Building a Better Media for Scotland
Bella Caledonia and Newsnet are delighted to announce a new collaboration, where we will be commissioning new articles and sharing analysis and editorial content together.
The next six months will be crucial. As we lead up to the next Holyrood elections we’re bound to see the usual scaremongering of the Unionist media about the possibilities of serious constitutional change, and the usual right-wing press will collect around the forces of inertia and conservatism and no doubt we can expect a torrent of deference as the Royal Wedding cavalcade continues.
But the old media doesn’t have the strength and dominance it once had. The old press power as an agenda-setting force is weakening and the Herald and Scotsman, once credible national newspapers are as discredited as the Lib-Lab-Tory agenda they prop up.
The participative media in Scotland is stronger than ever – with a surge of high quality online content and discourse in the last year – but it will need to grow stronger still and sharper and reach beyond its established audience. The nationalist left will need to think beyond easy orthodoxies and begin to imagine and translate the sort of Scotland we want to see – not just tell the story of what is wrong with Britain, but what kind of society we want to create.
Bella will remain the place for longer articles – with a stronger focus on experimental culture – while Newsnet will stay as the place for daily news updates (and more). Join us – sign up to our newsletters or link to our feeds, Newsnet here – and Bella Caledonia here.
November was the best month ever for site traffic for Bella Caledonia – but we need to be part of bigger. The recent Political Innovations event in Edinburgh talked alot about aggregation – and this is partly about that – but there’s no dilution with this collaboration.
Citizen journalism is particularly needed here in Scotland: “The intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires.” We realise that action needs to happen in the ‘real word’ as well as on the internet – we’d argue that ‘cyber nats’ need to become ‘digi reps’ – digital republicans more equipped to broaden and deepen debate and analysis.
Reclaiming democracy, building independence and learning self-determination won’t all be done at the ballot-box. Re-establishing a coherent and funded alternative media is a big part of that movement. We feel this is something to celebrate this St Andrews Day.