The National – am I wrong?

I have talked before about my decision to stop buying newspapers in previous blogs. The only paper I bought, once or twice a week, was The National published by Newsquest who also own The Herald, The Sunday Herald and The Glasgow Evening Times in Scotland.

national

I stopped buying The National as I felt it was taking a softer stance on independence, nothing concrete just a subtle shift, plus I wasn’t overly impressed with some of the contributions in it as a lot of the information was available on-line via blogs etc. The other concerns I had were that it felt like Newsquest were playing both sides of the fence, are playing the YES side for profit. I was concerned that a newspaper group that published The Herald, a truly awful paper and no friend of fair journalism in my opinion, are maybe also influencing the debate (editorially) away from the YES movement and being pro union in very subtle ways within The National.

I don’t have any evidence for this other than gut feeling and this is why I am writing this blog. Some prominent blogs like Scoop It appear to support The National, Lesley Riddoch (who I find very fair overall) writes for The National, George Kerevan, Pat Kane also so I am starting to think maybe I am wrong on this one.

The National is all that the YES side has within the mainstream media. Of course we have Wings, Munguin’s, Scot Goes Pop, Derek Bateman, Newsnet, Bella (to a lesser degree) etc to fight our cause but it’s very hard for those sites and blogs to reach the masses who don’t access social media or use the net and many people don’t.

So here is a question for any of you who read The National and come across my blog, what do you think? Is The National a truly independence supporting newspaper? Do you think that it is influenced by the unionist media? Can it be trusted to represent some of what we on the YES side are looking for?

I’m not saying I am thinking of buying The National again but I am worried that Better Together is ramping it up in the press, Theresa May is starting to get reported a lot in the press on issues in Scotland with zero analysis of what she is saying, Ruth Davidson has a fan club within the press but we only have a strong online presence and is that enough.

Let me know what you think if you have the time, I am definitely interested in others thoughts on this one, as I am on all my blogs but I am really interested to know if we should be supporting The National.

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14 comments

  1. awkwardboy

    I was going to say I read the National, but I don’t really, I read bits of it seldom more than 2 or 3 articles a day. I keep coming back for Wee Ginger Dug, GregMoodies cartoon and Angry Salmond, that and the desire to prevent the endless crowing from yoons if it went belly up.

    • Anonymous

      awkwardboy

      I have often wondered that myself, if The National went under then we are back to nothing again but the unionist media and that doesn’t bear thinking about really, they are bad enough as it is and it’s not perfect but it does have some good contributions in it.

      Thanks for commenting and taking time to read the blog.

      Bruce

  2. bjsalba

    I have taken the National since it started. I get a paper copy because I want it so be seen on the newspaper shelf in my local bakery – lots of elderly in my area who don’t do on-line.

    I have not always been happy with what and how things were reported and I too have had my reservations about their connections with the Herald. After the Holyrood election I stopped buying for a short while I was so disgusted with them for their promotion of splitting the vote.

    I have taken them to task about quite a lot of articles where I strongly objected to how they were reported. While they do not admit they are wrong, they have stopped slavishly printing many of the (SNPBaaad) themes the tabloids keep recycling.

    I personally think they are improving, but I think it will be necessary for us, the public to keep them from reverting to bad habits.

    • Anonymous

      bjsalba

      I have never really complained when the paper annoyed me and I agree with you on them encouraging the vote split, that was wrong, and as Scot Goes Pop pointed out, it was folly and so it proved for those who went for it. I am starting to think my 1 or 2 a week is small but maybe not the end of the world and worth doing. The paper has to improve, and thereby improve it’s circulation, but right now it is all we have. I am starting to think that I have gotten it wrong, not buying it won’t help the cause in any way so it is maybe worth another go, and when they get it wrong find the time to express my opinion, even though they will never admit they are wrong, they never do.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. Scotsfox

    The National is all very well but I doubt many Unionists buy it so preaching to the converted. I lost the habit of reading any paper years ago. Tried the National but couldn’t get back into the habit.

  4. grumpyscottishman

    Scott

    I was only ever once or twice a week and tended to be disappointed With a lot of it and like you I was out of the habit. I only really picket it up to do my little bit as I prefer blogs. But the thing is we have nothing else within the mainstream, that is a concern to be honest . People may not buy it but they will see the headline, it will annoy them so maybe if we all bought one a week it makes a difference .

    The unionists are ramping it up again and we need to get ready. I am not against moving slow but we need YES back up and running as events might speed up and we are no where ready, the National will be a part of the next campaign so maybe we can’t afford to lose it.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Bruce

  5. tris

    I have to admit that I bought it for a while, but like so many, I don;t really have a time in my day any more when I read newspapers. It’s something that disappeared.

    I’d say that it’s better than nothing anyway, but it’s a guess rather than anything else.

    There’s a chance that if and when a second push for independence comes along we’ll be glad enough of the printed version of pro indy news, to reach these people who don’t have internet.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Tris

      I am starting to think that way, now that NS has said a draft bill for indy will be prepared we need to ensure The National stays around. I think I will start picking it up a few times a week , wether I get a chance to read it or not. We are going to need something in the msm and it’s all we have right now. I’m in no rush for another ref right now but it could come very quickly.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  6. finnmacollie

    I buy it as often as possible and find it has a lot of good articles. True, much of the content can be found on the web but we really need the print version for the folk who don’t do the internet. I tend to leave my copy lying about in public spaces I may happen to be – doctors, dentist, optician, hospital, wherever. You never know, you plant a few seeds and some might grow.
    At the moment Newsquest is all we have and it is probably a commercial decision to hedge their bets.
    Also, the National is not exactly overflowing with adverts. I don’t know what the circulation figures are but it would be really satisfying to think that advertisers in the unionist Herald were actually subsidising The National.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Finn

      I think you’re correct. It is all we have right now and with draft legislation going to be drafted for another referendum to be held probably within the next couple of years The National is the only paper we have within the msm and it will be important. I think I am going to start picking it up a couple of times a week, I would never read it any more than that to be honest as would never have the time to sit and do that. My kids are no so leaving it around the kitchen might so the seeds that I haven’t maneged to do.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  7. Brian

    Hello Bruce – initially I bought the paper (National) on a daily basis. I thought it then evolved – it was widening the net to include bigger/European/world issues to attract all voters. Then it began to bland out, unsure of its direction, but keeping the independence flag flying with Kane/Riddoch etc. I don’t buy it now. Just read some articles online daily. So much for me.
    To have any real impact on people outside the YES circle, I firmly believe it needs a huge injection of nationalism. It needs to challenge the often distorted short sighted narrative in the rest of the MSM. It needs to shout this stuff from the rooftops. Make a big noise. Expose the lies and distortions. Make people take notice. No one else does apart from – as you say – online media like yourself. And that gets a limited readership. The softly softly approach just doesn’t work. Did we learn nothing from Project Fear?
    I bang on about this frequently to my SNPMP, especially this Commons Committee BBC investigation/report. Just what did that achieve? A possible Scottish Six! Wow, hold me back.

    • grumpyscottishman

      Brian

      I was the same, started daily then drifted to a couple of times a week then stopped when I felt it was becoming watered down. However, with the ramping up of Better Together I started to have a wee re-think. I know both official campaigns have wrapped up but recently I have started to think that BT haven’t, they are still working away in the background, still involved plus they have the media on their side as always. Now that NS has confirmed that draft legislation will be consulted on and The National being the only thing we have within the msm I think I will start to pick it up a couple of times a week. Bought it yesterday and flicked through it and read a couple of articles, bought it today but haven’t looked at it yet. I won;t go back to everyday, not unless as you say it really becomes a stronger advocate for YES, but I wouldn’t like to lose it so we probably need to pick up a copy now and again to try and keep it going. It may not be enough in the end but it’s something.

      The Scottish six I could not care less about, it will be done by the BBC so enough said. It will make no difference, just an hour of bias propoganda instead of 30 mins. The SNP have disappointed me at Westminster to be honest, I exspected more. Party dicipline is important, even though it is rubbish, but they have failed to really make an impact and by that I mean being noisy and disruptive. They have stuck to the rules and bought into the pomp, when Bercow told them not to clap and then allowed others to clap then they should just do it. If they are thrown out for clapping then that sends a message to the voters in Scotland about how they feel about our elected reps, I think Tommy Shepherd has done well, Mhairi Black is blown up too much for me and Chris Low (my MP ) has been too tame. They need to do better.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  8. lanark

    I had stopped buying as well, but with the political situation now I have reconsidered. Imagine the gloating from the Unionist side if it were to go under. It is poor at times and I question the motives of Newsquest, but it is all we have. (Wee Ginger Dug and Greg Moodie are excellent).

    Regarding the SNP at Westminster, I feel they are too tame at times but they aren’t well enough established to be truly radical. If they were to walk out or refuse to take part in debates, hey would be crucified by the press/BBC.
    Their opponents would play the “why vote for them, they don’t even turn up” card for all it’s worth.

    Like all of us on the Yes side, they are trapped in a country and system they and us want no part of. The British state got it’s Empire by being cunning, ruthless, devious and cruel. The Empire is gone but the mindset remains.
    (Only the Americans and the Irish seemed to be immune to its charms, I think the rest are still in the Commonwealth). It remains to be seen how the SNP stand up to it. Will they be sucked in to it or destroyed by it? Like the National, they are flawed but the best we have for now.

    • Anonymous

      lanark

      It is a bit of screwed if do screwed if you don’t. The SNP can’t win either way so I am starting to think screw it to be honest. I will pick up the national a couple of times a week as you are totally correct, if it went under we would never hear the end of it and then we are back to having no voice within the msm, no matter how weak that is or how poor at times. Westminster is just a joke, they don’t want us there and many of us don’t want to be there. What a stupid state of affairs.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

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