In My Opinion: Alex Bell: Why I have launched Rattle

I LAUNCHED Rattle for two reasons.

Scotland badly needs an independent current affairs and culture magazine. Ours is a fascinating country going through great times. Any other developed nation has a range of media outlets, yet Scotland lacks a non-tribal, intelligent magazine.

Worse, its traditional media titles are withering. We give money to old titles, knowing they are cutting jobs and taking profits out of the country.

Our ‘investment’ as customers is not used to reward our loyalty as readers. That seems crazy. Rattle magazine is an attempt to provide the phenomenal range of Scottish writing talent with an outlet which rewards contributors in the proper, fashioned way – with money.

Rattle’s solution is that we have a title which is accessible to all – there are no staffers, just freelance contributions based on the merit of the writing and the story being told.

These stories – covering news investigations, comment, analysis, culture and some blessed light relief – are aimed at an intelligent audience. Rattle assumes its readers are as confident and smart as its writers.

The way we pay is by collecting subscriptions. Currently, the annual rate is £45, which gives access to the site and all its content for a year.

There will be daily updates, members events and podcasts.

With the roster of contributors we already have, and the exciting talent coming forward, I am in no doubt that Rattle will be worth every penny.

Whip-smart content for under a £1 week.

If we can hit 2,000 subscribers, that means great writers being paid competitive rates to provide top content.

There is no shortage of fascinating material. The site currently has star architect, Malcolm Fraser, exclusively writing on why he had to fold his practice, Alex Renton on a fishy food history and John McLaren on the political u-turn which should have changed Scotland’s debate.

All writers at the top of their game, with interesting world views.

I set up with Mike Wilson back the early 2000’s. Then, websites were expensive to build. Now, they are much cheaper to build, but the worth of writers has fallen too…

It’s leading to a world of free content which doesn’t hold power to account, analyse much beyond the obvious or excite the curious mind.

Back Rattle – here; it’s an asset we should cherish.

Alex Bell is “a veteran journalist, entrepreneur and political hack who is nice to animals”.