THE Scotsman and Herald newspapers are both in peril, according to a former media correspondent of the Sunday Herald.
In an article for the British Journalism Review, Arthur MacMillan claims that “both [the papers’] editors and their employers… have few answers for journalism in the 21st century. They are currently embarked on a management policy dominated by addressing shareholder concern.”
MacMillan, who left the Sunday Herald for Scotland on Sunday – where he was education correspondent – and now works for Agence France-Presse, in Hong Kong, argues that, after paying handsomely to acquire the titles, Johnston Press (Scotsman) and Newsquest (Herald) have stripped resources to the point where quality journalism is largely impossible.
He continues: “This has resulted in publications unable to pursue their primary function – to operate as a news medium. Coverage too often is a combination of superficial ‘what some MSP said yesterday’ reporting and, with a few honourable exceptions, dull commentary on a regular basis.”