THE Daily Telegraph’s Scottish editor is currently carrying a clipping from The Scotsman newspaper.
Says Alan Cochrane, it may partly explain why his paper has been recently selling well in Scotland, to the extent that, for the first time in years – possibly ever – its Scottish sales have overtaken those of its rival, The Times.
Last month, the Telegraph’s average net circulation – according to ABC auditing organisation – was 28,133, as against The Times’ 28,006. Ironically, by the end of the year, The Telegraph’s Scottish edition might well be coming out of The Times’ new print plant in Lanarkshire.
The Scotsman clipping has it giving only a few dozen words to Russian president, Vladimir Putin, threatening to train nuclear missiles on Europe. Says Cochrane: “We splashed with that story. We go for the biggest stories, not necessarily Scottish or British ones.”
It was to prove a particularly good Scottish election for the Telegraph, with Cochrane given more space that he has been used to. “It’s not ‘rocket science’,” he said.
“More resources have been made available, including subbing. We’ve had good stories being given good shows. It helped it was the most interesting election I can remember, and I’ve been covering elections since 1974.”
Times’ owners, News International offering The Telegraph use of its Euro-central printing facility would be for simply financial reasons – to help it ‘pay its way’. But for the Telegraph, it would mean much later deadlines for Scottish editorial, including football match reports.
The Telegraph’s Scottish edition is currently printed in the north of England, meaning tight editorial deadlines, to allow for transporting the paper north in time.
The Telegraph’s overtaking The Times ironically coincides with the latter having just taken on two, new, star Scottish writers: Melanie Reid and Graham Spiers.