A Force For Good may Bring Down the Sunday Herald

August 14, 2018

Is A Force For Good responsible for the imminent collapse of the Sunday Herald?

 

It sure looks like it!

 

It has been obvious for the last 3 months that the Sunday Herald is in serious trouble.

 

It's certain that it does not have a viable future in its current format.

 

Now, according to this article on the Guardian website today, 14 August 2018 it looks like it may merge with the daily Herald newspaper; drop its "independence" line altogether; and change its title in order to reach a broader audience.

 

Indeed, that would be the sensible thing to do. (Alternatively, but far less likely, it will become the Sunday edition of the already-struggling National.)

 

The Guardian article traces one of the Sunday Herald's major problems back to the photograph which it ran on its front page of our A Force For Good counter-presence at the Nat March on 5 May 2018 in Union Street, Glasgow (above).

 

Yes...the photograph!

 

Virtually its entire readership had a week-long Twitter Meltdown about it, which was both hilarious, but instructive and horrifying, to watch.

 

The fundamentalism on display was deeply concerning.

 

Even Alex Salmond tweeted that he had cancelled his subscription!

 

 

As the Guardian article states:

 

"In May the paper admitted it had made the wrong decision after it chose to report on a pro-independence march through Glasgow by using a photo of a small number of unionist counter-protestors on its front page.

 

"However, the scale of online criticism over the decision prompted departing editor Mackay, who has been with the paper since it launched, to launch a strong defence of his newspaper. He said the abuse his team had received over the decision showed 'complete disconnect from reality and has echoes of the worst of the online world as exhibited by the Trump campaign'.

 

“'Staff were shouted at over the phone, and foul language was used towards them,' he wrote. 'One email said staff should be skinned alive. And there was a constant refrain that the Sunday Herald was some treacherous false friend of the SNP and the Yes movement.'"

 

We wrote about it at the time when it published its 3-page mea culpa a week later on 13-5-18.

 

As we said.....

 

"Facing a potentially life-threatening boycott from its core readership, it is not surprising that the Sunday Herald devoted 3 pages of damage control yesterday. But why should it have to do that?

 

"It simply published an attractive, dynamic photograph of the march, replete with colourful evidence of both sides of the argument! It simply behaved like a normal newspaper.

 

"Its crime though, in the eyes of its 'readership' is that it had the audacity to publish a picture of the Flag of the United Kingdom being flown enthusiastically on the streets of a British City - indeed on Union Street, in the Great Union City of Glasgow."

 

We pointed out:

 

"The extent of the outrage openly demonstrates something we already know: As seasoned watchers of all shades of ScotNatism we know we have to go a long way to find another group of people more intolerant of other people's opinions!

 

"They are uniquely intolerant of the British Flag, and the British people who identify with it; intolerant to the point of trying to destroy a newspaper which supports independence if it has the audacity to display the Flag in its own pages!

 

"Consider this: If they are prepared to boycott a newspaper which supports independence – because it has a picture of Union Jacks on its front page – imagine how they would behave if Scotland was actually 'independent'.

 

"It's a serious question. Would they even allow other newspapers to exist? Would they allow the British Flag to be flown anywhere? Would they allow any expression of British Identity whatsoever?

 

"We already suspect we know the answer to that one!"

 

The Importance of a Free and Diverse Press

We at A Force For Good strongly believe in the principle of a free and diverse press.

 

We don't like to hear of any newspaper going out of business.

 

Unlike the Scottish Nationalists, us Unionists are happy and keen for a wide diversity of political reading material to exist. It is part of what makes us a functioning democracy.

 

However, we have long been aware of the highly immature and censorious relationship with the print and visual media which many ScotNats hold.

 

Only last week, Saturday 11 August – in the current year 2018 – around 150 of them stood outside the BBC HQ in Glasgow, complaining about its very existence!

 

Toys Out Pram Time

As we pointed out in our article above, the Sunday Herald was always in dangerous economic territory because it was trying to market its product at a highly immature audience who did not, and who do not, properly understand the concept of a newspaper as primarily a source of information (news and opinion); and a source of food for thought which they are free to take or leave.

 

For them, a newspaper has to mirror their own prejudices exactly.

 

If it does not – even with one little picture of Union Jack waving unionists – then it's Tantrum Time!

 

You cannot build a reliable business on that sort of customer base.

 

You need to diversify. That's why most newspapers in Scotland usually attempt to appeal broadly.

 

The newspaper readership in Scotland is so small that you really need to avoid boxing yourself into a corner, politically. 

 

The Sunday Herald is learning that...too late in the day.

 

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