1. Catherine Salmond is appointed editor of The Herald
Congratulations to Catherine Salmond who has been appointed to one of the most coveted and prestigious media jobs in Scotland: editor of The Herald
. She enters the record books as the first female editor in the 239-year history of Newsquest Scotland's Glasgow-based flagship daily.
Catherine, currently editor in Edinburgh of National World's Scotland on Sunday
newspaper, is now one of a trio of female editors of Scotland's indigenous 'national' newspapers, following the recent appointment of Rhoda Morrison as editor of the Edinburgh Evening News,
while Roxanne Sorooshian edits the Sunday National
Catherine succeeds Donald Martin at The Herald
. Donald stood down as editor-in-chief of The Herald
and The Herald on Sunday
on 31 August. Donald, who edited both newspapers since 2017, and is one of the longest-serving editorial chiefs in the UK regional press after more than 30 years editing various titles, told staff: 'The time is right for fresh challenges and opportunities'.
new editor, who belongs to Edinburgh, graduated from Glasgow University in 2004 with an MA (Hons) degree in English literature and history. While at university, she had an initial taste of the print media
as news editor of the Glasgow Guardian
, one of the UK's oldest and multi-award-winning student newspapers.
She joined the Dumfriesshire Newspaper Group as a trainee reporter in 2005, moving on to the Fife Free Press for two years before joining the Edinburgh Evening News
in 2008, where she subsequently held several senior roles, both on the evening newspaper and The Scotsman
, before being appointed live news editor of The Scotsman
in 2020 and editor of Scotland on Sunday
17 months later.
Eagerly looking forward to her challenging new role, she told Scottish Review:
'I am honoured to be joining The Herald
and I am confident this new chapter in its rich history will be an exciting one. I will lead with passion and firmness – championing the title and its staff, while ensuring we offer the robust, incisive and energetic journalism expected online and in print from what is one of Scotland's great news brands. We are all aware of the pressures facing our industry, but The Herald
is well placed to meet them head on, with a talented, determined and forward-thinking team. I am excited about what we will achieve together'.
Catherine will be reporting directly to Callum Baird, one of Scotland's most accomplished, high-achieving journalists, who was recently appointed as editor-in-chief of all of Newsquest Scotland's five daily and Sunday newspapers: The Herald
, The Herald on Sunday
, The National
, the Sunday National
and the Glasgow Evening Times
Callum has extended a warm welcome to Catherine, pointing out: 'The recruitment process for this role was thorough and inspiring. We spoke to a large number of high-calibre candidates – as you might expect for what is one of the biggest jobs in Scottish journalism. It was clear that Catherine's ambition for the title matched our own and we look forward to seeing how she can work with the team to deliver her vision. One thing that everybody we have spoken to agreed with us on was The Herald's
endurable power, potential and talent, and we are excited to see what comes next'.
David Ward, managing director of Newsquest Scotland, added: 'Throughout the recruitment process Catherine demonstrated a very clear vision for the future of The Herald
; the strength of the brand; and the opportunity to build on our multimedia plans. Catherine's skillset and standing within the industry in Scotland will position us well over the coming years and we look forward to working with and supporting Catherine as she strives to create and commission thoughtful, engaging content across a range of media channels'.
2. A delightful day ends on a most terrible note
Last week, my wife and I ventured south to Edinburgh by bus – albeit via Glasgow as all the early morning buses from Aberdeen to Edinburgh were fully booked.
We had a most enjoyable if somewhat exhausting day, engaging in an impromptu walking tour of the city centre – with the bonus of taking in several entertaining Festival Fringe outdoor attractions, and we rounded off our day at the Cote Brasserie in Frederick Street – a culinary jewel we had chanced upon in a recent visit to Edinburgh. We returned to the restaurant principally because of the especially warm welcome we had received from the staff on our first visit. And the food is pretty good – a very definite plus for the capital's extensive range of eating establishments.
We were home just in time to catch the BBC News at Ten
, and I so really wish we hadn't. The memories of a very pleasant day were erased within seconds. The lead item was the tragic death in Liverpool of nine-year-old Olivia Pratt-Korbel.
Olivia was the same age as our granddaughter Gemma whom was exuberant and full of the joys when we spent a fortnight's holiday with her and the rest of our son Derek's family at their home near St John's in Newfoundland less than four weeks ago. Our minds were instantly transfixed by thoughts on how devastated we should be if such a fate were to befall Gemma. Indeed, the word 'devastated' barely begins to describe the dreadful ensuing pain and sorrow we would suffer from such a horrendous, senseless taking of a young life.
I imagine just about every adult in the UK is by now in some way au fait
with just how wee Olivia died. She was shot in the chest at around 10pm on 22 August while at home with her mother Cheryl after 35-year-old Joseph Nee, who was being chased, forced his way into their house, pursued by Olivia's killer who fired bullets indiscriminately hitting Olivia, Cheryl and Nee.
Neither men had links to Olivia's family. She was one of four people killed within a few days in Merseyside amid a rise in gun and knife crimes. Two men have subsequently been arrested on suspicion of Olivia's murder and released on bail.
The thrust of my preamble is to bring me to highlight the outstandingly sensitive role played by Liverpool's Echo
daily newspaper in its immediate and ongoing coverage of Olivia's awful, awful death.
Demanding an end to a so-called 'anti-grass
culture' on parts of its patch, the Echo
, the current UK regional Newspaper of the Year, issued a stunning front-page plea to those who knew the identity of Olivia's killer. On a dramatic front page (see image below), the Echo
, in a huge headline, posed the all-important question: 'Whose side are you on?' to those withholding information about her murder, and a stark subsidiary headline: 'A dark day in our city's history'. The huge headline said it all as a leading English city, its population in shock, tried to come to terms with a horrendous litany of gang crime on its streets.
The newspaper of the city which has spawned the Beatles and a rich, enduring pop culture plus a world-class soccer club, said in its front-page plea: 'Imagine the terror of Olivia, just nine years old, and her mum as a gunman bursts into their house and shoots them. Imagine the agony of Olivia's family as they're told she didn't make it – murdered in her own home. Imagine knowing something about this unspeakable crime but keeping quiet because you'd rather surrender our city to the thugs than help get justice for Olivia. If this is you, ask yourself… whose side are you on?'
repeated its appeal in a leader column, writing: 'For too long an anti-grass
culture has infiltrated areas of this city. People who know vital information about horrific crimes and those who have committed them will choose to keep it to themselves out of some misguided sense of loyalty or the foolish idea of a code.
'But today we ask, where is the loyalty to the family of a nine-year-old schoolchild who was shot dead in cold blood inside her family home? Where is the loyalty to her distraught parents and loving family who will never get to see her grow up and achieve everything they dreamed of? This is the time to choose where your loyalties lie.
'You owe nothing to a cold-blooded killer, happy to burst into a family home and spray bullets at an innocent child – and to leave her there dying. The only people you owe anything to are those trying to come to terms with her senseless loss.'
has launched a campaign to end the criminal code of silence on its patch as it fights for justice for a dead girl. And it has won the support of famous Liverpool faces from sport, entertainment and politics – and ordinary Scousers – who came together to record a video appeal along with the Echo
to demand that Olivia's killers be brought to justice.
Poignantly, a subsequent front-page carried a picture of Olivia, along with her two best friends, with the superimposed headline: 'We stand together'.
This is British journalism at its very best and I must congratulate the Echo
on its part in attempting to help restore some element of sanity to a proud city utterly distraught and racked with grief.
3. 1,000-plus NUJ members take strike action at Reach plc
Talks to avert strike action by more than 1,000 National Union of Journalists (NUJ) members on Reach plc's national and regional titles, including the Daily Record
, Scottish Daily Express
and Sunday Mail
, have fallen through, and strike action was due to begin on Wednesday 31 August.
reports: 'The NUJ said its representatives had passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in Reach plc's chief executive Jim Mullen as a result, and NUJ general secretary, Michelle Stanistreet, claimed he kiboshed any chance of a sensible deal that addresses our members' key priority – their consolidated pay
'. NUJ members have rejected a 3%/£750 pay offer.
Press Gazette explained: 'The journalists will now strike for an extra day –
for three days in a row from 13 September to 15 September. They will also take part in an extended work to rule
(meaning working only contracted hours and duties) from Thursday 1 September, and on an ongoing basis from 16 September'.
It quoted a Reach spokesman as saying: 'We were able to meet the majority of requirements put forward by the NUJ and proposed an accelerated career development framework that would have set out clearer salary progression for journalists, so we are disappointed that our offer was rejected. We remain open to talks at any time to resolve this dispute and to begin to deliver these substantial improvements for our journalists. Our priority continues to be to protect the interests of all our colleagues and stakeholders –
ensuring the group has a sustainable future in the face of an uncertain economic backdrop'.
4. Rosemary Gallagher moves to a top new job at National World
Rosemary Gallagher has been appointed by National World as head of commercial content in Scotland – a senior role combining editorial and commercial duties.
Scottish website Daily Business
reports that in her role Rosemary will be focused particularly on her former newspaper, The Scotsman
, explaining: 'Before moving into public relations, Rosemary was the Edinburgh-based daily's personal finance editor and was business news editor for Scotland on Sunday
after holding reporting and editing positions with trade publications in London. In her new role, she will be working with National World's editorial and commercial teams across Scotland to develop content – including printed reports, podcasts and social campaigns – to help grow revenue streams; expand audiences; and raise the profile of some of the group's iconic titles
Rosemary said: 'I am excited to join National World to help raise the profile of The Scotsman
, and other Scottish titles, by working with colleagues to create a wealth of content – for new and existing readers – and develop commercial opportunities'.
She has served as a director with PR consultancies – managing clients in sectors including food and drink, and professional services – and was also a freelance journalist for a range of titles. Among the posts she has held was head of communications with industry trade body, the Scotch Whisky Association, and working in media relations for the Scottish Parliament.
Jim Killough, National World's commercial director for Scotland, said: 'I am excited to have such an experienced and talented editor join the team at a time when The Scotsman
looks to further develop its partnerships and relationships with businesses across Scotland and beyond. The Scotsman
has a history, heritage and audience like no other media brand in Scotland. Having Rosemary join the team allows us to explore new and innovative ways in which we can connect our audience with new and existing partners from across all spheres of Scottish business'.
5. Reach plc increases newspaper cover prices by 10p
Reach plc has increased the cover price of 26 of its newspapers – including several Scottish titles – by 10p from 29 August.
Should you wish to get in touch with me, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Caithness-born Hamish Mackay is now in his 57th year as an occasional/sometimes regular contributor to the UK's exceedingly diverse media market