It’s said you can tell a lot about a Scot based on the newspaper he or she reads, so the country’s news brands can justifiably claim to be at the heart of the communities they serve. In the last year, Scottish news brands have seen their social media channels dominated by stories which are hilarious, heartbreaking, profound and, well, downright weird.
We’ve compiled this list of ten stories which captured the imagination of Scottish society over the last few months:
- You couldn’t have tuned into a UK news brand, never mind a Scottish one, without noticing the independence referendum. Heraldscotland saw plenty of lively debate on the subject, with hundreds of readers participating in the, ahem, ‘discussion’. The post below was shared over 10,000 times on Facebook and over 1,000 times on Twitter.
- No-one swears better than the Scots… apart from the wife of the country’s favourite tennis hero, Andy Murray. After apparently muttering a string of expletives during Murray’s match again Tomas Berdych, she responded to worldwide attention by wearing a sweater emblazoned with a “Parental Advisory Explicit Content” emblem. Scotland approved – The Scotsman’s Facebook post attracted more than 2.2 million views and 48,000 likes.
- The tragic Glasgow bin lorry crash, which killed six people a few days before Christmas 2014, inspired a strong spirit of solidarity with Glaswegians as Scottish news brands reported the accident and its aftermath.Heraldscotland printed and uploaded an eye-witness account which saw more than 116,000 people access the site via its Facebook page.
4. The Scottish Sun reported on the story of a Glasgow cabbie, who left a touching poem about the city to pay tribute to the victims of the Glasgow bin lorry crash. The comments left by readers on the paper’s Facebook page proved that one taxi driver had perfectly summed up the feelings of a grieving city.
5. The Evening Times unsuspectedly kicked off a firestorm after compiling a short list of ten or so “Weegie Words” – words that only Glaswegians would understand. In the end, the Evening Times stopped accepting submissions at 100 words on the list. And for any non-Glaswegians reading, the grey sub-headline means: “How are you? Would you like to pop over to my house tomorrow? I’ll be on my own otherwise, and I’m in the mood for a libation.”
6. In the local press, The Greenock Telegraph highlighted the slightly odd tale of the Yellow House debate. After a house’s owners painted it yellow, the local council told them to repaint it a different colour because it was against conservation law. The owners responded by challenging the authority to send in the bulldozers. More than 100,000 people tuned in via Facebook from all over the world to watch the spectacle unfold, and post videos of songs about the affair. Some even organised peaceful protests.
7. A mum’s hilarious note to her daughter’s PE teacher went viral after she shared it on Facebook. Schoolgirl Olivia had been trying to avoid her hated PE lessons by getting her mum to write a note, but didn’t expect the savvy mum to write a letter saying she was ‘perfectly fit’ to take part. The post from The Daily Record went up in March and has already attracted more than 800,000 views. Teenagers – beware.
8. The Edinburgh Evening News captured Scottish hearts when it posted a story about a three-year-old girl who donated her hair to be made into wigs for cancer sufferers, after being touched by the experience of a friend at her nursery. The post received more than a million likes and 23,000 comments on Facebook.
9. Kai, a Shar-Pei crossbreed, was found abandoned at Ayr Station with only a suitcase after his owner apparently abandoned him. The story took off with millions of pet lovers from across the world offering to take him in. The Scottish Sun, one of several Scottish news brands which picked up on the story, attracted huge attention from dog-loving readers.
10. A passenger on the last train from Glasgow to Hamilton surprised onlookers with a stunning performance of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. The singer gained an army of fans after a film of his performance went viral. The footage got thousands of hits after the Daily Record posted the video on its website.