The National, Scotland’s pro-independence daily newspaper that launched 12-months ago, is celebrating its first anniversary with a special edition featuring contributions from pro-independence figures such as Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond and Patrick Harvie.
It initially launched under a five-day trial. The Drum joined editor Richard Walker on the eve of its first issue going to print (see video above), where discussions over how likely it was to succeed were vague as momentum from the Independence vote died down.
At the time, Walker said: "I feel a weight of expectation and I’m clearly worried that no newspaper could live up to that. I don’t think the newspaper we’re producing tomorrow is the perfect newspaper. It’s a very good start – it’s a seed that I think will grow into something very special."
One year on however, The National’s paying readership averages 14,000 while the website receives an average of 370,000 unique users every month, with more than six million page views over the last six months.
Citing these strong figures and a powerful presence on Facebook and Twitter, The National is now confident it can continue to expand and engage its audience sustainably.
“Our survival shows the appetite for a daily newspaper written from the perspective of support for Scottish independence. We are told endlessly that Scottish journalism has no future and that print is dead. Hopefully the success of The National represents a challenge to that argument,” said Walker today (22 November).
“Our anniversary is testament to the dedication of a great team of journalists. But most of all, it stands as a tribute to the incredible support we receive from our readers, which was overwhelming on day one and has remained so ever since.”
It wants to continue on this growth trajectory for 2016, with plans to add pages, increase the variety of content and offer more value for money.