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April 26, 2019updated 07 Nov 2023 5:49am

Scottish daily The National grows subscribers after campaign launch backing new indy ref

By Freddy Mayhew

Scottish daily newspaper The National claims to have grown its subscriber numbers by up to 200 within 24 hours of going into “campaign mode” for a second Scottish independence referendum.

The pro-independence title launched its “10,000 Steps” campaign yesterday after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted a second vote by 2021 if Britain leaves the European Union.

Scotland voted against independence from the United Kingdom in 2014, known as the “indyref”.

The National’s 10,000 steps campaign pledges new efforts to promote the “Yes” to independence campaign, including new hires, supplements and services, for every 1,000 new subscribers up to 10,000.

An article outlining the campaign states: “…Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper is going into campaign mode. We need to make sure we’re in as strong a position as possible to influence the national debate – and here’s how you can help.

“We want to achieve 10,000 subscribers as quickly as possible – and for every 1000 that we sign up we will pledge to invest in the paper and boost the campaign for independence.”

The National, which is owned by Newsquest, claims to have 5,813 subscribers in print and digital when it launched the campaign yesterday.

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Editor Callum Baird said in a tweet this afternoon that the publication had already “smashed” its first target of 6,000 subscribers, adding that this had come “way quicker than we were expecting”.

Reaching this milestone means the title will produce a new series of monthly “fact-based” supplements targeted at opposition, or “No”, voters. It said Yes voters can use these facts “to convince No voters”.

At 7,000 subscribers the title said it will hire a full-time video journalist “to produce viral videos for the Yes movement” that can be shared on social media.

At 8,00 it pledges to launch a unionist fact-checking and rebuttal service and at 9,000 it claims it will hire a digital journalist “who can work with Yes groups to create articles with a local focus”.

At 10,000 it promises to produce a free one-off glossy magazine outlining the benefits of independence and deliver it to every town in Scotland, giving it the working title, with a mocked-up title of Independence and You.

In a video (below) shared on The National’s official Twitter account, Baird outlined the campaign, saying: “We will be investing directly in the campaign for independence for every subscriber that we sign up.”

The National has a daily circulation of just over 9,100, according to the latest ABC figures. A subscription costs from £6.99 per month.

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