Category Archives: media

Good News for Local Papers

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has welcomed a Scottish Government climbdown on its proposal to allow local councils to put public notices solely online.
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Local newspapers : public notices

(written for the Bo’ness Journal’s Your Say)

The Scottish Government wants to remove the legal duty to publish notices such as planning applications in local newspapers. This would be a profoundly anti-democratic move on several grounds.

Many people do not yet have access to the internet. Only 60% of Scots have access to broadband and 70% of those aged over 65 have never used the internet.

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Public Notices & Local Newspapers

Labour MSPs have demanded that the SNP drop its proposals to allow local councils to put public notices online only, instead of in newspapers.

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie, who convenes Holyrood’s Cross Party Group on Culture & Media, rang the alarm bells on this issue some months ago, flagging up the damage that could be caused by the switch to internet advertising.
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Threat to Local Newspapers

New rules for Council adverts will damage local newspapers, says Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie.

“The Scottish Government is consulting on plans to allow local authorities to advertise public notices online. Favouring online advertising over notices in local newspapers will take vital revenue away from an industry which is already facing significant challenges.

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Should Scotland qualifiers be free to air?

Do you think that the UK should continue to protect live and deferred coverage by free to air television of major events such as the Scottish FA Cup Final?

Were you annoyed that Scotland’s qualifying games were not protected?

If you want your views heard on these issues, Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie wants you to submit them to the current consultation on free to air events.

As part of the consultation, Cathy, who chairs the Cross Party Group on Culture & Media, organised a series of meetings in the Scottish Parliament with Advisory panel members David Davies (chairman), Dougie Donnelly and Professor Chris Gratton, who are looking at the issue.

Cathy said: “The panel met MSPs, broadcasters, sporting organisations, and members of the Cross Party Groups on Culture and Media and Sport. The message from MSPs and CPG members was clear – protect what we have and add Scotland’s qualifying games to the list. That message will be strengthened if more people submit their views.

“So far the UK has only listed sporting events. But other events can be listed too – examples include opera and music festivals in Austria, Belgium and Italy. So if you think that events other than sporting events should be listed, let them know.

“The consultation exercise runs until 20 July 2009. The Panel will then make recommendations to the Secretary of State, who will make the final decision. Note that listing an event doesn’t guarantee that it will be broadcast on free-to-air television, but the rights cannot be sold exclusively elsewhere. Also, remember that events don’t have to be listed UK wide – the Scottish FA Cup Final is listed in Scotland alone.”

The consultation documents are available on http://www.culture.gov.uk/freetoair/Consultation/introduction.html

Threat to future of Scottish Newspapers

Falkirk East MSP Cathy Peattie has warned that the Scottish Newspaper Industry faces difficult times if the Herald and Times Group, publishers of the Sunday Herald, Herald and Evening Times, is allowed to force through drastic cuts in its workforce and changes in working practices. Staff are being dismissed and invited to apply for fewer jobs on poorer pay and conditions.

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