The media in Scotland remains a travesty of poor quality, underfunded, grossly biased and deeply conservative broadcasting and print media. There’s not a newspaper in Scotland that is pro-independence. Our radio oscillates between the crassly (and vacuous) commercial and the often atrocious BBC Radio Scotland.
Some of this is institutional (unquestioning editorial continuity) some of it is cultural (low expectations / poor self-image) and some of it is personal (senior political editors with specific backgrounds or agendas). But much of it is embedded in chronic underfunding. As Newsnet recently reported:
“In 2002-03 BBC Scotland received a paltry 3.7% of the total licence fee raised throughout the UK – this despite Scotland having 8.6% of the UK’s population. Today, the BBC raises £325million of its £3,500million revenue from Scottish licence fee payers, but spends only £102million on programming in Scotland.”
In 2012 the newspaper industry continued it’s decline. The Scotsman dropped another 13.7 % now averaging just 33,000 sales, the Herald now average 44,283 while for the Sunday Herald it was 26,074. It’s a death spiral.
There are other options. The growing alternative media of citizen journalism is blooming and the gap between even small independent blogs like this and some newspapers is narrowing (we’ve even overtaken some). But newspapers still have huge resources at their disposal.
It’s difficult to compete, but we are announcing some changes in 2013. We’re excited by the new developments and we hope you will be too. We’ll be expanding our editorial team, launching a new platform on KILTR, co-hosting live events and publishing a series of essays in print and PDF format in the summer. We’ll also be launching a Bella poster and t-shirt in February.
All of which requires some resources we don’t have. So we are asking you if you want to support Bella’s work to donate to us so we can deliver and expand.
Any amount is welcome. A ‘Wendy Wood’ is as welcome as an ‘Angus Ogg’. Send us your donations and let us know if you want your donation acknowledged.
Wendy Wood – £20.00
Andrew Fletcher – £50.00
Margo MacDonald – £75.00
Angus Ogg – £100.00
Calgacus – £500.00