Scottish quality titles the Sunday Herald and Scotsman announce circulation and sales boosts after independence referendum

Scottish quality titles the Sunday Herald and Scotsman have announced circulation and sales boosts following their independence referendum coverage.

The Sunday Herald announced a massive 111 per cent year-on-year rise in circulation for its pre-indyref edition, taking its numbers to 49,921, although the data is unaudited.

The figures follow recent ABC data which showed a one per cent rise in sales for the Sunday Herald in the first six months of the year, thought to have been boosted by the paper backing a Yes vote in May.

Meanwhile, the Scotsman said sales were up 13 per cent week-on-week on 18 September, the day of the vote, while the Edinburgh Evening News – both Edinburgh-based titles are owned by Johnston Press – saw sales increase by five per cent week-on-week. On the day of the vote, the Scotsman recorded one million page views for the first time, a figure 50 per cent higher than its previous record.

Post-result analysis for the Scotsman – which backed a No vote - said its print circulation increase peaked at a rise of 25 per cent on 20 September.

Lucy Sinclair, chief marketing officer of Johnston Press, said: “We are immensely proud of these latest figures and the dramatic expansion of our reach as a result of our dedicated editorial coverage of one of the biggest decisions this country has seen in recent years.

“It’s clear that there is a strong appetite for receiving good quality reporting on local issues on the ground, and we are committed to ensuring we can provide this for all local communities in the UK across our titles.”

Ian Stewart, editor of the Scotsman, and Sunday Herald editor Richard Walker spoke to The Drum just days ahead of the independence referendum to give their views on the media’s role in the debate.

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