “Three BBC journalists were detained and beaten by security forces while reporting in Libya.” Writes Joe Churcher: “Chris Cobb-Smith, Feras Kilani and Gotkay Koraltan were detained on Monday as they tried to reach the town of Zawiyah, 30 miles from Tripoli. They were taken to various barracks where they suffered repeated assaults, were masked, handcuffed, and subjected to a mock execution, a spokesman for the Corporation said.” The article confirms that “the men have all since flown out of Libya.”

The BBC also features in the Scottish Daily Mail this morning (page 13): “Outgoing BBC chairman, Sir Michael Lyons, used his last major speech to launch a scathing attack on the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand obscene phone call scandal.” TV correspondent, Paul Revoir, writes: “Sir Michael, who leaves the BBC at the end of next month, used his valedictory address, given at the London School of Economics, to say that not even a scriptwriter would have had the nerve to mix 'profanity, misogyny, bullying and black farce' in the way they did.”

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