A former daily editor says he is “stunned” after his old newspaper apparently decided to stop publishing leader columns.
Glasgow-based daily The Herald appears to have stopped running editorials, while the ‘Herald View’ section on its website as not been updated since 1 March.
Severin Carrell, The Guardian’s Scotland editor, posted about the decision on Twitter, prompting a debate among industry figures.
Here's a novel move: Donald Martin, editor of @heraldscotland, prides itself as the world's longest-running daily national, has dropped editorials from the paper. Believes readers don't care; no-one reads them. pic.twitter.com/qpP5AuAX9O
— Severin Carrell (@severincarrell) March 7, 2019
Severin wrote: “Here’s a novel move: Donald Martin, editor of [The Herald], prides itself as the world’s longest-running daily national, has dropped editorials from the paper. Believes readers don’t care; no-one reads them.”
Former Herald leader writer Robbie Dinwoodie added: “This is my old paper saying, literally, that it has nothing to say. No collective intelligence, conscience or worldview.
“Pathetic and shameful. Leader writing was my last job there. This is shocking.”
And Gavin Aitchison, former news editor at York daily The Press, replied: “This seems a regrettable move. Editorials add weight and deliberation, demand thought and compel papers to truly consider issues and readers, and to stand up for people and issues.”
He added: “Locals don’t do editorials generally so do nationals need to? That said, there’s so much commentary now in nationals (or on the front of) I don’t think the public will experience a void. Editorials have been devalued by so much other commentary.”