A website editor is asking readers to donate money for its re-launch in a bid to safeguard the future of Scottish journalism’ – claiming the country’s newspapers are ‘”simply not good enough”
“Scotland’s newspapers are dying. Soon they will be gone. Their circulations are plummeting because they are simply not good enough,” he wrote.
“This is no reflection on the battered survivors clinging to their jobs in Scotland’s empty newsrooms. There are only so many bricks they can make from dwindling amounts of straw.”
Stewart was writing in the wake of the recent announcement of 90 job losses at the Daily Record, the paper where he started his career.
He is asking readers of the Mercury – along with “all those interested in the survival of Scottish journalism” – to donate cash to help fund the site’s relaunch.
“Scotland is about to enter a crucial decision-making period with a maimed and crippled media, incapable of properly enabling the debate we need to have,” he wrote.
“The Caledonian Mercury, imperfect as it is, is an attempt by journalists to do something about that”
“The Mercury will be re-launched soon, with the promise of a better site and more writers and a wider range of services. To fund the relaunch readers are being asked to become ‘founders’ of the online publication.
“The ‘Caley Merc’ is a statement of belief in quality Scottish journalism, an act of faith and a line in the sand. We have proved our commitment to in-depth, intelligent, independent journalism – and to being an honest broker for all the voices of Scotland.”
The Mercury won the award for multimedia publisher of the year at the National Union of Journalists Regional Press Awards held last year.
Stewart founded the site after leaving The Scotsman, which he now describes as a “poor, lost” newspaper for which he nevertheless still holds “a deep affection.”