That’s right. I, along with CuriousHamster, am starting a roundup of Scottish political blogs. It might sound a little bit passe, but this isn’t just bandwagon-hopping. There are several reasons why I think it’s time to start a roundup of Scottish blogs.
I was struck by a recent article written by Iain Macwhirter, The Scottish Media is Doomed. It paints a sorry picture. There have been massive job cuts in the current affairs departments of BBC Scotland and STV (Scotland’s only major broadcasters). Newspaper circulations are spiralling and Scots are increasingly turning to English publications for their news. (Neil McIntosh has some views on Iain Macwhirter’s post.)
And this is all happening at just the time when it shouldn’t be. The still relatively new Scottish Parliament is responsible for a lot of the legislation that affects the country, and power will now probably only ever move from Westminster to Holyrood. Yet the spotlight on Holyrood is getting dimmer. Surely more accountability is needed.
You think you know what I’m going to say. Scotland’s citizen journalists to the rescue, right? Uhh, not really. At times the Scottish blogosphere feels incredibly sparse. It’s not too difficult, with a bit of effort, to find Scots blogging about politics. And when you do, how often is it about Scottish politics? And when you do find them, there is little doubt that the Scottish political blogosphere isn’t quite as vibrant as the Westminster-orientated scene.
And where on earth are the representatives of the country’s second-largest political party, the SNP? Just about the only decent SNP blogger I can think of is Stuart Dickson, who was responsible for the excellent Independence blog, which sadly hasn’t been updated for a year. Indeed, the Scottish political blogosphere is almost as notable for the great bloggers who have fallen by the wayside. Remember Lost in Westminster? Lost is the word.
Maybe I’m just missing all the great blogging going on out there. That’s part of the reason why I want to start this roundup. I want to discover new blogs and hopefully get a bit more of a community going, with more discussion between bloggers of all hues — particularly with the Scottish Parliament elections gearing up in the coming months.
As I mentioned, there’s no way I’m doing this on my own. Not only is it a bit questionable of me to elect myself as saviour of the Scottish blogosphere, the roundup wasn’t even my idea! Of course there is Tim Worstall, king of the roundups. But Stuart Dickson and CuriousHamster already had a go at a Scottish Political Blogs Review over a year ago. That’s why I chose to invite CuriousHamster to contribute to the new roundup.
We’ve not yet sorted out all of the ins and outs of how we’re going to do this, but I see no point in hanging around. If everything goes to plan, the first roundup will be posted here on Sunday morning.
I’ve already been thinking about what posts I’m going to include but I’ll need your help aswell, particularly if you know of a good Scottish blogger who isn’t in my blogroll. If you want to nominate your own or somebody else’s post, please do email me at . If you ever need it, my email address is always in the sidebar.
Eligibility? I don’t see much point in being too restrictive, so I’ll adopt the Craig Brown approach — the most tenuous link to Scotland will do. If you’re from Scotland, living in Scotland or just writing about Scotland, it will all be fine by me. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a blog. But the focus of the roundup will be on Scottish politics, so common sense should be applied.
Also, I’m hoping to make this roundup a little bit different to the usual “here’s a bunch of links I threw together at lunchtime” malarkey. I did say ‘hoping’. You’ll see what I have in store though, and remember that the comments box is there for a reason.