The Scotsman Gets A New Look

Sales are down. Staff morale is down.

Little wonder then that The Scotsman newspaper will unveil a badly needed new look on Monday to try and stop the rot.

In a week when it was warned – with other national newspapers – that lucrative advertising from Scottish councils will now be directed at local papers and a new purpose built website – you can understand why sales staff at the paper – and journalists – will be a bit more nervous than usual.

So from Monday, The Scotsman will have a brand new all singing all dancing business section. No doubt hoping to drive new ad revenue from it, and perhaps have people feeling that it really is a serious newspaper after months of limping along.

It will have what is described as a “newly enhanced Debate & Opinion section” which sounds like code for a new look to its columnists and bigger letters page.

And a new “life and arts” section which actually makes sense given it is surrounded by galleries and the world’s biggest arts festival just around the corner.

Editor Mike Gilson says he wants his team to cover the big five: news, sport, business, debate and culture.

And he recently revealed his vision for the paper with a new mandate.

Monday’s new look – sections made more easy to find with better signposting – is supposed to be part of this brave new world.

But nothing can disguise the fact that what was a faltering paper before he started has become much, much worse in recent months.

Until he can address its biggest problem – content – no amount of superficial tinkering can save it.

Scotland needs a strong Scotsman newspaper to inspire debate and lead the agenda, especially given the current political climate.

Yet all I see is a once great paper heading for the rocks – which makes me wonder what this is really all about.

Categories: Launches

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