It’s such a treat to have been able to see several areas of Scotland outside of Edinburgh so far. Though we only visited Glasgow for a few hours, it was easy to pick up on a completely different vibe from the city than what we had previously seen. We visited Glasgow during midday, and yet it felt more energized than most Edinburgh at night. It definitely feels younger and more lively, and possibly more progressive than any place in Scotland that I have visited. That, along with it’s high population, I can see why this area is an important swing vote.
We traveled to Glasgow with the purpose of meeting Mr. Richard Walker, the chief editor of the National (and its parent paper, The Herald). The National is Scotland’s pro-independence media source, producing a daily paper and online stories.Visiting the National was an interesting look at how the media has influenced and is being influenced by the people there. Mr. Walker talked to us about where the paper stood on many issues and its relationship with the Scottish National Party (SNP). For being such a busy man, I appreciated the amount of time he chose to meet with us. He answered all of our questions as openly as he was able, and we never felt brushed off. He was an interesting character in that he supported a mix between traditional journalism values of reporting the true story and encouraging satirical tendencies.
I appreciate that the paper hadn’t completely sided with the Scottish National Party in every policy, nor had they intentionally buried every story that would have reflected poorly on the SNP. There is a dangerous line for any media outlet to become too involved with a single party’s agenda, but I think that the National has done well at staying on the correct side of that line. If there were to be serious talk of another referendum, the National (and media sources like it) would be integral to the conversation, regardless if it decided to “grow up,” as Mr. Walker suggested, or not. Should the National become more serious, then it might add to the stability of the nationalist cause, but it would lose the style that its readership has come to enjoy. If it stayed true to its previous behavior, then it may not convince very many of the need for an independent Scotland, but it would be more likely to continue to be read by those who have already made up their mind to support “Yes.” I enjoyed reading the copy of the National we were given, and I think I would like to keep up with their stories on-line in the future.