Scotland's first fully bilingual magazine for the Polish community makes its printed debut today.
Scotsbarszcz has gained a global readership in its digital, page-turn online format since its launch in December last year. Now it hopes to strengthen its position in the Scottish market with a presence at outlets across Scotland, ranging from Polish shops to public libraries, tourist information offices and Prestwick Airport.
Its editor is Gerry Cassidy, a former assistant features editor at the Daily Record and a founding director of the now defunct but award-winning publishing and design agency, Planet Ink.
He told allmediascotland.com: “Scotsbarszcz has built up a very healthy following in Scotland, Poland and further afield in the past ten months. I have been greatly encouraged by the positive reaction the magazine has had within the Polish community and from our many Scottish readers who are interested in Poland and Polish culture.
“The magazine was launched with the intention of encouraging integration of recent Polish immigrants into the Scottish communites where they have chosen to live. It aims to introduce Scottish culture to the Poles and Polish culture to the Scots.”
Until now, the magazine has been in English only, but in another major development, it will now be fully bilingual, with stories sitting side by side in English and Polish translations.
Added Cassidy: “Making the transition from an English language online magazine to a dual-format, bilingual magazine has involved a huge amount of work with countless unforeseen difficulties to overcome along the way.
“However, I am convinced this is the way ahead for Scotsbarszcz. There are an estimated 70,000-100,000 Polish people living in Scotland. In its new format, Scotsbarszcz will reach further into the Polish community at home and abroad while offering businesses in Scotland an opportunity to put their products and services before a new market.
“We’re counting on this being a success, since producing a printed magazine is a much more expensive exercise than producing its online equivalent.
“We will use the online and printed formats to promote each other. The printed format will help to generate revenue and introduce businesses to the advantages of online advertising. It is my belief that, through time, the online magazine will thrive to such an extent that our advertisers will be enthusiastic supporters of the digital format.”
Previous issues of the magazine have covered issues such as the anniversary of Auschwitz; the death of Polish President, Lech Kaczynski; as well as events within the Polish community in Scotland, theatre, arts, music and food.
This month’s edition features the Septembayr festival in the Scottish west coast town of Ayr; a travel feature on Gdansk; an interview with Polish-Canadian author, Eva Stachniak; and a short video of the Polish Army band, who took part in the Edinburgh Festival Tattoo this year for the first time.