A Scotsman to buy the Scotsman?

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Alex Salmond is allegedly working with a consortium to buy the Scotsman newspaper with a view to it helping to re-balance the Scottish mainstream press by reporting more sympathetically on Scottish independence and, presumably, the SNP.

My first reaction was yeah! Then I thought about it a bit more. Even if we accept their figures, the Scotsman only sells around 20 000 copies per day on average. Regular contributor to this blog, Ludo Thierry, has earlier shown that they only really sell, for money, around 13 000. Is it worth buying especially if it loses even more of its currently pro-Union readers in the process?

As social media come to dominate political discourse and even TV news audiences fall as their loyal older viewers pass away, this may be a good idea but one that is just too late.

I suppose you could argue that the press influence TV reporting and so are worth owning for that reason alone but do any of us think a pro-independence Scotsman writer would get any more access to Reporting or Good Morning Scotland than any other pro-independence writer?

I suppose if they get it really cheap, it might be worth a go.

Footnote: Back in 2014 when I suggested, in a Holyrood committee, that the mainstream media were demonising Alex Salmond, the Scotsman did a piece on it. Nearly all of the comments below attacked me. One wrote: ‘Professor Robertson, the kind of guy you’d like to get stuck in a lift with (not).’ Unable to resist, I replied ‘That’s how I got my wife pregnant. Are you sure you want to go ahead with this?’ Me bad, I know

Alex Salmond is allegedly working with a consortium to buy the Scotsman newspaper with a view to it helping to rebalance the Scottish mainstream press by reporting more sympathetically on Scottish independence and, presumably, the SNP.

My first reaction was yeah! Then I thought about it a bit more. Even if we accept their figures, the Scotsman only sells around 20 000 copies per day on average. Regular contributor to this blog, Ludo Thierry, has earlier shown that they only really sell, for money, around 13 000. Is it worth buying especially if it loses even more of its currently pro-Union readers in the process?

As social media come to dominate political discourse and even TV news audiences fall as their loyal older viewers pass away, this may be a good idea but one that is just too late.

I suppose you could argue that the press influence TV reporting and so are worth owning for that reason alone but do any of us think a pro-independence Scotsman writer would get any more access to Reporting or Good Morning Scotland than any other pro-independence writer?

I suppose if they get it really cheap, it might be worth a go.

Footnote: Back in 2014 when I suggested, in a Holyrood committee, that the mainstream media were demonising Alex Salmond, the Scotsman did a piece on it. Nearly all of the comments below attacked me. One wrote: ‘Professor Robertson, the kind of guy you’d like to get stuck in a lift with (not).’ Unable to resist, I replied ‘That’s how I got my wife pregnant. Are you sure you want to go ahead with this?’ Me bad, I know

Alex Salmond is allegedly working with a consortium to buy the Scotsman newspaper with a view to it helping to rebalance the Scottish mainstream press by reporting more sympathetically on Scottish independence and, presumably, the SNP.

My first reaction was yeah! Then I thought about it a bit more. Even if we accept their figures, the Scotsman only sells around 20 000 copies per day on average. Regular contributor to this blog, Ludo Thierry, has earlier shown that they only really sell, for money, around 13 000. Is it worth buying especially if it loses even more of its currently pro-Union readers in the process?

As social media come to dominate political discourse and even TV news audiences fall as their loyal older viewers pass away, this may be a good idea but one that is just too late.

I suppose you could argue that the press influence TV reporting and so are worth owning for that reason alone but do any of us think a pro-independence Scotsman writer would get any more access to Reporting or Good Morning Scotland than any other pro-independence writer?

I suppose if they get it really cheap, it might be worth a go.

Footnote: Back in 2014 when I suggested, in a Holyrood committee, that the mainstream media were demonising Alex Salmond, the Scotsman did a piece on it. Nearly all of the comments below attacked me. One wrote: ‘Professor Robertson, the kind of guy you’d like to get stuck in a lift with (not).’ Unable to resist, I replied ‘That’s how I got my wife pregnant. Are you sure you want to go ahead with this?’ Me bad, I know

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26 thoughts on “A Scotsman to buy the Scotsman?

  1. Bugger (the Panda) October 8, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    To make a small fortune in the Newspaper industry you need to start with a big one.I wouldn’t touch it with fake Dinars

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Bryan Weir October 8, 2017 / 2:49 pm

    Given that its readers are predominantly Unionists the circulation would collapse if this happened.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brian October 8, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    Social media commentary is miles away from dominating political discourse. More’s the pity. The MSM make sure of that. You think the BBC and others would deliberately keep their doors closed to the Scotsman, because it has changed hands, leaving themselves open to more accusations of bias?
    I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 October 8, 2017 / 5:43 pm

      Don’t the tiny press circulation figures tell us things are changing in a big way in terms of where voters get their news? BBC Scotland News won’t reveal their viewing figures so that makes me think they’re falling.As for closing the doors to the Scotsman, I meant closing their doors to pro-independence writers employed there. They don’t have to justify who they choose to interview.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian October 9, 2017 / 1:43 pm

        Yes, I know what you mean…print media circulation dropping. But does that mean social media dominates political discourse? How often do we see social media posts/articles/commentary quoted on any of the TV channels? TV media remains in the past, We are a generation away from “social media dominating political discourse”. Unfortunately.
        I would say most people still get their news from the MSM – including online versions of print media. But to be honest, I am just guessing. What is the truth? Does anybody know? Are there any studies/reports on the subject that can be trusted?

        Like

  4. macgilleleabhar October 8, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    I think there must be some sort of value there as Alex Salmond is a shrewd lad but I can’t see it.
    Just the title for after independence?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Bugger (the Panda) October 8, 2017 / 3:34 pm

    Alex has set a fox to catch something bigger

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Clydebuilt October 8, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    Right now Stuart and Tam BBC radio . . . Are doing their best to turn Scots against Gordon Strachan. . . I can’t think of a non swear word to describe these two PUKES.

    When the anthms were being played , Richard Gordon talked over the entirety of “Flower of Scotland” immediately followed by the Slovenian anthem when he was silent.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gavin October 8, 2017 / 8:00 pm

      Must say, I am not a Strachan fan. It is obvious he cannot be blamed for the utter paucity of Scottish players playing football for Scottish teams, but he is no Wullie Ormond, who played players who were in form for their clubs—no matter the club.
      I remember going down to Wembley (for a week at a time) when we picked teams for fun. A Scottish based team–an Anglo team- an old firm team–a non-old firm team. It was possible in the 70’s to come up with good teams in every possible category because we produced loads of players. It was a false dawn—“Ramsey’s Robots” had influenced Scottish managers into narrowing their teams and gradually dispensing with wingers/ball players. This led to the loss of the “tanner ba’ player” as bigger physics became the “thing”.
      The most entertaining team I ever saw in Scotland was the 1972/73 ( or 73/74) Eddie Turnbull Hibs team, which as an Ayrshire man had its own perils.

      Liked by 2 people

      • gavin October 9, 2017 / 9:18 am

        Alas, for spelling I relied on the old infallible “wine-checker” method—so physic is actually physique.
        And an Ayrshire accent at Easter Road ( my best pal then, was a Hibee) was often mistaken for Glaswegian—Oh dear!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Clydebuilt October 9, 2017 / 1:05 pm

        I can understand people not being fans of Strachan. Either to do with the way he interacts with journalists, or his running of the Scotland team. As for his interacting with Journos, this morning my postie said that was one of the best bits about G. S. Remember who he’s dealing with the MSM Unionist organisations.

        Yes he lost it in the last campaign and at the beginning of this one, but the Team have just gone 7 games unbeaten, I read this morning it’s the best run in 20 years. He’s a manager who knows the players and has an I depth knowledge of what’s available. Aand has the team playing for him. If Scot Brown and Stuart Armstrong had been available maybe we’d now be looking forward to a play off (however it has to be said, Darren Fletcher played very well last night)

        In recent years the SFA selection process has served up Bertie Voigts and Craig Levine.

        So should we do as the BBC hacks want and get rid of GS. Then get involved in the roulette of bringing in a new manager, or stick with the man who has got the team performing.

        Finally success at football has an enormously beneficial effect on the nations moral. Does anybody seriously think that is something the BBC wants.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. gavin October 8, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    I don’t know when I first bought the Scotsman–late 60’s, early 70’s? But I was a regular for a quarter century. it was a great paper, once. But it was owned by a series of chancers( I would like to say crooks) who stripped it of money and assets.
    Now it has gone from a “paper of record” to a kind of Morningside Daily Record.
    There is nothing any self respecting Scot can do, or own, which would alter in the slightest the bias on the BBC, BBC Scotland as an exampler.
    I heard one Kevin McKenna alongside Katie Grant reviewing the press or some such nonsense this morning. Two Brit Nat (one in camouflage) commentators, then later David Torrance. This on the morning of the SNP conference. Yup, according to this twosome, the SNP are doomed, in fact they are double doomed, and if Jim Sillers is to be believed, they are triple doomed—and don’t try to extrapolate anything from the Catalans—they is different, though still “separatists” unlike our brave Brexiteers( who only want control back)..
    When it was the wall to wall BBC ( three channels) coverage of the Tories and Labour conferences, they at least had their own Maybot/Corbynista journalists appear on the Beeb.

    Liked by 2 people

    • broadbield October 9, 2017 / 4:32 pm

      These newspaper reviews on the BBC are a sort of insidious fifth column of pro-BritNat anti-SNP propaganda in which the usual suspects get to headline all the crap that appears in the billionaire-owned BritNat press and without any critical appraisal.

      (I like the “one in camouflage” description of that chameleon who writes or says whatever the paymaster demands)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. MBC October 9, 2017 / 12:01 am

    Well, I think it would work! I stopped buying it over 20 years ago, but it used to be quite good in the 1980s. It would carry ACTUAL SCOTTISH STORIES. Norway is a very high tech country but print sales are still high and the local newspaper scene is thriving. People find local or regional newspapers informative and comforting. It’s a loyalty and identity thing. I stopped buying it after it was taken over by the Barclay twins and edited by Andrew Neil who launched a London edition and tried to appeal to the English market. I mean, what’s the point? Better to buy a decent U.K. newspaper than a pale Scottish imitation. The whole point about buying a Scottish newspaper is that it’s Scottish and has good Scottish journalism.

    Like

    • johnrobertson834 October 9, 2017 / 12:38 pm

      Yes, exactly what I did. But the print sales for the National and Sunday Herald are falling too so wouldn’t the Scotsman do the same either way. I hope you’re right.

      Like

  9. Ludo Thierry October 9, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    Hi John et al – Confess this story surprised me a bit when I caught it yesterday – Alex and his high mercantile contacts are not daft – and any deal would only proceed if the title was a virtual ‘giveaway’ I would suspect. With the new heavyweight Norwegian investor (Christen Ager Hanssen) making his weight felt around the corridors at Johnston Press (JP) anything is possible.

    JP trialled unsuccessfully paywalls previously – and continue to look extremely messy financially.

    By chance Trinity Mirror issued an update statement (first 9 months) today – print revenues were down a further 8% (from holdthefrontpage):

    But according to today’s update, covering the nine months up to the end of September, the company has already achieved £20m of savings for the year.

    The update also revealed that year-on-year revenue decline slowed slightly in the third quarter of the year, down 8pc compared to 9pc in the period January to June.

    Publishing revenue was down 9pc, with print publishing revenue down 10pc and digital revenue up 4pc.

    Print advertising revenues fell sharply by 16pc while circulation revenues were down 7pc but digital display and transactional revenues were up 14pc.

    TM are still pursuing Richard ‘dirty’ Desmond’s Express and Star group.

    From the figures ( group revenue circulation down 7%) one imagines the Daily Record and Sunday Mail continue their long downward spiral.

    Alex was a columnist on the Sunday Scot which David Murray set up and then closed down after 18 weeks – so Alex is well versed in the challenges of that industry. (I heard he had shrewdly insisted on a fixed contract – so when Murray pulled the plug Alex had to be paid out in full!)

    Thanks, ludo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. johnrobertson834 October 9, 2017 / 9:26 pm

    Well informed as always. So, not worth buying unless there’s something Eck knows that we don’t?

    Like

  11. Brian Powell October 11, 2017 / 7:30 pm

    the people who buy the Scotsman would stop using it.

    Like

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