Well over 100 media people and politicians gathered at the Scottish Parliament last night for a reception to celebrate 100 years of the Scottish newspaper industry’s trade association.
Editors, managers, journalists, agencies, MSPs and one or two political fixers gathered in the members’ dining room for a short video and an election preview with a panel of senior editors but above all to meet up and discuss mutual interests. The event was organised in partnership with Chivas Brothers and hosted by Shetland MSP Tavish Scott.
SNS President Thelma Henderson, the managing director of Scottish Provincial Press, said: “Although this event marks 100 years of our trade associations, this should be the point at which we stop looking back and instead celebrate what we have now and what we can have in the future.
“All our companies are growing their audiences, and the increase in digital revenues is now gathering pace to the extent I am not alone in sensing that a corner has been turned.”
She added: “I don’t want to minimise the challenges our businesses face, but with growing audiences, growing digital revenues and the moral support from some of the most successful people in this country, don’t tell me this is an industry whose days are numbered.”
SNS director John McLellan also revealed the details of a survey of SNS members which put the total number of people employed by SNS members at 3,400, with over 1000 other people indirectly reliant on the newspaper industry for their livelihoods.
In the editors panel, Damian Bates of the Press & Journal said it was impossible for him to predict an outcome for the election, but Jim Wilson (Sunday Mail), Gordon Smart (Scottish Sun) and Richard Walker (Sunday Herald and The National) all agreed that to one degree or another, the eventual result would reflect current polls predicting big gains for the SNP.
The next major SNS event will be the Scottish Press Awards on Thursday, April 16 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow.