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Scottish daily The National launches monthly magazine in association with website Bella Caledonia

By Freddy Mayhew

Scotland’s The National newspaper has teamed up with the pro-independence Bella Caledonia website to launch a new monthly magazine covering politics and culture.

The 24-page title will provide a “counterpoint to Scotland’s increasingly Unionist mainstream media agenda”, according to its founders, with the first edition due out on Saturday.

The magazine supplement will be named Bella Caledonia and appear on the first Saturday of every month as a supplement for the Saturday edition of The National.

Bella Caledonia was established ten years ago while The National was set up in November 2014 by Newsquest in the wake of Scotland’s independence referendum in September of the same year.

The National’s editor Callum Baird said: “Scotland needs The National and Bella Caledonia to bring balance and plurality to the news media in Scotland.

“We’re up against a relentless tide of overwhelmingly Unionist news outlets, and it’s important to fight back with recognised pro-independence voices.”

“This partnership gives our regular Saturday readers a new magazine, and allows Bella Caledonia to reach a whole new audience.

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“Led by The National, the Yes media in Scotland is thriving, and it’s important that we all do our bit to support each other in reaching as many people as possible in as many ways we can.”

Half of the content for the magazine will be provided by the Bella Caledonia team, the other half by the team at The National.

Saturday editions of The National cost £1 and subscribers to the e-edition will have free access to the new magazine.

Bella Caledonia editor Mike Small said: “We’ll be bringing monthly features on culture and politics in print for the very first time.

“With the prospect of a second referendum looming it’s time for the vision of ‘another Scotland’ to be articulated and re-explored.

“It’s now more important than ever that people get behind Scotland’s alternative media.

“The strength of the Yes movement has always been fuelled by its grassroots network who are full of passion, creativity and energy.

“We will reflect that positive approach in our expanding content over the next few months, bringing new voices to print that question and challenge the state we’re in.

“This is about Raploch not Bannockburn, and Bella remains committed to self-determination for the sake of social justice and defending human values in the face of the rise of the far-right.

“Our commitment is to aspire to a better country: ‘it’s time to get above ourselves’.”

The National is a sister to the Herald, Sunday Herald and the Evening Times in Scotland. In 2015 it launched a metered paywall.

According to ABC figures to December 2016 The National’s circulation fell by 30 per cent year-on-year to a total daily average of 8,496 copies sold.

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