The difficulties of reporters in Scotland accessing information during the coronavirus pandemic will form the focal point of Tuesday’s (24 November) free Society of Editors (SoE) panel debate.
Titled ‘Information in Lockdown: The importance of a free press and the difficulties of reporting in a pandemic’, the free discussion will hear from frontline journalists and press freedom bodies in Scotland about the difficulties around accessing and conveying accurate information during the pandemic. The panel will look at whether devolved decision-making has presented challenges in keeping audiences informed and whether both UK and Scottish pandemic briefings have been effective from a Scottish media perspective.
Chaired by Donald Martin, Editor-in-Chief of Newsquest Scotland, the debate will also hear from David Clegg, Editor of The Courier, Lorraine Herbison, Head of News and Sport Scotland for Hits Radio Network & Greatest Hits Radio, John McLellan, Director of the Scottish Newspaper Society and Joy Yates, Interim Editorial Director of JPI Media Scotland.
Looking ahead to the debate, Ian Murray, Executive Director of the Society of Editors said that with devolved governments continuing to lead on different approaches to the pandemic, the discussion was an opportunity to hear from journalists in Scotland about the unique challenges and experiences they have faced in reporting on behalf of Scottish audiences.
He said: “From the start of the pandemic the Scottish government has led on its own strategic approach to suppressing the virus and, as such, journalists in Scotland have faced their own unique challenges and experiences of accessing and conveying information to the Scottish public.
“We look forward to hearing firsthand the reality of these challenges and, in particular, the difficulties around accessing and conveying accurate information when devolved governments continue to operate differently and implement their own restrictions.”