It’s unlikely No would have won the referendum if almost all the media hadn’t decided to support a No vote — of all the newspapers, only the Sunday Herald supported a Yes.
This is of course the reason why many independence campaigners are now looking at starting up new mainstream media ventures, such as the Scottish Evening News, Bella Caledonia’s expansion, and Common Weal’s Common Space.
However, it’s also wonderful to see that commercial companies have noticed the gap in the market, which is of course why the Sunday Herald today launched its daily offshoot, The National.
I would have preferred the Scottish media landscape to be dominated by newspapers without a strong stance on the independence question, but when the reality is that the majority of the existing ones are Unionist, it’s absolutely wonderful to welcome a pro-independence newspaper.
It’s also a good read. I personally prefer somewhat more verbose ones with longer articles and smaller photos (and I hate it when newspapers use letter-spacing to achieve justified paragraphs!), but it’s reasonably priced at 50p, and it has a good mix of stories.
Interestingly, many of the British supermarket chains aren’t too happy about stocking it, according to The Drum:
Supermarket giant Morrisons claimed that it was “unable to stock The National due to a lack of space in store”, and said it would have to remove local newspapers in order to do so. […] Tesco said it would “consider arrangements for stocking the newspaper if the print edition is a success”, while a Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “The National was not on our system in time for launch today, but it will be available from tomorrow.”
Hopefully they’ll soon change their minds — it would be a shame if these supermarkets decided only to welcome Unionist customers.
I hope The National will have a great first week so that it becomes a permanent part of the Scottish media landscape. Once that happens, will it be long before the Sunday Herald rebrands itself as the Sunday National, I wonder?