The curious thing about the Scottish independence referendum was that while it was on everyone’s mind and lips, the newspaper industry in Scotland were slow to back one side or the other.
Now that the referendum has passed, a new daily, pro-independence newspaper, The National, will be published from tomorrow morning, aimed at the 1.6m Scots who voted to leave the Union.
It was unveiled by its new editor Richard Walker to a 13,000 capacity crowd of SNP supporters who gathered in support of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s UK tour at the Hydro yesterday. Walker also heads up the Sunday Herald.
The Sunday Herald was the only Scottish title to actively support Scottish Independence in the September referendum and saw print sales spike to around 50,000 copies the Sunday after the result. This represented an 111% year on year increase. The paper’s circulation is currently running about 40% higher year on year.
Richard said: “We lost the referendum but the political momentum behind independence is growing by the day, evidenced by the doubling of membership of the SNP, and the ongoing debate about extra powers for the Scottish Parliament.”
The National is being printed and published by the Newsquest-owned Herald & Times Group.
Managing Director Tim Blott said: “It is the first time in many years that a new daily newspaper has been launched in Scotland.
“The National is an exciting opportunity to meet the needs of a very politically-engaged section of the Scottish population. We recognise that launching a newspaper in 2014 is to some extent counter-intuitive but we consistently argue for the power of great journalism and informed opinion. We will trial the new title in its proposed format for a week and if, as anticipated, it takes off then it will become a new and dynamic fixture in Scottish publishing.”
The new 50p National can be purchased Monday to Friday from most newsagents and supermarkets. It is also available as an electronic edition for those wishing to read it online.
An accompanying website, TheNational.scot, is being prepared. In the meantime the website features a holding page which includes subscription details and an opportunity for readers give feedback. Online content from the Sunday Herald will continue to feature on HeraldScotland.com.