Business leaders including the US property tycoon Donald Trump have pledged their backing to a campaign championing Scotland’s newspapers.
The Scottish Newspaper Society has enlisted 66 chief executives, managing directors and marketing directors to endorse “the importance of news brands in print, online and mobile” and discuss the role newspapers have played in their success.
The campaign marks 100 years since the foundation of the original Scottish Daily Newspaper Society and its supporters include the Aberdeen Asset Management chief executive Martin Gilbert and RBS Scotland chairman Ken Barclay.
John McLellan, the former Scotsman editor who heads the Scottish Newspaper Society, said: "This campaign is a recognition of the irreplaceable contribution newspapers in Scotland make to business and society, and we’re very proud to have such a distinguished list of supporters."
The campaign literature says that the Scottish media industry contributes £1.2bn to the Scottish economy, with around £770m of that coming from newspapers and publishers.
It does not, however, touch upon some of the challenges the sector has faced in recent years, including job cuts at some of Scotland's biggest publishers and scrutiny about the relevance of 'old media' in the wake of Scotland's independence referendum. Although it was from that discord that The National – one of the few new daily newspapers to launch anywhere in recent memory – was born last November.
The voices assembled by the Scottish Newspaper Society are considerably more effusive about the role of the nation's press – even Trump, who has had no shortage of run-ins with Scottish journalists over his controversial golf resort, emerges as an unlikely advocate.
"I’ve had my battles with the Scottish press and seen my fair share of tough headlines, but the impact of advertising in the Scottish media – particularly The Press and Journal and Evening Express – can’t be underestimated," Trump said.
You can see the full list of business figures backing Scottish newspapers on the Scottish Newspaper Society website.