A journalist who took voluntary redundancy from a regional publisher last year has founded an online magazine for “positive and inspiring stories” about Scotland.
Calum Macdonald, who was digital editor at Newsquest’s Glasgow-based Herald & Times Group between 2011 and 2015, has set up Positively Scottish – with a pool of 15 freelance journalists signed up as contributors.
Of those, more than half are completing journalism training at Scottish universities, two-thirds of writers are female and eight different nationalities are represented.
Writers will be paid at a market rate for articles they pitch which are successfully commissioned, with funding initially provided by a legacy Calum had established in memory of his father.
A press release unveiling the magazine’s launch states: “Positively Scottish will focus on how people and groups tackle issues in a fast-changing world, and will present an alternative to a mainstream media which some readers say has become too reliant on a diet of conflict, disaster, and clickbait.”
The site has pledged to be apolitical, free to access and free from digital advertising.
Possible future funding routes touted by the site include philanthropic aid from individuals or grant-giving bodies.
A USA-based writer will focus on Scots’ achievements in America, and Positively Scottish will be actively marketed to the ex-pat readership.
Calum began his career at Aberdeen’s Press & Journal in 1983, moving to Glasgow seven years later to work as a reporter.
He was appointed news editor in 2007 and moved on to become digital editor in 2011.
Said Calum: “We’ve had very positive feedback from all quarters so far.
“We’ve now got to prove there’s an audience for this kind of niche alternative, but I’m convinced there’s no shortage of inspiring stories out there, and we’ve got some very talented writers on board already.”