Newsnet Scotland would like to announce a collaboration between ourselves and the team behind the respected ‘Bella Caledonia’ blog. The partnership will see both teams working together as they commission new articles, share analysis and provide fresh and radical editorial content.
The next six months will be crucial to the future of Scotland. In the lead up to the 2011 Holyrood elections we’re bound to see the usual scaremongering from the main stream media as they try to stifle debate and address the move towards constitutional change.
The established press will collect around the forces of inertia and conservatism and we can expect a torrent of headlines and deference as the Royal Wedding cavalcade and the voting reform referendum both deflect from the Holyrood election campaign.
But the old print media doesn’t have the strength and dominance it once had. The old press power as an agenda-setting force is weakening and The Herald and Scotsman, once credible and respected national newspapers, face circulation decline as readers abandon both and reach to the internet for their news. According to the National Readership Survey readership of The Scotsman is down 26% in a year and The Herald minus 20%. An ever increasing number of Scots are now rejecting what they see as a media controlled from outwith Scotland that is serving a Labour and to a lesser extent Tory/Lib Dem London centric agenda.
The participative media (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_media) in Scotland is stronger than ever but it will need to grow stronger still and sharper and reach beyond its established audience. The independence movement needs to be radical and needs to think beyond easy orthodoxies. Those of us who want to see Scotland flourish need to begin to imagine and translate the sort of Scotland we want to see – not just tell the story of what is wrong with Britain but what kind of country we want to create.
Bella Caledonia will remain the place for longer articles – with a stronger focus on experimental culture – while Newsnet Scotland will stay as the place for daily news updates (and more). We will also be looking at how best to bring in regular funds in order to allow Newsnet Scotland to grow and evolve. With unique visitors now regularly exceeding 20,000 per month (28,000 this month) we hope to persuade businesses to advertise their products on our site.
So, join us – sign up and introduce friends to Scotland’s freshest and fastest growing news team or link to our feeds here:
Come next May, and beyond, how much better it will be, when asked of your contribution to making Scotland better, you can reply with Robert Burns’ last words:
“My good sir, I have not been idle.”