Sunday, November 23, 2014

The National

As I'm sure everyone and his auntie knows by now, tomorrow (Monday) will see the launch of The National, which to the best of my knowledge will be the first daily pro-independence newspaper since the Scottish Sun was instructed to embrace Blairism in 1996/97.  The new publication is only being given a trial run of five days, so obviously sales figures are going to be very important.  It's possible to subscribe to the digital edition for the whole week for £1.50, by texting the word AYE, followed by a space, followed by your email address, to 80360.  But even more important will be to buy hard copies from your local newsagent or supermarket (at a price of 50p).  We're not short of pro-independence commentary on the internet, but what this country desperately needs is a viable pro-independence print newspaper that can reach out to the substantial minority of the population who are still reliant on the traditional media.

UPDATE : There seems to be some doubt over whether the subscribe-by-text option is still open - see the comments section below.

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There's a bizarre story in the Herald about how Labour MPs are apparently predicting that the SNP will withdraw from the Smith Commission process at the eleventh hour. It seems Labour can't get their heads around how the SNP will be able to put their name to the Smith blueprint while at the same time arguing that The Vow has been broken and campaigning at the general election for full Devo Max.

It just goes to prove what I've always said - Labour have got no imagination.  In all likelihood, the SNP will say something like this : "What has been agreed today is inadequate and falls well short of what was solemnly promised by the No campaign and the UK government.  However, as Scotland's party we have a duty to ensure that Scotland is not left with nothing at all, and therefore we will be supporting these proposals as far as they go.  We will of course campaign at the general election for the package to be built upon and brought fully into line with The Vow before it is finally implemented."

Pretty simple really.

30 comments:

  1. Glad to see you're pushing The National. I got some flyers outside the Hydro, gave some out in the car park pay queue and dropped some in the YES Bar, but I've also scanned one and put it up on my wordpress website so people can download it and give it to their newsagent to order copies. Click on the image for a full-size one, it should be able to print on A4 and trim to A5 size. You're welcome to "steal" it and change your article with a link if you want.

    http://yesindyref2.wordpress.com/

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  2. I think 5 days is too short a time to judge the success of the the new paper. I fully intend to visit my nearest newsagent early on Monday morning, but I can visualise the staff there expressing no knowledge of it (they are dopey at the best of times). I hope that the Herald is pushing the newsagents hard to stock it, but the word has to get round many people, not just those who read blogs like this.

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  3. I'm a technology moron. I can text Aye - has to be digital edition since I live in France - but how do I sent the money? Tammas

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    1. It'll be deducted from your phone balance.

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  4. Re my post at 7.42 am above. My wife offered to go for our Sunday Herald to a newsagent slightly further away, but more clued up. She asked the owner if he would have the National on Monday ----HE HAD NEVER HEARD OF IT!
    If he did not receive copies on Monday he promised to phone his suppliers so that he could sell us a copy on Tuesday.
    IS THIS ALL JUST A CUNNING PLOY BY THE HERALD TO PRETEND TO PRINT A PRO-INDY PAPER, BUT TO SAY THE DEMAND IS NOT THERE?

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    1. Nothing wrong with suspicion, it's healthy, but no, I'd say definitely not in a million years. I heard Richard Walker, the Editor of the Sunday Herald, for 10 minutes at the Hydro and it's clear he's "one of us". In addition he was given the 10 minutes by the SNP, so it's pretty clear they vetted him and approved him taking up 10 minutes of the time of all of us!

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  5. Have a funny feeling I won't be able to get a copy up here in the far north - it's like the Land That Time Forgot up here sometimes. But will drive over the whole of Caithness and Sutherland to look for a copy tomorrow. You could be right, Anonymous. 50,000 seems to be a very short print run for a new newspaper, given that most of it will go to the Central Belt.

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  6. Wee Jock Poo-Pong McPlopNovember 23, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    As posted elsewhere (WoS) - I tried to subscribe online via text this morning but received an automated reply saying that "This service...is now closed". Tried again and got no response at all! Anyone else succeeded in subscribing online via text message?

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  7. 50k is a small amount, dont expect to see it in aberdeen, so will be subscribing online

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  8. I went into my newsagents on Friday evening and he'd never heard of it. But he did offer to get it for me, and deliver it too. Tomorrow morning will reveal if he's been successful.

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  9. ASDA not stocking and unable to say.

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  10. @Anonymous 9:17AM. I think not. It's Richard Walker (of the SH) who's editing it so I can't see him touting a newspaper that's designed to fail after his commendable and bold decision to bring the SH out in support of independence. I suspect the 50,000 copies will be heavily concentrated in the Greater Glasgow area which makes perfect commercial sense. I vaguely remember the failure that was the Scottish Standard (although I had to Google the title as I couldn't recall it) so it's pretty wise of them to limit the print run and focus it in the biggest Yes-voting area. I live in Edinburgh so I may have to wait a wee while to see it...

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    1. And I presume, e.g., Ian Bell's and Iain MacWhirter's pieces will be carried in both the Herald and the National? Probably not David Torrance's or Catherine MacLeod's however...

      I think they should try to get someone like Michael Fry on board who can write in support of independence from a right of centre position - I don't think he has a column for the Hootsmon anymore. Those aren't my politics but I think one of the problems for the Yes campaign was that it gave off a pretty unmistakable message to the middle classes that independence was something they should fear. I think that the positioning of the main Yes campaign's positioning (social democratic) was spot but that we could have done with a right outrider (something more effective than Fry's Wealthy Nation) doing equivalent work to RIC on the left. After all, Artur Mas in Catalonia is leader of the right of centre CiU. BfS did some good stuff but was still pretty social democratic. I certainly know some people who could be persuaded in this way.

      What do we all think as to the name? I'm not overly keen on it, I have to say. Being quite likely to cause confusion with a certain band from Ohio is the probably the least of it.

      Also, I got the same problem when I tried to text for an online sub.

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  11. Text subscription facility finished at 2pm today (Sunday). Can buy online using a credit card at …
    http://subscriber.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/subscribe.aspx?source=4&eid=e46c8b3a-57a1-44e2-8155-6c9c3d4b4f90
    Based on comments, perhaps the digital edition is more likely to be available.

    By the way, was there a taster edition on the 9th? Having subscribed for the week, I am offered an edition dated 9th. Haven't accessed it as I don't know if I'll used one of my 5 editions.

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    1. subscriber.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/subscribe.aspx?source=4&eid=e46c8b3a-57a1-44e2-8155-6c9c3d4b4f90

      Trying to get a link

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    2. Aye for the 9th of November. No doubt it will be fixed by tomorrow. Looks as if it's all a bit rushed?

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  12. @HapLeg

    The National is just a start. It's a tabloid with an initially limited circulation. We can build up to create a pro-independence broadsheet. My preference is some kind of Scottish Guardian which would take a pro-independence, social democratic stance - in that we could have centre-right columnists in the same way unionist papers have pro-independence columnists. That's years into the future, though. The National will do for now.

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  13. Hmm...designed to fail, then. Yet another UK media ploy to designate Scotland as a failed nation. At least WE can see through their manipulations now, thanks to the internet. Shame about the many who don't have internet access, and who will only believe what they read in the printed press or see on the state broadcaster. NEW SCOTTISH NEWSPAPER FAILS THROUGH LACK OF SUPPORT.

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    1. Not even off the ground yet and it's failed?

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  14. HapLeg
    I don't live in Caithness or Sutherland, I live in Edinburgh and can't believe Richard Walker could start to launch a new paper by not telling newsagents about it, leaving them open to ridicule.

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  15. If the distribution is poor and people who want the paper can't get it while copies are left unsold, it will be a disaster not of our making. But there is already a perfectly good distribution network so why wouldn't they just use it.

    The problem will be if it is up to newsagents to order copies but either they don't know about it or they don't order because nobody has expressed an interest to them. If people just go into a newsagent and expect it to be there they may be disappointed.

    However, I gather the Herald sells about 35,000 copies a day. If they are printing 50,000 copies of the new paper there should be plenty to go round IF they make their way to the shops.

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    1. Sorry, but the Herald doesn't have 'a perfectly good distribution network', certainly not in Edinburgh. I stopped buying the Herald in 2010, essentially because of the declining quality of the journalism. But even in 2010 it was very hard to find copies of the Herald in Edinburgh, and things have got worse since then. Anecdotally I believe the Herald has a very unfriendly sale and return policy, with newsagents penalised for unsold copies.

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  16. Succeeded, I think, in taking out a subsciption on line with the above link. The process of informing the public about the newspaper does seem a bit rushed and the web site untested so I guess a few glitches are to be expected. Why that should be I can only guess, and presume it might have something to do with the ability to publicise the issue at the two big meetings in Glasgow yesterday and I dare say the subscription pages are now likely to be overloaded by last minute subscriptions. However it seems worth persevering if you can't get through first time.

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  17. I think it would be a good idea to wait and see how the trial goes for the new newspaper before writing it off.

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  18. Like others I agree we need to get out there and buy this. Be that traditional hard copies or digital ones. I also live in the north, Moray, and hope I can get hold of a hard copy but if not I will do my best to make the "National" know why I did not buy one and that it does not mean there is no desire for this publication.

    I also echo the comments by others that the paper should try and cover as many political backgrounds areas as possible. As a Lib Dem (well former as I can't see my voting for them again) I actually liked the SNP stance on most issues, ironically the new direction the party is taking might suit my own political views slightly less even if they do fit the majority of the West Central Belt. The point I am making is we have to make sure that Independence appeals to as many people as possible. We have the true left on side as well as social democrats like myself. We need to maintain this partnership but bring in environmentalists and dare I say it people on the economic right.

    You can be of any political orientation and back Independence.

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  19. Wee Jock Poo-Pong McPlopNovember 23, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Well it's 22.20 and I've finally had my online subscription set up, having had my text-based application rejected this morning. It's been a tedious and complex process, requiring some commitment. I'm not whingeing (much) but at this rate, the new paper will be singing very much to the choir. Sorry to offer a negative note, but there it is.

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  20. I subscribed on my iPad. Only now do I find a message saying that I need Flash player, which is not available for the iPad. FAQ contains the information:

    "If you are seeing that this message whilst trying to view the publication on a mobile device such as a tablet or phone, then the publication has not been set up to work on a mobile device."

    Not a good start!

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  21. Having been to a meeting this afternoon where it was reported that newsagents haven't heard of the National, I called in at my local Co-op in the hope of ordering it. They had already received an e-mail (from the distributor, presumably) and are expecting one or two copies tomorrow.

    I'll go back and buy one if they haven't already gone - I've also taken out a digital subscription, which I found quite straightforward, possibly because I have previously bought the Sunday Herald that way.

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  22. I got one in Sainsbury's on one of Aberdeens main streets, so looks like they should be widely available...or in all major supermarkets at least!

    Which is good.

    The paper in general is a decent enough read, not much to it, understandable given it's a trial run

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  23. I won't be buying The National as it's not my cup of tea but I welcome it. I won't be surprised if it's a success as there's clearly a gap in the market for a pro-independence daily newspaper and a diversity of views in the press is a healthy thing in a democracy.

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