has a new editor, Neil McIntosh, who is currently managing editor at BBC Online and Red Button. Glasgow-born McIntosh, 47, spent his early journalistic career as a sub-editor on the Edinburgh Evening News
, and also, for several years, wrote a column online for The Scotsman
. He was subsequently head of editorial development and assistant editor of Guardian Unlimited, The Guardian's
website, before moving on to The Wall Street Journal
where he was editor of Europe.WSJ.com.
This is the first senior editorial appointment to be announced following the acquisition of UK newspaper publisher, JPIMedia, by David Montgomery's National World in January. In consultation with McIntosh, individual editors will now be appointed for the Edinburgh Evening News
and Scotland on Sunday
, with JPIMedia explaining that each title 'will have a distinct personality reflecting the different audiences served'.
David Montgomery has vowed to decentralise JPIMedia and replace what he terms 'irrelevant or clickbait stories' with exclusive local content across its titles. The Edinburgh Evening News
(EEN) has not had its own dedicated editor since a management reshuffle two years ago, which saw Euan McGrory, as Editor (Print) Scotland, take on responsibility for the print editions of six Scottish titles – The Scotsman
, Scotland on Sunday
, EEN, Falkirk Herald
, Fife Free Press
and Southern Reporter
Montgomery points out: 'As a public company with media franchises across the nations and regions of the UK, we have introduced a localisation strategy that devolves responsibility to our individual franchises. Our Scottish newspapers, with The Scotsman
as the flagship title, will support their communities by publishing reliable journalism produced by knowledgeable writers who live locally.
'The editors are asked to provide leadership in holding our democratic institutions to account and advancing the economic interests of each community. Neil [McIntosh] will provide that leadership and the highest standard of reporting for The Scotsman
at this important time.'
McIntosh, who was educated at Dunoon Grammar School and Edinburgh Napier University, was an early advocate of blogging in journalism and was dubbed Britain's 'Godfather of Blogs' while at The Guardian
where he introduced Online Blog and set up a large network of weblogs.
He told Scottish Review: 'I've been impressed by David's [Montgomery] vision and ambition for The Scotsman
, Edinburgh Evening News
and Scotland on Sunday
. Under National World's ownership, there's a brilliant opportunity to build The Scotsman's
position as Scotland's national newspaper, and develop unmissable journalism that gets to the heart of the country, and the communities within it.
'The strength and dedication of the newsroom has been evident through the last very difficult year. I'm looking forward to working with the team to build on the titles' strengths online, and in print.'
I seem set to have a busy April having received, and accepted, an invitation to be a judge for the Society of Editors' Regional Press Awards for 2020 – celebrating the best of UK regional and local newspaper journalism.
Following a turbulent year, which has seen regional journalists go above and beyond to continue delivering local news of the highest quality to communities in need, the Society of Editors (SOE) is determined to reward their efforts with a wide range of categories to cater for all achievements. Entries can be made here
up until the closing date of midnight on Friday 5 March.
The SOE's executive director and chair of the judges, Ian Murray, told me: 'In any year, the regional press in the UK performs an important and vital service in binding communities together and policing local democracy: however, during 2020, it stepped up to the mark to play an even more significant role.
'The regional and local press has performed magnificently and under extremely difficult circumstances to perform its duties and keep communities well-informed during what has surely been the greatest challenge to us all in modern times. The fact the crisis is not over should not and will not prevent us from recognising the amazing professionalism and sheer determination shown by local journalists and their publications during last year.'
The awards this year will include a Chairman's Special 2020 Award to recognise individual journalists, teams and support staff who have gone that extra mile to ensure their publications/websites continued to function during the crisis. The SOE will be collating and reporting on these stories during the countdown to the awards which will take place in May.
Ian Murray added: 'We know that it has taken Herculean efforts to keep the presses rolling, the news reported, the IT running and newsrooms to function during these times. We want to acknowledge this tremendous work by the industry at this time, so such stories are not lost'.
New categories this year include Special Supplement of the Year and a separate category for Sunday Newspaper of the Year to acknowledge the work of Sunday teams as a distinctly unique offering to that of existing categories celebrating Weekly Newspaper and Daily Newspaper of the Year. Once again, in some established categories, awards have been split to ensure that journalists working on smaller titles with less resources are recognised without having to compete with larger, better-funded regional daily newsrooms.
The awards are planned to be announced at a virtual awards ceremony to be staged in late May with a shortlist being released in April. The SOE points out that the Regional Press Awards are made possible through the support of headline sponsor Facebook Journalism Project, and Camelot which has supported the Society since 2001. It also thanks Amazon, Cision, HoldTheFrontPage and the Journalists' Charity for their support.
A full list of categories and entry guidance is on the SOE website
Meanwhile, nine new prizes – including those honouring daily newspapers and news websites – have been introduced for this year's Scottish Press Awards. The 2021 edition of the awards are now open for entries, with a total of 33 categories up for grabs.
Organising body, the Scottish Newspaper Society (SNS), has this year introduced awards for News Website, Daily Newspaper of the Year and Sunday Newspaper of the Year. The other new categories are: Specialist Reporter, Student Journalist, Food and Drink Writer, Travel Writer and Best Coverage of a Live Event, while a Chairman's Award will also be given.
SNS director, John McLellan, said: 'By harnessing digital innovation, the high-quality journalism produced by Scottish news publishers is reaching more people than ever and throughout the tragic pandemic year the quality, independent reporting Scottish journalists produce every day has never mattered more.
'Like all our lives, this year's Scottish Press Awards will inevitably be dominated by COVID-19, but despite all the difficulties we have reflected the confidence in what we do as an industry by expanding the awards to give more recognition to the diversity of both content and publishing categories which have helped guide readers through these times. We are particularly pleased to introduce the new Student Journalist category, which we hope will encourage the next generation in the Scottish tradition of great writers and reporters.
'We very much look forward to being able to gather to celebrate all that's good about Scottish journalism and these expanded awards will once again show there is a lot to celebrate, support and defend.'
If pandemic restrictions allow, the awards ceremony and dinner will take place at the DoubleTree by Hilton Glasgow Central on 22 September 2021.
Dundee-based DC Thomson Media and Discovery, Inc, the US's global leader in real life entertainment, have launched an educational children's magazine, Animal Planet
. The magazine aims to build on Discovery's Animal Planet
programmes which are beamed to 360 million homes in more than 205 countries and territories 'with the goal of creating high-quality content with global appeal, delivering on its mission to keep the childhood joy and wonder of animals alive by bringing people up close in every way'.
Aimed at 7-12 year-olds, the monthly magazine, which sells at £3.99, aims to encourage kids to discover a world of big ideas, get involved and be inspired and informed. The magazine has a panel of experts – Dr Jess French, Michaela Strachan, Ben Fogle and Ellie Harrison – who will answer questions from inquisitive readers in each issue.
DC Thomson Media is one of the UK's leading media creators, with a number of diverse and successful children's brands already part of its stable, including the Beano
, Animals and You
and The Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine