IMPROVED gender balance would be an ‘inevitable consequence’, were a planned sports newspaper for Scotland to get off the ground.
The project – designed to cover all sports in Scotland – is seeking the support of the general public, asking for donations of either £5, £10, £100 or £250.
And from the beginning, the editorial ambitions of the project have always assumed women in sport to feature every bit as much as men, girls every bit as much as boys.
Explains Mike Wilson, managing director of the media website, www.allmediascotland.com, which is heavily involved in the project: “When you have an editorial ethos where the content is determined by the strength of the story, not any preference or prejudice, then it means every sport, at all levels, becomes a contender.
“As a father of a daughter who has played football for several years, I’ve seen – at close quarters – how women’s football has lots of compelling stories, I am imagining no fewer and no more than in the men’s game.
“It follows, therefore, that if you have an editorial ethos that places a premium on the essential story, then improved gender balance will be an inevitable consequence.”
In the first instance, the team behind the project hope to produce a single, pilot, proof-of-concept issue that will pop through people’s letterboxes. If that were to come off, the next target would be to go weekly, mainly via subscription.
The plan would be a digital version of the paper for those who prefer to enjoy the product on a tablet or similar device. And print for those who prefer print.
But the print-only option for the pilot issue will allow the general public to easily gauge the scale of the project’s ambitions, including long-form journalism and impressive photography.
Adds Wilson: “Think of it as a ‘Sunday supplement’ approach to sport: you don’t quite know what’s going to be in the next issue, but you can pretty much guarantee it will be a good read.”
The donations options are via crowdfunding, which now has a fortnight remaining. Should the crowdfunding target not be met, pledges won’t be taken and the project will not happen.
The £5 option of the four available is designed to allow everyone – no matter their financial circumstances – to be part of a potential new approach to sports coverage.
It is possible to choose one’s own level of backing, instead of the £5, £10, £100 and £250 ones immediately visible on the crowdfunding platform.
The paper will not include match reports, nor even news, per se. The planned 40 or so pages will be all about upcoming events, with a travel feature aspect when previewing Scots, individuals and teams, performing abroad.
The editorial will also seek to encourage people to try out new sports, attend events that they might otherwise have been apprehensive – or not know – about.
But time is running out: pledges thus far have yet to reach 20 per cent of the £50,000 target, the funding level set at £50,000 to cover start-up costs such as design, the creation of an online subscription portal and the paying of ‘decent’ fees to writers and photographers.
For more information and to pledge: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/scottish-sports-newspaper
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