A new daily newspaper for Scotland which explicitly supports independence is being trialled from today.
The National, a new 32-page tabloid, went on sale this morning priced 50p and is aimed at the 1.6m Scots who voted to leave the Union in September’s referendum.
It launch follows the success earlier this year of the Sunday Herald which posted a 111pc year-on-year sales increase after becoming the only Scottish daily or Sunday title to back the independence campaign.
The new title was formally unveiled by editor Richard walker at a rally of Scottish National Party supporters organised by new First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Saturday.
Richard, who also edits the Sunday Herald, said: “We lost the referendum but the political momentum behind independence is growing by the day, evidenced by the doubling of membership of the SNP, and the ongoing debate about extra powers for the Scottish Parliament.”
Managing director Tim Blott added: “The National is an exciting opportunity to meet the needs of a very politically-engaged section of the Scottish population. We recognise that launching a newspaper in 2014 is to some extent counter-intuitive but we consistently argue for the power of great journalism and informed opinion.
“We will trial the new title in its proposed format for a week and if, as anticipated, it takes off then it will become a new and dynamic fixture in Scottish publishing.”
News of the impending launch had emerged on Friday after the Herald & Times group sent out a letter to newsagents about it.
The letter, written by group head of circulation Malcolm Macdonald, says the launch is “a response to reader requests for a daily title which supports independence.”
Although September’s referendum resulted in an overall ‘no’ vote to independence, voters in the Herald & Times group’s Glasgow heartland voted yes by a wide margin.
Since the referendum, membership of the Scottish National Party has passed 80,000 and its new leader Ms Sturgeon has become Scotland’s first female First Minister.