New Scottish Web Newspaper Aims For ‘Gap In Market’

Former editor Stewart Kirkpatrick has been a thorn in the side of certain Scots establishment media since he left the Johnston Press paper’s site in 2007. Now he’s putting his money where his mouth is – Kirkpatrick says he’s “launching a new Scottish newspaper … an intelligent title that uses the internet, not fights against it”.

Kirkpatrick writes at AllMediaScotland that he’s hiring to produce “high-quality, in-depth journalism written by established experts”. His title – as yet unnamed – will eschew the majority of “general news” to focus in-depth on stories deemed key…

“Our paper element will not be printed on a daily or even weekly basis. We will use print because it is a fantastic medium but we will use it in innovative, unexpected ways … What I am not doing is reinventing the Herald, Record or Scotsman. Nor am I doing a Business AM. I have not taken on massive debts to buy printing presses. I have not acquired lavish offices. I have not hired vast numbers of support staff.”

Greenslade details the “gap” in the market perceived by Kirkpatrick: “The Scottish newspaper market has had a bad couple of years, with falling sales at the three leading “national” titles”. The latest figures: The Herald (56,746, down 9.6% year-on-year), The Scotsman (46,300, down 7.8%) and the Daily Record (323,051, down 10.7%).”

Like I said in my 2010 forecast, this year will see more independent journalism start-ups put their heads above the parapet, as Big Media strain under the weight of their own resource economy and as web tools continue to present opportunities to do cheap but innovative reporting.

It’s already happened in several specialist business sectors over the last 10 years, and many more are now getting inspired by the rise of Huffington Post and Politico. The feared collapse of UK nations-and-regions news and the opportunity for independently-funded news consortia will spur more such endeavours.