Does the media in Scotland have a future?

By Simon Barrow
March 15, 2014

'The Scottish Media, the Referendum and Beyond' is the title of an important meeting to be held at the Quaker Meeting House, 7 Victoria Terrace EH1 2JL, at 7.30pm on Monday 17 March.

It will ask what future there is for the print, broadcast and digital media in Scotland beyond the independence referendum in September 2014 - given that the BBC, national and local papers have all been struggling in recent years. What difference would a yes or no vote to independence make? Also, how are the media covering the referendum and what place do the concerns of ordinary working people (including the lessons of Grangemouth, for example) have in the debate? Are ordinary people inside and outside the Scottish media mere spectators, or can they challenge corporate power and agendas?

There have been some doom laden scenarios presented concerning the future of mainstream media in Scotland. But there are also opportunities to consider fresh economic models, the role of trusts, cooperatives, digital innovators and other ways forward in sustaining a media environment for democratic, civic engagement and debate.

These some of the issues that will be covered in discussion with a lively panel of expert speakers including: Pete Murray (former National Union of Journalists' president), Lesley Riddoch (broadcaster and commentator with particular interest in Nordic examples, tackling poverty and women's economic contribution), Iain Macwhirter (Herald newspaper commentator, broadcaster), and hopefully a speaker from UNITE. The chair will be Joyce McMillan (political commentator and arts columnist for The Scotsman).

This is a joint meeting between the Edinburgh NUJ branches and Edinburgh TUC, but is open to all, not least civic groups and NGOs interested in shaping and responding to the media future.

It would be helpful if those attending could sign up here:

There is also a Facebook page here:


© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia and the organiser of this event. He is an active member of the National Union of Journalists and represents Edinburgh Freelance Branch NUJ on the Edinburgh TUC. He is also a delegate to the 2014 NUJ and STUC annual conferences this year.

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.