You might recall that a wee while ago I posted on this blog that I’d heard some good news about The National which I said that I wasn’t able to share in public. Now the news is out, and it is the fantastic development that The National is due to launch a Sunday edition starting on Sunday September 9, meaning that the independence movement will now have a seven day a week newspaper covering Scottish news and current affairs from a Scotland-positive perspective.
It’s sad that we’ve lost the Sunday Herald, but in a way it’s a positive development for the pro-independence press. It means that the pro-independence press now has a clear and distinct identity, both in its print and its digital editions. The fact that the Sunday Herald shared a website with the daily meant that people logging in to read the Sunday were all too often confronted with the anti-independence reports and opinions of the daily. There was no clear division between the two newspapers online, even though the Herald and the Sunday Herald were different newspapers with different editors and different editorial lines on the constitutional question. Many people found it difficult to distinguish between the two newspapers, and indeed with their online editions it was pretty much impossible to do so.
Some independence supporters who wanted to subscribe to the Sunday Herald were reticent to pay for a subscription because it also meant that they would be subscribing to the anti-independence daily Herald. Quite a few people I have met in my and the dug’s travels across Scotland to assorted indy groups mentioned to me that they wanted to give their backing to a pro-independence Sunday newspaper, but not at the expense of supporting an anti-independence daily.
As one person remarked to me at an indy meeting after I’d spoken about the overwhelming anti-indy bias of the Scottish press and the need for our movement to support the pro-indy media that we do have, “Why should I subsidise one day a week of pro-independence media if that comes at the price of subsidising six days a week of anti-independence media.” They went on to explain that the lack of a clear separation between the Sunday Herald and the daily meant that by subscribing to a pro-independence newspaper they were boosting the circulation figures and income of an anti-independence newspaper. Something they were highly reluctant to do. That was a very fair point. A point I had no easy answer to. But with the launch of a Sunday edition of The National, it’s no longer an issue.
The Sunday Herald may be no more, subsumed into the daily and adopting the editorial line of the daily, but the great news is that the editor of the new Sunday edition of The National will be the highly esteemed and experienced Richard Walker. Richard was the editor of the Sunday Herald during the referendum campaign, and it was thanks to Richard that the Sunday Herald came out for Yes. After the referendum it was thanks to Richard that The National was launched. And it was also thanks to Richard that yours truly was asked to write a regular column in the new newspaper. We can be certain that he will ensure that the Sunday edition of The National will be a heavyweight contribution to the pro-independence media in Scotland. One that everyone will have to take seriously.
And I can also exclusively reveal that at long last, the dug and I are going to be on the telly. Admittedly it’s in an advert for The National, and not as presenters of a new Scottish politics show on BBC Scotland, but hey, it’s a starring role. My mammy is very proud, even though it was of course the dug that they really wanted. To be fair, he’s a lot more photogenic than I am.
More details about the launch of the new Sunday edition will be announced soon. The team behind it have a lot of exciting plans, and they are hoping to make the newspaper indispensable Sunday reading for everyone who wants an independent Scotland, and for everyone whose mind is open to a better future for this country. I cannae wait.
So you can now subscribe to a pro-independence newspaper, seven days a week. Starting from 9 September, seven days a week there will be a traditional print newspaper challenging the myths, the stereotypes, and the outright mince churned out by the anti-independence press. Support it, back it, subscribe to it, buy it. Tell all your friends. We need this.
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