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Wings Over Scotland

The governors of opinion

Posted on February 10, 2014 by

We’ve speculated on a few occasions recently on the effect on Scottish public opinion of almost the entire Scottish media being owned and controlled from outside Scotland. So we thought it was time we actually put some facts and figures to it.

The chart below indicates, in descending order of daily sales, the ownership of Scottish daily newspapers. We’ve included every title with an ABC circulation recorded by allmediascotland, using the most recent data we could find (here and here).

We’ve split the table into “national” and “regional” sections, but on the basis of real availability rather than self-description, which means the Herald and the Scotsman (both sold the length and breadth of the country) are listed as nationals.

Anything with sales below 10,000 copies was discounted.

[table id=1 /]

In unrelated news, if anyone knows a halfway-decent WordPress plugin for tables, please drop us a line. Urgently. Trying to make that one look even vaguely presentable took so much time and trouble that we almost forgot what our conclusion was.

But it’s this: Of almost 1.1 million daily papers sold in Scotland, just 177,000 (16%) of them are publications owned in Scotland, and every one of those is a regional paper only available in a fairly small area. Of nationally-available newspapers, which make up 77% of the total, 0% are Scottish-owned.

[EDIT: Several readers have suggested that Johnston Press is in fact a Scottish company. Wikipedia says its HQ is in London, but Companies House seems to indicate Edinburgh. If we attribute it to Scotland, that increases the “nationals” figure from 0% to a still-dismal 4%, and the total from 16% to 22%.]

The entire central belt, where around 80% of the population lives, doesn’t have a single Scottish-owned paper on its newsagents’ shelves. Only people in Aberdeen, Perth and Dundee have access to home-grown news, and all of that from the same publisher.

We’re not sure if it’s a coincidence that those are also the areas where the SNP is strongest. North of Dundee is almost a total dead zone for the Labour and Conservative parties, with only a tiny Labour outpost in Aberdeen preventing the Nats and Lib Dems from a clean sweep of Westminster constituencies, let alone Holyrood ones. (Left and right respectively in the image below.)


What we ARE sure about is that it’s a ludicrous situation for a country not to have a single national newspaper owned within its own borders. Imagine if the people of France had to read newspapers owned and published exclusively in Germany, say, and the effect such a state of affairs might have on their politics. We don’t know what can be done about it in Scotland. But it’s going to need a pretty big fundraiser.

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148 to “The governors of opinion”

  1. steven luby says:

    If I ever win BIG in the lottery,believe me,you will be the first to know!

  2. The Penman says:

    And yet by all accounts the Press & Journal and the Courier appear to be vehemently anti-independence – is that accurate? If so, anyone with local or professional knowledge know why this is?

  3. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    this information will hopefully prick a few ears. a country without a newspaper, wow.

  4. Rev

    Is there Stars and Stripes attached to the Sunday Herald – bought by the “USA Today” corporation thinking the Herald a local paper?

  5. A2 says:

    The P&J is fairly well distributed further north than you suggest though and I have seen it in the bigger outlets in Glasgow.

  6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “If so, anyone with local or professional knowledge know why this is?”

    DC Thomson seems to be pretty conservative, with both a large and small ‘c’.

  7. Clootie says:

    The P & J is a unionist rag – I live in Aberdeenshire.
    In my opinion it’s just as bad as the English press (not as bad as the Daily Mail of course – you cannot go lower than the sewer)

  8. Les Wilson says:

    Just confirms what we all know, however it is much more see able in this form, it brings home the reality.
    However, my question, is this a deliberate plan?
    I laugh (frown actually!) when I constantly see “Scottish this and Scottish that” it is a con, on a big scale. Designed to keep Scots in their place, by media control.

    Now tv, och we all know that one too!

  9. Marcia says:

    Not all of the controlling Thomson family of DCT live in Scotland.

  10. Dave says:

    The Press and Journal is only really viable because of the oil jobs and Aberdeen property adverts. The rest of the content is padding.

  11. A2 says:

    DC Thompson has always be a british champ. they publish Commando magazine ffs “over the top boys”

    oh and this

  12. Jason says:

    You should probably look at getting a premium theme from themeforest or something, any one worth a damn will have a decent table shortcode. If you want a hand installing it or whatever drop me a line, I’d be happy to help out where I can.

  13. David says:

    It has always slightly annoyed me how the “Central belt” papers such as the Herald and the Scotsman have always been considered national yet DC Thompson’s papers have always been consigned to regional status.

    Growing up throughout my childhood in Tayside I always did a paper-round and there was never any sight of any papers but The Courier, the Evening Telegraph and The Sunday Post.

    I’m pretty sure they used to have the highest per capita readership figures in the world at one point.

  14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “You should probably look at getting a premium theme from themeforest or something”

    I don’t want to redesign the entire site just to put the occasional table in.

  15. Fay-yes says:

    Johnston Press is headquartered in Edinburgh is it not? I know from working there that much of the business is run from Leeds and Peterborough but isn’t it still technically Scottish?

  16. NorthBrit says:

    @The Penman

    See links for comment on Press & Journal, Courier and D C Thomson.

  17. Marcia says:

    From my ex-DCT friends.

    The Dundee Courier sells more copies in Fife that it does in Dundee. The Evening Telegraph sells more in Dundee that the Courier.

  18. CameronB says:

    That can’t be healthy.

  19. VIZ comic – “an adult humour magazine” is Scots conceived and owned. What a compensation.

  20. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Gannet (The Herald) is a US Corporation Head Quartered in Langley, Virginia.

  21. TheGreatBaldo says:

    “The P & J is a unionist rag – I live in Aberdeenshire”

    I respectfully beg to differ, I’d say it was generally apolitical which would make sense given it’s main sales area has returned members of all the main parties.

    In the North East, yer politics is like yer religion something that’s your own business and nobody elses but it’s something that isnae flaunted.

    The Peenj has many many faults but it does understand it’s readership and region.

    As I recall it was the only newspaper in Scotland not to endorse anyone in 2011.

    In fact I cannae mind the last time it came out and told it’s readers how to vote in any election.

    Having said that they’ve yet to find a Billionaire with a sh*tload of concrete they dinna like !!! 🙂 🙂

  22. Dave says:

    Re Tables: This one seems to get great 5 star reviews

  23. fergie35 says:

    The Thompson family are pro Tory / Pro Union, though they are not as manipulative as the English and Anglo/American owned press.

  24. Angry Weegie says:

    Table plugins. Try TinyMCE Advanced or WP-Table Reloaded. Haven’t used them myself but they get good write-ups.

  25. Chic McGregor says:

    I think the evident idiosyncasy of D. C. Thomson has simply conditioned its readerships to largely ignore its editorial comment and this goes way back before independence became a real threat.

    For example I think the Courier must have been the last newspaper, certainly of any size, which had a front page consisting entirely of small adds. A practice it continued long after every other major newspaper stopped it.

    Another Thomson quirk was not allowing by lines e.g. ‘by our cricketing correspondent’.

    You could describe it as being conservative with a small ‘c’, if that ‘c’ was the Atlantic.

  26. TheGreatBaldo says:

    VIZ comic – “an adult humour magazine” is Scots conceived and owned. What a compensation.

    Ahem started by Geordies…originally sold in pubs around Newcastle.

    Now unless Rory the Tory is right and the border is actually along Hadrians Wall I think we’re gonna struggle to claim Viz as Scottish 🙂

  27. bunter says:

    Same goes for our broadcast media.

  28. west_lothian_questioner says:

    The P&J, although ostensibly a “regional,” paper is readily available in all the bigger towns south of the Tay and in every village shoppie all the way to the Shetlands in the north. It’s a “national,” paper in everything but name.
    I learned to read from the pages of the P&J so it saddens me to read a copy these days.. it’s virulently anti-indy.

  29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Re Tables: This one seems to get great 5 star reviews”

    Sadly I can’t use it without updating WordPress, and the latest WordPress can piss off with its automatic-updating-of-plugins shenanigans. Not getting screwed like THAT again.

    WP-Table Reloaded seems an improvement over the original table, at least.

  30. Lanarkist says:

    Is it time for a mass media boycott?

    Stop paying BBC License Fee and curtail newspaper spend!

    Death spiral of MSM continues and this type of ownership information helps people to choose their flavour of protest.

    Would it be worth exploring Director/shareholder information in order to start working out the links between media and other corporate interests and thus their true agenda.

    Advertisers supporting all the main daily print output could also be made more aware of our feelings in being mis-informed and a campaign of online complaint and withdrawal of spending might be one line of protest.

    Free press and individual reporters perspectives all seem to be pretty close to the core messages of sneer, demean, frighten and subjugate.

    Cartel of argument, information and checklists seems to be emerging. Do they all get a weekly menu of negative attack options to pursue?

    Online seems to be the only way to fight back.

    Thank you to Stu for a healthy, sanity saving alternative.

  31. The Penman says:

    Cheers all.

    So the only reasonable follow-up question is: as the Rev nodded to in the article, how much does it cost to run a newspaper? 😉

  32. Andy-B says:

    And therein lies the problem if you buy a large mainstream paper in Scotland, you’re more than likely going to read far more negatives, than positives about Scottish independence.I’m surprised the BBC doesn’t have its own newspaper, just to reinforce its TV rhetoric.

    It seems at the moment, the economy is the most important factor to Scots, in choosing whether to vote yes or no, we should be pushing, the positives to the economy in an independent Scotland, as Better Together are certainly pushing it, as are their media and press friends.

  33. @ Great Baldo

    I didn’t claim VIZ as Scots. It’s owner also created GARDENING, a high quality monthly, “So my mum ignored VIZ,” which was subsequently sold to the BBC.

  34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Johnston Press is headquartered in Edinburgh is it not?”



  35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Gannet (The Herald) is a US Corporation Head Quartered in Langley, Virginia.”

    I wasn’t sure whether to go with Gannett or Newsquest, which is England-based:

    Might add a US flag just to cover all bases.

  36. Chic McGregor says:

    How easy would it be to complile a unique monthly visitors comparison table for on line Scottish news outlets?

  37. Papadocx says:

    Let’s not forget our Scottish Labour Party!

    Maybe we are to STUPID?

  38. RMF Brown says:

    My first post, and I’m having to leap to the defence of The Courier!

    I’m not sure about the politics of the DC Thomson family, but in my opinion, they’re one of the few newspapers that has given the independence debate balanced coverage and analysis. They seem to be going out of their way to make sure both sides are heard. Plus, they’ve published most of my letters backing independence, so I would disagree strongly with some of the comments above. They are trying to be balanced.

  39. balgayboy says:

    Would not worry to much about any nonsense printed by the DC boys. These guys have been unionist since time in memorable.
    To give them some credit they now have a comments section and the unionist are being well and truly put to bed.

  40. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “My first post, and I’m having to leap to the defence of The Courier!”

    Yeah, what I’ve seen of it (not a huge amount) hasn’t been too bad. Comparing the way they treated the Dundee Labour councillor’s accusations of racism against Wings readers with the Scottish Daily Mail’s “cybernats” stuff certainly comes out well for the Courier.

  41. Atypical_Scot says:

    Seen this tweet yesterday, vaguely relevant.

  42. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “How easy would it be to complile a unique monthly visitors comparison table for on line Scottish news outlets?”

    Very tricky if you wanted to include newspaper sites, as they guard their traffic figures pretty closely.

  43. desimond says:

    All I can hear in my head is The Charts rundown music and the Voice of Allan Fluff Freeman saying “Ad straight in at Number 3, with 100’000 readers, WingsoverScotland’

    Paper situation is a disgrace but they are another on the endangered species list…there wont be room on the Ark for them when the YES storm comes.

  44. Westie7 says:

    the P&J and EE are basically Richard Bakers newsletter, and at times Trumps mouthpiece if he’s having a go at AS. Very pro Labour

  45. Pete packhorse says:

    Great piece of investigative journalism, as always. 3 cheers for the internet, which is owned by the participants and which will win the referendum for us. THEN watch how things change in the MSM.

  46. Grant_M says:

    There’s 6 geographic editions of The Press and Journal…

  47. Andy A says:

    Rev, despite what Wikipedia says, the info I’ve seen on the Johnston Press web site indicates that the company is based in Edinburgh with a Scottish company registration.

  48. jingly jangly says:

    Re Newscorp, Im pretty confident that Murdoch will support YES when the time is right. He hates the British Establishment, even before the Phone Hacking scandal.

    I imagine he will be planning to get revenge!

  49. iain taylor (not that one) says:

    Most worrying for me is that 500,000k copies of the Sun & Record are sold. So maybe 750k to 1m Scots get their “news” from comics. Unionist comics.

    These days I won’t even read what’s sold in Scotland if I find it in the pub, in the barbershop or on the train.

    But plenty do. Scary at Embra airport the other morning to see fellow travellers devouring the Torygraph, Daily Heil etc as they sat in departures (the Sun & Record readers were in the bar).

    Bring back Pravda. All is forgiven.

  50. Albert Herring says:

    So all the newspapers (bar DCT’s), all the broadcasters, and all the main political parties (bar the SNP) are foreign owned.

    Not healthy at all.

  51. Ian B says:

    I live in the NE of Scotland and flat refuse to buy a P&J. It’s coverage of the referendum issues to date has been heavily pro Union and they appear to have a genuine dislike of the SNP Government.

    I can’t understand this approach in an area where the SNP is very strong. The P&J seem hell bent on alienating their readership.

  52. bunter says:

    I thought you did propose to have a LARGE fundraiser this month Rev.

  53. R whittington says:

    Isn’t the Beano produced in Scotland?

  54. HandandShrimp says:

    The P&J is a tad eccentric and has always been conservative. However I don’t think it is as deliberately poisonous as the Mail (or as two faced where the Mail doesn’t print its anti-Scottish stories in the Scottish edition)

    The state of our press tells a sad tale in its own right.

  55. Murray McCallum says:

    This makes the strength of the independence movement all the more remarkable. Also explains Yes Scotland’s desire to have grass roots, leaflet and word-of-mouth activities.

    You can see why governments and newspapers take up every chance to control and challenge social media.

    When you add up all the sales and think in terms of Scottish households, I’m surprised by the reach of the traditional print media (given its long term decline).

  56. heedtracker says:

    The Press and Journal knows no depths when it comes to shutting down Scottish democracy, either ignoring/ attacking Holyrood relentlessly or reprinting BetterTogether press packs.

    P&J editor has no sense of impartiality at all with maybe the worst example imaginable coming after their local Unionist/Labour candidate lost the Bridge of Don by-election to the SNP last summer. The paper led a very dirty anti SNP campaign anyway, so when they lost badly they went after Salmond directly trying to smear him personally as a threat to local children. All that had happened was an unplanned SNP pre-election visit by Salmond to a school under closure threat but for days after the election, a ghastly P&J ” Salmond threat to poor little local children” smear campaign was thrashed out. All they really did was show Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland show just how sordid the mentality of their “local” journalism has become.

  57. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Makes me think of the old saying:-

    Only when the last MSM editor has been strangled with the last copy of The Scotsman …

    (don’t try this at home)

  58. mamaclanger says:

    The Beano is also DC Thomson. I only read bits online but the Courier IS Conservative.
    They may be more balanced than the rest but they are pro union and very anti wind farms. They regularly publish Alec Johnstone ramblings.

  59. Irene Buchan says:

    The Evening Express and the Press and Journal are both biased against independence. A former Provost of Aberdeen has a weekly column and warns against independence.

  60. Spansco says:

    having lived many years in Aberdeen I know the P&J is a Westminster loving rag. They don’t represent the aspirations of the Scottish people, far from it. No your place is their message and that place is firmly under the heal of Westminster dominated by English MP’s.

  61. MajorBloodnok says:

    A2 says: DC Thompson has always be a british champ. they publish Commando magazine ffs “over the top boys”

    I won’t have a word said against Commando Comics. They are actually highly educational and in fact I learned all my vernacular German from them, e.g. “Himmel!”, “Donner und Blutwurst”, etc.

  62. Scarlett says:

    I heard last week that Murdoch was in talks to buy the Scotsman. Can’t we buy it instead?

  63. Brian Ritchie says:


    “I respectfully beg to differ, I’d say it was generally apolitical which would make sense given it’s main sales area has returned members of all the main parties.”

    You must be bloody joking! I can’t stand to open the pages of the P&J! The only reason I buy it is because my elderly father likes some of the non-political news stories.. I was getting into the habit of writing “shite” in large letters over it and defacing it – so now I only do the crossword — and ignore the rest. 🙂

  64. setondene says:

    When I lived on Tayside in the ’70s, the Thomson family of DC Thomson fame were commonly known to be Tories. I was friendly with some of their staff who took me along to Tannadice after a pint in Tamson’s (no relation) of Bell Street.

  65. Macandroid says:

    How’s about a wee Wings crowdfunded competition?

    Prize is Wings over Scotland helicopter scenic tour (inexpensive); placement advert in free papers (expensive?) with QR code to Wings website = many more visitors who might look around a bit and learn what is actually going on.

  66. Murray McCallum says:

    When you add up all the daily sales and compare it to 2.4 million Scottish households it implies about 45% of households buy a newspaper.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I thought it would be lower. I rarely buy newspapers so am probably biased towards expecting a lower average (say 1 in 4 or 3 to have a physical newspaper).

  67. setondene says:

    As for the P+J, the odious Derek Tucker and his wife came up from England and purged the P+J of any awkward customers some years ago after a very bitter industrial dispute. Derek has now retired to be replaced as editor by another import from south of the border. Draw your own conclusions about editorial policy now that the P+J is owned by DC Thomson.

  68. RMF Brown says:

    Maybe it’s a Fife thing, but the local, weekly newspapers have all done features on the indy debate, and every time they’ve had half the page with letters supporting indy, and half against.

    Regarding the courier, a few weeks ago, the politics section was dominated by pro- BT articles, and I thought, here we go again, but a few days later, the paper appeared to have had been hijacked by the SNP!

  69. HandandShrimp says:


    Not to mention Japanese


  70. RMF Brown says:

    Should have said that I echo the above – I’ll arm wrestle anybody that says a bad word against Commando comics!

  71. HandandShrimp says:

    Isn’t the P&J the Daily Trump(et) these days?


  72. setondene says:

    @ Murray McCallum.

    Some households buy multiple news titles.

  73. Mary Bruce says:

    Scarlett says: “I heard last week that Murdoch was in talks to buy the Scotsman. Can’t we buy it instead?”

    We could all buy it together using a share/crowdfunding system like BrewDog, then we would all own it.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to invest.

  74. crisiscult says:

    freelance photographer who does work for newspapers told me the Daily Mail website is US owned. Is that possible? It certainly looks like a US website.

    On another related point, does it matter where the company is based? Considering Chomsky’s media filters, I would have thought all the newspapers would be pro UK government until after independence, then they’ll become pro Scottish government.

  75. R whittington says:

    Does it matter which nationality ‘owns’ a newspaper? what I mean to say is doesn’t it matter more who is buying those newspapers? A successful newspaper is filling a demand for itself. Threfore the reason the majority of newspapers are pro union is because the majority of people are pro union. Thus any pro independence neich will be filled by similar neich publications such as this one. (Sorry for any typos but hopefully you get my point)

  76. Papadocx says:

    If newspapers & broadcasters didn’t exist then the capitalists and politicians would have to create them. That’s how they control the agenda and direction of travel for their superiors, it’s a very big worldwide con job. If these companies lost money they would still be kept going provided they had a big enough audience to get the propaganda out and get the majority of the sheep heading in the desired direction.

    Provided they sing the right song at the right time they can do what they want to do the rest of the time. Hence the Calvin Mckenzies of this world are forever taking the piss out of the media, they know the truth, they used to run with the sheep dogs and know the masters whistle when they hear it. They also can spot a fart amongst the thunder.

    Free and open press, aye provided they do what the ESTABLISHMENT want and don’t rock the boat. Broadcasters the preferred means of spreading their propaganda and allowing the “intelligent “to confirm their prejudices and reinforce their beliefs (which the MSM planted in their heads)

  77. seoc says:

    Sales of print media are falling like autumn leaves – perhaps an indication of the people of Scotland awakening and realigning differently.
    On-line interactive media seems to have supplanted the manipulating print media, whether permanently or not will be seen post Independence.

  78. HandandShrimp says:

    My folks have always bought the Sun and the Record and I do notice it tends to be the older folks out buying their papers in the morning. My kids are in their 20s and I don’t think they have ever bought a paper…their view is “that is what the internet is for”.

    I think print runs will continue to fall. No one in my office buys a paper any more. You see a couple of Metros and very occasionally a Herald.

  79. Brotyboy says:

    The Courier? Where to start?

    The Courier is, was and always will be right wing Conservative and Unionist. That it is being relatively fair in the Independence debate is probably more a reflection of the execrable standard of journalism it now puts out than any sense of impartiality.

    This is, after all, the organisation which prohibited membership of Trades Unions in practice (should that be the noun or the verb?) if not in principle and probably both.

    Furthermore, according to my mate Big Davie The Milkman, the anti-Catholic bias was such that if you phoned up their offices to ask the football scores at 5 o’clock on a Saturday you couldn’t ask straight out for the Celtic score or they wouldn’t have it, you had to start off with asking for the Rangers score.

    I know someone who works on one of the comics. (No names, no pack drill) He has seen the historic job application form and it shows an organisation with no sense of fairness or justice.

  80. MajorBloodnok says:



    This has no literal translation. The nearest approximation is “I say, I appear to be on fire and have fallen out of my aeroplane.”)

  81. bjsalba says:

    Inverness Courier and P&J are my options, but I am not enthralled with either. The poster screamed “New Kessock Bridge Chaos”. I translated it as Kessock Bridge Southbound Lane Resurfacing starts on time. I walked on by. I want information, not hysteria.

    They seem pretty anti SNP and anti Highland council. Nothing they ever do is right or even acceptable. It’s tiresome.

  82. desimond says:

    @Murray McCallum
    It does seem very very high. I dont know anyone who buys a paper on a daily basis ( will just read online etc)

    According to Daily Records wiki, they have, in a year fallen from 253’500 to 219’000 so clearly they’re on a slippy slope. It was 766’000 in 1984!

  83. Breastplate says:

    R whittington, in my view our newspapers don’t reflect opinion but try to manufacture it for their own ends, hence the same standard answers when asked about independence or Alex Salmond.

  84. HandandShrimp says:


    That or “Oh dear, I appear to have accidently impaled myself on your bayonet. I do hope you can forgive this social faux pas”.

  85. Dear Rev

    When next you have the time, a list of Scottish-owned and foreign-owned publishing companies is welcome. (Apologies if already in existence.) I get the impression small ones survive best and are multiplying, but I expect it’s an erroneous impression.

    Collins was once a great Scots book company, taken over by Murdoch, and, I hear through the grapevine, he’s liable to off-load it soon.

    Chamber’s great dictionary went south months ago. Unlike its Oxford counterpart it got upgraded yearly, Oxford’s only once every five years. That might well have changed now. Anyhow, both companies are a loss to Scotland’s literary heritage and job creation.

  86. Richard says:

    Gott in himmel! Hande hoch!

  87. Bevrijdingsdag says:

    The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price has been forgotten.

    Stop funding the bastards!

  88. Big Jock says:

    Top researching. It just illustrates the machine that we are up against in Scotland. Lets not forget BBC England,STV (I think its Pearl & Dean) howver there have been that many folk involved it’s hard to know,Radio Scotchland …enough said,Forth & Clyde owned by Bauer English based..the media in this country is a shambles!

  89. msean says:

    for you Tommy,the propaganda battle will be over by September.

  90. scottish_skier says:

    Therefore the reason the majority of newspapers are pro union is because the majority of people are pro union.

    Sorry, but that’s not true. In full base (i.e. not weighted to turnout, just raw answers), support for No has never on average been about 50%. Almost touched it a couple of times in spikes (e.g. late 2012), but that’s it. Normally low 40’s historically, dropping to mid 30’s in troughs.

    The majority of Scots don’t support the union, certainly in its current form. Whether they’ll vote to leave it though remains to be seen.

  91. scottish_skier says:

    ‘about’ should be ‘above 50%’

  92. Holebender says:

    The P&J isn’t just an Aberdeen paper; it’s sold just about everywhere north of the Highland Fault Line.

  93. John Lyons says:

    I have copies of all these publications. My dad collects them and I use them to light the fire. Best thing to do with them…

  94. jingly jangly says:

    iain taylor (not that one)
    Don’t know if this is still the case but in the last couple of years The Telegraph has given away a litre bottle of water with every copy sold, the water is more expensive than the paper if sold separately.

    When Im travelling I buy it for the water then read the pish in it to see what they are saying. Possibly most of
    the people in the dept lounge was the same, but you have to wait until you get though security or else your water is

  95. Craig P says:

    In the old days, the establishment had religion to control the way the masses thought. No surprise that the eldest son of an aristocrat inherited the land, the second a bishopric, the third a command in the army and the fourth had to try his luck in industry.

    With the decline in religion, 20th century totalitarian regimes recognised the value of mass media in shaping the thoughts of the masses. Fascists and communists were most blatant about propagandising, but capitalists learnt the lessons too, and were all the more effective for their relative subtlety.

    One day – maybe soon, and in the name of protecting us and our children – the establishment will try to get their hands on the new media. In the meantime we’ve got a free space to discuss matters that are harmful to their agenda. This is where we will win independence.

  96. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Bevrijdingsdag says:
    Stop funding the bastards!

    I gave up buying non-local newspapers permanently months ago, primarily because of the anti-indy bias.

    Everybody should make sure they never-ever-ever again spend a single penny on any of the main newspaper titles.
    Everybody should encourage anyone that they can influence to do the same, and encourage them to pass the same advice on to as many others as possible.

  97. peter stoneman says:

    its a shame the p and j and EE is the north easy daily mail.

  98. Helpmaboab says:

    The comments on the Courier’s website have been a happy hunting ground for pro-indy people for a while now, with the handful of unionist residents not, ahem, the sharpest knives in the drawer. (Feel free to join us there Wings people!)

    This might explain the recent move to open only certain political articles for comment.

    My guess is that DC Thomson is walking a tightrope between its conservative, unionist instincts and a desire to harvest as many cybernat page-views as possible.

  99. abigdoob says:

    For WP tables try
    I won’t promise it’s the best, but I use it, and it works.

  100. Papadocx says:

    I don’t know if the wee Celtic country called Scotland was extinguished by the nasty Westminster establishment in 1707.

    What I am totally convinced of is it may as well have been for all the good it has done Scotland and it’s people, we are and never have been wanted. Needed yes, wanted no.

    If we throw ourselves on the goodwill and mercy of Westminster by voting NO this September we will be snuffed out suffocated, EXTINGUISHED there will be no more chances.


  101. joe kane says:

    Fans of DC Commando Comics, there’s a Facebook just for you. Gott im Himmel it even has a peerless archive of cover images and artwork to die for –

  102. Tony Little says:


    It could be that many papers give away copies to hotels, airports etc. So many may be counted as “sales” when in fact they’re not. But, this is just my opinion, and not base on any knowledge of the MSM sector.

  103. reginald says:

    Johnston Press Annual Report back page,Johnston Press plc,108 Holyrood Road,Edinburgh EH8 8AS. Company Registration SCO 015382.

  104. CameronB says:

    GCHQ Has Entire Program For ‘Dirty Tricks’ Including Honeypots, Using Journalists, Deleting Online Accounts

  105. Dan Huil says:

    The P & J is definitely unionist. My relatives buy it to check if anyone they know has died. I suspect many others do the same. A bit like buying the Sunday Post because of Oor Wullie and the Broons.

  106. heedtracker says:

    The only reason I see so much of the Press and Journal is because my old grandad gets it delivered up here in ABZ and I go by every 2nd day. But he’s YES vote to the core and its a YES that’s been slow coming too. Its like the more and more biased the Fit Like Times, BetterTogetherBBC etc gets, the more him and his buddies vote YES. He’s a long retired uni lecturer. ” No no, Scotland needs this now” he goes.

  107. Les Wilson says:

    I stopped buying papers a long time ago, occasionally a SUN, if it had something close to an Indy pro article. However they play a sneaky game, as I say, there is something that Indy supporters would like.

    However, these days IF there is anything like this to draw people in, the usually put another article nearby to draw a negative. Or, they may put a much bigger article from the Unionist perspective further inside.

    They are trying to draw sales from both sides, but the Union is their mantra. Do not buy it, and hope for anything good, as you will be disappointed.

  108. pictishbeastie says:

    If my memory serves me well The Courier was one of the last, if not the last, papers that still published notices of warrant sales. It’s very much a Tory/ unionist rag, as is the Perthshire Advertiser which runs regular features on the local private schools and Scone Palace. To save myself from getting pissed off I just don’t bother buying a paper.

  109. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Papadocx says:
    by voting NO this September we will be snuffed out suffocated, EXTINGUISHED there will be no more chances.

    Yep. Scotland wasn’t EXTINGUISHED in 1707, but a NO vote in September is a vote to EXTINGUISH Scotland.
    i.e. we either vote YES for independence or we vote NO for the Scotland that went into a forced Union of 1707 to be EXTINGUISHED (as assimilation into BRITAIN=ENGLAND is given the nod by the Scottish electorate).

    Been having a day today therefore distributing these:

    Feel free to do the same.

    The time is coming when we choose who we are …

  110. AllyPally says:

    Let’s crowdfund making a offer for Johnston Press.

  111. Fay-yes says:

    Wondering if JP or Wikipedia is more reliable source –

    Regardless of where it is based, JP has to be the worst employer I’ve ever had (wonder if that’s anything to do with being an indy-supporting Edinburgh Evening News reporter with 3 reporters who’ve since gone on to Daily Mail & another reporter and editor now employed by Tory party!) and I told them so in my resignation letter!

  112. Ross McFarlane says:

    Clearly someone doesnt have a business degree……

    If there is a successful newspaper business in the North of England should Scottish companies not snap up the company?

    Besides, those newspapers are all BRITISH. I don’t hear any other parts of the country moaning about it. This isn’t Scotland v England, much as your illustrious leader would like it to be!

  113. Les Wilson says:

    Sorry O/T I just had a ” Better Together” News put through my door, wall to wall scare tactics.
    “Experts say we are better together”, 3 Currency options, one “Stay in the UK keep the pound”, two babies one born in England and one born in Scotland with English and Scot’s tea shirts with headline “Two Nations, one Family”
    A couple who’s anniversary is on ref day saying “We won’t be thinking of divorce on Referendum day ”

    Ten reasons Why Staying in The UK,GIVES SCOTS THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS” in brief, 1, A Successful Scottish Parliament AND a STRONG UK, 2, Higher Spending AND Scottish priorities.
    3. More jobs AND more customers. 4. Influence AND Impact.
    5.More Security AND a force for Good in the World.
    6.Lower Licence fee AND more Programmes. 7, Better Universities AND more Investment. 8, Lower fuel costs AND more jobs.9, A Scottish NHS AND the specialist Treatment you need.10. Keep the pound and keep interest rates lower.

    Big article about John Swinney’s “private” coversation leak about pensions. A woman proclaiming ” I would not be here without the UK NHS” ( suggests the NHS is one!) A soldier- Serving together, safer together.

    “The Power to do good in the world”, “Susan Boyle says we should stay together”. Shetland student from the ” Great British Bake OFF” proud to be British.
    ” fashion without Britain” would come apart at the seams.
    FERGIE, “Let’s Stay UNITED” Brian Whittle ( runner ) is now giving BT his support.

    That is it folks, make of it what you will.

  114. Les Wilson says:

    In case anyone wondered I have a YES poster in my window, their paper is in the bucket!

  115. A2 says:

    Whats the chances of one of them offering free No posters? or more cynically no on one side, yes on the other?

  116. edulis says:

    I agree with the comments re the P&J and the Inverness Courier. The point I would make is that these and many more newspapers don’t employ journalists. They employ reporters who don’t analyse anything. Basically they are the people who regurgitate Labour Party press releases. No imagination, no intelligence really.

  117. crisiscult says:

    Les Wilson

    Roughly where is that? I ask because in Glasgow, no one I know has had a Better Together flyer/paper/whatever through the door. However, I don’t know people in EVERy part of Glasgow. My mum in East Ren got a Lib Dem anti independence leaflet but nothing from the cross party BT local branch.

  118. Papadocx says:

    I hope the proud unionist Scots remember that their mentors & superiors in the ESTABLISHMENT in London &SE of England are the people who tell all Scottish people are TO STUPID, TO WEE, TO POOR, SUBSIDY JUNKIES. THATS WHAT YOUR HEROS THINK OF YOU! AINT SEEN OR HEARD ANY EXCLUSIONS.

    SO PROUD PSUDO MIDDLE CLASS SCOTS. you are just serfs like o the rest o us welcome!

  119. Vulpes says:

    I’ve got to agree with Brotyboy. DCT had a notorious reputation for not hiring anyone of the Irish persuasion. It’s an anachronism in a city where, as far as I ken, no-one else cares about that kinda thing. (Dundee has also benefited enormously from being run by the SNP – it was staggering to come back & see how neglected Glasgow is by comparison)

    I think people only buy the Courier because it’s theirs, and to see if a lorry has fallen over at the Broxden circle.

  120. alexicon says:

    This graph with the owners of the news media in Scotland should be available in A5 form size so we can print them off and distribute through the doors as we post out YES material.
    This is a powerful tool.
    We could crowd fund this?

  121. Flower of Scotland says:

    The ” Arab Spring ” started because they had a corrupt Gov,media and national broadcaster !
    I hope that doesn’t happen here , but if Scots feel they have been ” done out ” of Independence by these corrupt institutions who knows what can happen .
    We have a Golden Opportunity , instead of the bullet we just have to put a wee cross in a box to gain our Independence . Let’s do it !

  122. jake says:

    It’s a problem…we could be chucked out of the EU, come an independence vote, for failing to meet the necessary criterion of having a free press

  123. jake says:

    now , there’s irony for you!!

  124. Les Wilson says:

    crisiscult says:


  125. Sandy Milne says:

    To my knowledge the Sun has remained relatively neutral on the subject of Scottish Independence so far. That said it may come off the fence nearer the time of the vote.

    It will be interesting to see what happens given Rupert Murdoch’s grandfather and grandmother were from the Buchanan area and he is on record by tweeting “let Scotland go and compete everyone will win”.

    Time will tell no doubt but The Sun could be one of the aces up the sleeve. Who knows?

  126. Helpmaboab says:

    Vulpes, You said “I think people only buy the Courier because it’s theirs.”

    I tend to agree. Nostalgia is DC Thomsons’ only remaining strength. I was brought up in Dundee and so that paper and its sister publications were an integral part of my youth. As a child I learnt to read with ‘Billy And Bunny’ and then the Beano. My parents bought the Sunday Post. My Granny read ‘The People’s Friend’. As you might guess from my username, I retain some affection for ‘The Broons’.

    Unfortunately for DC Thomson nostalgia is not enough to support a modern newspaper. The Courier and its stablemates will surely die soon.

  127. Kenny Ritchie says:

    I glance through the daily Courier/Sunday Post. It appears slightly less pro-union biased than the rest. Interestingly I’m currently living in central Fife.

  128. Our so called “national newspaper of Wales” is another trinity mirror rag. It regularly features anti-Wales and anti-Welsh language headlines.

    It’s recent sales figures from last summer indicate that it is only ‘bought’ by 1 in every 141 people in Wales. This is down from 1 in 118 people in Wales.

    So desperate for sales were they that they started giving away thousands of copies in Swansea every week.

    I have a graphic on here that you may wish to edit for your purposes, if anyone wants a “1 in X” done you know where to find me.

  129. Phil Boswell says:

    Hi Guys,

    Good analysis on Wikipedia if you google search “newspaper endorsements in the United Kingdom 2010 general election”,_2010



  130. Sandy says:

    Slight inaccuracy, Johnston Press is a Scottish company, founded in Falkirk and Headquarters in Edinburgh.

  131. Benvenuto says:

    In regard to DC Thomson I can report that Hen, Joe and Maggie are definately YES though Daphne remains an undecided (she needs more information). Granpaw and the Bairn have joined the National Collective and are working on a guerrilla cinema project to be projected on the Glebe Street gable end and Horace, worryingly, has become an abusive and dangerous CyberNat.

  132. Douglas Macdonald says:

    I come from a family of about 25 newspaper editors and proprietors dating back to the latter half of the 19th Century. According to my late father in the 1950s, the Sunday Post was the most dangerous newspaper in Scotland, simply because people believed every single word that was written. Never hysterical in its headlines, its editors would quietly insinuate a phrase or sentence here and there, which, at the very most, bordered on the truth. As regards its staff, they had to be non-unionised and show no overt Catholic tendencies.
    Since then, times may have changed and I have noticed recently that they are prepared to allow columnists to contribute pro-independence articles, so I suppose we have to be grateful for such small mercies.

  133. Re. tables

    Just do them in Word or Excel and take a screenshot to convert them to an image – far quicker than using any WP plug-in

  134. Big Jock says:

    Guy in my work reads the Scottish Daily fail.I couldn’t believe the headline something about Churchill and saving the union from the SNP.Unless I misread it but it sounded like a headline from the 80s Sun about the best Argues.Let’s face it guys and gals we are now enemies of the state!

  135. Big Jock says:

    That should have read nasty Argies …damn you predictive text..I am sure Cameron is behind this.

  136. A. Strachan says:

    I believe DC Thomsons is pretty much unionist drivel on the main part. There is no real pro independence media that I have seen. Although some are starting to warm to the idea.

  137. Kenny Ritchie says:

    Lol Benvenuto.

  138. Phil Boswell says:

    If we haven’t already, there should be a concerted effort to avoid all Unionist drivel. We need to buy the Sunday Herald and any other paper, like the recent FT, on days that it is positive about Independence. The only way to change these people is via their pockets!

  139. Carrie says:

    Herald amd Sunday Herald, whilst English/american owned, are thoroughly Scottish papers with entirely Scottish editorial teams. Everything – editorial, ads, production-is controlled from Glasgow and the paper is a strong supporter of Scottish issues. Global ownership need not influence editorial stance

  140. David MacLeod says:

    Just to let you know, the Scotsman is no longer classed as a national – it has been downgraded to a regional due to poor sales and services mainly Edinburgh now.
    Still worries me that the most read paper in Scotland is the one with breasts on page 3…….

  141. Seasick Dave says:


    Oor Wullie is a big YES while Fat Boab leads the No campaign.

  142. Alastair says:

    Gannet (The Herald) is a US Corporation Head Quartered in Langley, Virginia.
    Langley is a world-famous company town, the company is called the C.I.A.
    Sorry, I’m clearly paranoid.

  143. Danny says:

    Haven’t bought the P and J in years,just got fed up with the unionist slant. The EE isn’t much better and allows Baker and Macdonald 2 local list MSPs to have free reign. It also allows an ex Lib Dem provost now an independent councillor to have a column that even Nigel Farage would shy away from.
    Also tends to jump up and down when they see any perceived bias against Aberdeen so currently campaigning against centralisation of services. Which is fair enough,except they centralised many of their services including printing to Dundee.

  144. Churm Rincewind says:

    I guess it all depends on whether you think that newspapers influence the public’s views, or whether you think that in the pursuit of readership newspapers simply try to ape the views of the public.

    I remember Rupert Murdoch speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival and arguing strongly for the latter.

  145. Russell says:

    If you’re looking for a tables plugin, try this:

  146. Lindsey Smith says:

    Yes the Depressing Journal is anti independence, it isalmost as if it were foreign owned; well it is foreign-owned now that it publishes in Dundee.

  147. Hamish Burgess says:

    DC Thomson is Tory, no ifs or buts. I’ve been reading their papers for more than half a century and I’ve crossed swords with them. For all practical purposes there are no newspapers of any great size in Scotland that are Scottish.

  148. Rigg Robertson says:

    The P&J was a right wing unionist paper but probably realised just how much of it’s market it was alienating around the time it shared a stable with the Daily Mail and noticed just how much of a stench there was in the extreme right wing of the stable! Nowadays it tries to be more apolitical in it’s stance but sadly fails a bit too often.

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