Scottish press

Scottish press
   The distinction between regional and national newspapers has become blurred, as newspapers have moved their editorial and printing facilities from Fleet Street to other parts of London or of Britain. For example, the Independent is printed in Bradford, Northampton and Portsmouth, and Scottish editions of the Sun, the News of the World and the Sunday Times are printed in Glasgow. Scotland, however, is the home of a newspaper circulating throughout Britain, the Daily Record, sister paper of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mail, and many other papers including six morning, five evening, three Sunday and 118 local weekly newspapers.
   Scotland’s newspaper industry has recently become much more competitive, partly because of the fallout from political upheavals including the demise of the Conservative party and the prospect of a Scottish parliament, and partly because consolidation in the media business has thrown up commercial opportunities. So, for example, the Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has buried his famous dislike for the Scottish press (he once appeared on the front page of the Sunday Mail for hitting one of its photographers) to join the consortium The Edge with the Daily Record to bid for Scotland’s largest radio licence, a commercial licence with the potential to reach 2.8 million people, or around half of the country’s population. The Barclay twins, David and Frederick bought Scotsman Publications Ltd from the International Thomson Organisation three years ago, and have spent large sums of money on the Scotsman and its sister title, Scotland on Sunday. The latter has expanded its readership by introducing several new sections and being repositioned slightly downmarket. Papers north of the border are becoming more nationalistically oriented. The Scottish Sun under its English editor Bob Bird famously swung behind the Scottish National Party during the 1997 election, and the Scottish Mirror is also slated to become more Scottish. For many years the Observer and the Sunday Times have carried Scottish supplements, but many other national titles have recently been ‘tartanized’. The Daily Mail’s Scottish edition now has a much more Scottish focus than it had. and the Daily Record is being revamped to reflect its Scottish roots and to shake off a perceived macho image. Despite the fact that it has dominated the Scottish tabloid scene for decades with sales of over 600,000, the Daily Record had been looking vulnerable after a failed drive for more advertising revenue.

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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