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To greater or lesser degrees, and using the cheap and ubiquitous tools of digital publishing, these sites ran content which countered, or critiqued, what was available in the mainstream and official media in Scotland.Whether by painstakingly pointing out UK-establishment bias (Wings), or by providing an alternative to their opinion-and-editorial pages (Bella and Newsnet), they have gained tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of identifiable readers each day. And that cash flow was clearly initially triggered by the prospect of an indyref, after the SNP’s startling majority victory at Holyrood in 2011.(The availability of crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo and Kickstarter, started in 2008-9 but mature and ready by 2011, provided the technical means.) As the indyref accelerated into its last six months, tens of thousands of pounds were being raised for (non-official) Yes campaign propaganda of various kinds – documentaries, posters, painted fire-engines ... The sites I’m citing (and others now shuttered, like National Collective), also put their shoulders into the campaign effort.But if you look back from today, and add up the funding streams for the major editorial sites, some interesting patterns emerge.
The obvious point is this: they all launched in the era of SNP government, both minority and majority – and at the very least, saw that political reality as opening up the possibility of independence.
I’m a contributing editor to the former, and on the board of the latter (I know: small country).
So my opening gambit is, as you would expect me to say, please give generously and wildly to both.
Arguments about “Labour for Indy” (or even Home Rule) need to be encouraged.
Shouldn’t indy-friendly media outlets be their first port of call? We have all, with our diverse longings, come on quite a journey over the last few years.
Now, is Scotland the home of the flyte and the rammy? But now that the people have spoken, and returned an “indy majority” rather than an “SNP majority”, let’s have a calm think about what we need our indy-friendly media to do for us.