THE First Minister, Alex Salmond, has lent his support to a new, pro-independence online newspaper, describing it as “ahead of the curve” and “the first stop for many in the morning”.
Newsnet Scotland has been set up as an alternative to what it considers to be a mainly pro-Unionist media, and has attracted some well-known names to contribute columns towards it.
This time last year, it was a pro-independent news-based monthly e-newsletter. It was relaunched two weeks ago as a daily-changing website.
Says Alex Porter, recently a school teacher and who now has the role of economics editor: “For the past few weeks, a small group have been feverishly working behind the scenes creating a smart and professional looking site.
“They are doing this without pay, devoting their spare time and energies to a project they are all deeply committed to. Regular contributors include respected writers of the calibre of Kenneth Roy, Gerry Hassan, Paul Kavanagh, Jolene Cargill, Sue Varley and Joan McAlpine.
“Newsnet Scotland was born out of a belief that Scots are ill-served by a partisan mainstream media and the conviction to build an alternative from the ground up. If journalists and others are dissolutioned by the current nature of Scotland’s media there is now a vehicle for change. Scots need complain no longer, they can help build a new structure and take their country back.”
Writes Salmond: “What is most encouraging about the Newsnet Scotland way is not just that it views the world through Scottish eyes, but that it does so with just the right touch of hope and optimism.
“It isn’t in business to talk people or indeed Scotland down.
“Scotland’s traditional news outlets should pay attention. In news as in politics, hope will always beat fear.
“Scotland deserves a media that doesn’t always assume the worst or see the worst; and Newsnet Scotland is in the vanguard.
“It is important that the Scottish media act as an open forum in the debate about Scotland’s future – social, economic and constitutional. And I look forward to Newsnet Scotland’s activity in this area.”