UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Saturday 22 June 2024
 13.1°C   WSW Gentle Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Letters / Hardly unbiased

I am amazed at Douglas Young’s claims (‘Notable exceptions’, SN 21/3/15) that “regardless of which political side of the fence a news media sits on, it should still be able to report news in a balanced and unbiased manner”.

He puts The National, which is a Scottish daily newspaper owned by Newsquest that began publication on 24 November 2014, and the first daily newspaper in this country to support Scottish independence (hardly unbiased) in the above unbiased category. Launched as a response to calls from Newsquest’s readership for a pro-independence paper in the wake of the 2014 independence referendum, which they lost. 

Despite having details of its launch announced at an SNP political event, the newspaper has stated that it is politically independent of that party.” But in The Guardian’s Libby Brooks suggested that launching The National at an SNP political rally “might not have been the most auspicious of starts” for the newspaper. While Labour peer George Foulkes quickly dubbed it “McPravda”,a reference to the political newspaper associated with the Communist Party of Russia. 

Damian Thompson an editor with , The Spectator, described the launch event as “creepy”, (I wonder why).  Alan Roden, political editor of the Scottish Daily Mail, claimed it had “rehashed SNP press releases” and was too expensive for its size. 

Perhaps if The National and its stable mate The Sunday Herald, followed the example of the Shetland News and Shetland Times they would be classed as unbiased and impartial, but in reality they are a thousand miles away from being so. I honestly would have thought that Douglas as an “ex” press officer for the SNP would have better judgement on what is and what is not a nationalist / SNP rag.

Having read The national on several occasions I have found it to be the public mouthpiece of, believe it or not, the SNP. Something I find strange about this paper is that as SNP membership grows The National’s readership shrinks, from 100,000 at the start to 20,000 now, and I ask myself why? I think it is because there is a bit of hanky panky going on when it comes to actual SNP membership, which I find reassuring with only 48 days to go until the general election.  

Here is a truthful view on The National, well worth a read.  http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/03/the-inward-looking-insecurity-of-scottish-nationalism/ 

Gordon Harmer


Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.