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‘It may have been crazy but it has worked’: Pro-independence daily newspaper for Scotland to continue

By William Turvill

Scotland’s new pro-independence daily newspaper has announced plans to continue publishing beyond its pilot week.

Newsquest’s National launched on Monday this week, reporting a sell-out circulation of 60,000 on its first day.

The print run was increased to 100,000 on Tuesday and Press Gazette understands 80,000 copies were distributed on Wednesday.

The circulations of the Scotsman, Daily Record and Herald, according to the latest ABC figures, stand at 27,208, 204,214 and 37,728 respectively.

The National is the second pro-independence Scottish national newspaper after the Sunday Herald, which shares the same editor, Richard Walker.

The Sunday Herald, which backed the Yes vote for independence, experienced a 111 per cent year-on-year circulation boost in the week of the referendum and this was cited as a reason for the launch of the National.

The National has this week been staffed by existed Herald and Times Group journalists, but Walker has said new journalists will be recruited.

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This week, the newspaper printed 24 pages each day and was priced at 50p. In addition, more than 11,000 digital subscriptions, priced at £1.50 for the week, have been sold.

Today’s editorial tells readers: “It was a bold… many might say crazy…move: Launch a newspaper in little more than three weeks from idea to reality; trust the public to support it because of a shared political dream; test public reaction and give it a week to prove itself. It may have been crazy but it has worked.

“Today we can announce that the five-day trial of The National has been a success and that we will see you on Monday.”

The editorial admitted that there having been teething problems with the pilot, including subbing errors pointed out by readers, but said it has “established a blueprint for an engaging and passionate newspaper”.

Editor Walker told Press Gazette on Wednesday: "There’s a number of pro-independence websites, but there is no pro independence daily newspaper.

“There is something about newspapers. When the Sunday Herald announced in favour of independence people were really pleased we’d done that.

“There was something about a newspaper that made people really appreciate that support. It’s not quite the same with a website.

“People asked us for a paper like this every day and the national was a response to that. The public are saying that print is something special to them.”

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