A flagship daily newspaper is offering public bodies cheaper subscriptions in return for supplying content to the paper.
In a ground-breaking initiative, The Scotsman plans to publish up to four pages of content each day generated by professional bodies, trade associations, interest groups, charities and others.
Organisations will be offered the chance to become ‘Friends of The Scotsman,’ giving them the right to publish content in the paper as well as reduced-rate subscriptions of less than £300 a year.
Their articles will appear in a new section of the Johnston Press owned paper and a corresponding section on its website.
“I believe that over a period of years we have seen an ever-narrowing news agenda and as a result I believe there are innovations, debates, research and informative views across broad spectrums of Scotland and beyond that are not getting the airing they need and deserve because they fall outwith the news agenda of the day,” he wrote.
“I want to tackle that and put the debates and issues that face industry, academia, law, charities, the arts, sports, science, medicine – to name but a few sectors – in front of the tens of thousands of people who read The Scotsman every day.
“To do that I am going to add a new editorial section to the newspaper and create a group called Friends of The Scotsman.”
Ian said the new pages will appear every day of the week and will get a daily front-page signpost.
He added: “The articles on those pages will be written and submitted by the organisations that become Friends of The Scotsman. They can decide the topics and set the agendas and of course use their own words. The articles and pages will also appear the Friends of The Scotsman website which will be part of The Scotsman’s website.”
The paper hopes that each friend will write at least six articles a year of around 750 words each.
Membership will be open to institutions, trade associations, professional bodies, societies, interest groups, charities and others – but not individual members of the public, companies or political parties.