Today marked a new era for newspaper journalism. Scotland finally has it’s own daily pro-independence newspaper, The National. It’s imminent arrival onto the Scottish media scene was announced last week and anticipation upon it’s launch reached fever pitch over the weekend. As of this morning, readers could finally get their hands on a copy of the tabloid format newspaper from their local newsagent or subscribe online for a digital edition of the paper.
I must admit that I was as excited as a little boy getting a special present for Eid over this new title. Many people remain rightfully baffled as to why only one newspaper backed a Yes vote in the build up to the recent referendum on Scottish independence which was The National’s sister paper, the Sunday Herald. The latter of the two newspapers remains a supporter of an independent Scotland and the company that owns both titles, American company Newsquest, has decided to trial this latest title throughout each weekday of this week.
A print run of 50,000 copies was understood to have been made for the first edition of The National according to this online article on The Guardian’s website. Many newsagents stocked the newspaper on it’s stands, but it was understood that many supermarkets couldn’t, because of a lack of space available. However, Tesco stated tonight on Twitter in response to a Tweet by Max Kiecker that it would consider stocking The National if the five day trial becomes a success.
But Fife based solicitor Lauren Ford who is pro-independence Tweeted two observations on Twitter of how sales were faring today in two separate parts of the country – it looks encouraging for the long term for The National.
What The National need to do is to maintain it’s form from today in delivering a diverse mix of stories from the world of politics, culture, business, international news and sport. One of the well kent faces of the pro-independence movement Alan Bissett and I had a discussion about the share of the various elements of the newspaper this afternoon on Twitter.
But the key to long lasting success is to maintain that unique Scottish perspective on those matters. The readers of this new newspaper title will expect that the Scottish perspective is always kept in mind when the journalists produce those articles for the paper on what’s happening around us and this the fundamental driver of what will make this newspaper the one to buy every morning. But the editorial team in Glasgow will be very aware of this and have a proven track record thanks to the surge in the sales of the Sunday Herald.
They have done nae bad, which is a compliment in Scotland. And I’m sure they will continue to soak in all the feedback, positive and negative, to make The National a better newspaper to read as time goes along, as well as maintaining the popular support that they are receiving so far.