Submitted by Editor on Thu, 03/08/2023 - 14:00

The Broughton Spurtle and 19 other independent local and hyperlocal news publications serving urban and rural communities across Scotland have joined forces to create The Scottish Beacon, a new national news platform which launched today. 

The innovative website is the first collaborative journalism outlet of its kind in the country. The aim is to strengthen the independent community-based media sector and bring stories from Scotland’s communities to a wider audience. 

It will spotlight articles on topics including community empowerment, social equality, local democracy and the environment – from Shetland in the north to Dumfries and Galloway in the south. 

Other publications involved in the project at this stage include: The Bellman,  C&B News, Clydesider, Crail Matters, The Edinburgh Reporter, Forres Local, The Ileach, Glenkens Gazette, Greater Govanhill, The Hawick Paper, Inverclyde Now, The Lochside Press, Midlothian View,  Migrant Women Press, The Orkney News, Shetland News.

However, with many more independent publications out there, it’s expected that membership will continue to grow following the launch. 

Scottish Beacon logo
Different backgrounds, shared aims

The contributing parties – which will also continue to operate separately ­­­­– have a variety of structures and models. Some are non-profit, some are limited companies, some are sole traders. Some of the publications are only in print, others digital, and many are both.

All are independently owned and produce original journalism in the public interest, firmly rooted in serving the communities where they’re based. The site is regulated by IMPRESS (the Independent Monitor for the Press).

The publishers cooperating in the network already hold regular meetings to share resources, skills, knowledge and ideas for collaborative investigations. The aim is to reinvigorate local public-interest news and overcome common challenges such as long-term sustainability.

Significantly, the Scottish Beacon could also generate revenue through a mix of different income streams including membership fees, partnerships, advertising and grant funding.

Collaborative future

Rhiannon J. Davies, founder of Greater Govanhill community magazine and the Scottish Beacon project says: ‘I truly believe that the future of journalism is collaborative.

‘I developed the idea for this project after being inspired by similar established collaboratives in the USA. But there are some brilliant community-based publications in Scotland – I’m really excited to see what we can do together.’

The project has been supported with funding from the Google News Initiative’s Innovation Challenge Fund.

Jump aboard!

If you’d like to support independent media in Scotland and get the best-quality journalism from Scotland’s communities straight to your inbox, you can sign up to the newsletter, or become a memberThe website is here.

You can also follow the Scottish Beacon on social media. It’s currently on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Threads.


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