New research showing strong support for the Scottish newspaper industry from politicians and public figures was revealed at a reception at the Scottish Parliament this week.
The survey, carried out in association with IPSOS-MORI, looked at the attitudes of 80 senior public figures and found that seventy per cent regarded Scottish dailies favourably, rising to 73 per cent for weekly papers. Significantly, 75 per cent of the respondents read print versions of their local weekly paper, while half said they read their daily papers electronically.
Almost all found Scottish newspapers to be useful in providing information to the public, with favourable scores of 88 per cent for dailies and 81 per cent for weeklies.
A further piece of research conducted by Research and Analysis of Media into general readers’ awareness of public notices in Scottish news publications, collated the views of 324 regular daily readers. It found that 77 per cent of readers were aware of the notices and 32 per cent always read them with 49 per cent describing themselves as occasional readers. Over three-quarters of the sample said they believed the information to be relevant to their lives.
It also showed that far more people see notices in their local papers (73 per cent) compared to council websites (38 per cent), and while the majority understandably said they would prefer to receive such information in future by a direct personal email, more said they would prefer to continue to see the information in their local paper (45 per cent) than on a local authority website (31 per cent).
Scottish Newspaper Society director John McLellan said: “There figures tell a very strong story of the continuing importance of Scottish newspapers in helping politicians and decision-makers communicate with the public and the extent to which the public expects to see important information affecting their communities properly placed in their local publications.”
The Holyrood reception was hosted by Communities minister Alex Neil MSP and attended by MSPs and representatives of the Scottish newspaper industry. The event was also addressed by the Presiding Officer, Tricia Marwick MSP, who served as a judge at last year’s Scottish Press Awards.
“I was extremely grateful to both Alex and Tricia for supporting the event and with an election coming up it was a timely reminder of just how effective our publications are in communicating with the public.”