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May 4, 2014updated 06 May 2014 3:56pm

Sunday Herald becomes first Scottish newspaper to back yes vote on independence

By PA Mediapoint and Press Gazette

The Sunday Herald has become the first newspaper publicly to back a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

The front page of the weekly title states "Sunday Herald says Yes" and is decorated with a giant thistle and saltires in a design by artist and writer Alasdair Gray, who also supports independence.

An editorial article in the paper reads: ''Scotland is an ancient nation and a modern society. We understand the past, as best we can, and guess at the future. But history is as nothing to the lives of the children being born now, this morning, in the cities, towns and villages of this country.

"On their behalf, we assert a claim to a better, more decent, more just future in which a country's governments will be ruled always by the decisions of its citizens.''

The paper supported the SNP in the 2007 and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections. It said it will remain balanced in its reporting.

An article on the newspaper's website said: "The Herald & Times Group, publisher of the Sunday Herald, The Herald and the Evening Times, is giving the titles' editors freedom to take their own editorial position on the constitution. The company is non-political and neutral.

"The Herald has not declared an opinion on the referendum question. It will be up to its editor to decide when and if to do so."

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The editorial in the Sunday Herald says it views the referendum as a choice between a "bankrupt, political structure" and the chance to "remake our society in a more equal, inclusive, open and just way."

The newspaper said it believes that a currency union is probable and is confident that Scotland will be a member of the European Union.

It also said that Scotland's media should reflect the diversity of opinion within the country and should not speak with one voice.

It said that this diversity of opinion is reflected within the Sunday Herald's own staff, with some supporting independence while others do not.

Some are still considering the arguments, it said.

The Newsquest-owned Sunday Herald has a weekly circulation of 24,000 and had magazine-style relaunch in 2011.

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