Big Things Expected for McAlpine

Several Scottish media outlets are suggesting that journalist-turned-politician, Joan McAlpine, one of the new MSPs, could be given some kind of role by First Minister, Alex Salmond, in the new Scottish Government.

Gourock-born McAlpine began her career at the Greenock Telegraph and went on to work for The Scotsman and The Sunday Times Scotland where she won the Scottish Journalist of the Year award in 1999.

In 2000, she was appointed editor of the Sunday Times Scotland and the following year became deputy editor of The Herald – the first woman to hold that post on the paper. After quitting The Herald and rejoining the Sunday Times Scotland as editor of the Ecosse section, she was one of the journalists made redundant when the paper scaled down its Scottish edition to save costs.

She has recently been writing a weekly column for The Scotsman. Her blog, Go Lassie Go, saw her last year voted Scotland's top media blogger.

The Scotsman reported on Saturday: “Scotsman columnist and SNP list [South of Scotland] MSP Joan McAlpine has been tipped as one of the new favourites having been spotted at the First Minister’s side outwith her constituency during the run-up to the election.”

In The Herald on Saturday, David Leask wrote: “The newly-elected South of Scotland list MSP is likely to become a key backbench communicator for the Nationalists – and a major media operator for the party. She is already understood to have played a significant role in shaping the SNP media message.

“But the mother-of-two, 47, will be no lobby fodder. An independent thinker …she is a columnist who traditionally offered as much insight as punch.”