The trade association for Scotland’s news publishers, the Scottish Newspaper Society, has from today been renamed Newsbrands Scotland, dropping “newspaper” from its title for the first time in a history stretching back 108 years.
While printed newspapers remain an important part of news publishers’ operations, the name change reflects modern newsrooms which reach far bigger audiences through digital platforms, with news operations working round the clock to deliver news to readers in the format they want, when they want it.
Newsbrands Scotland’s inaugural president, National World plc’s chief commercial officer Mark Hollinshead, said: “Our newsbrands reach more people than they ever did in the print-only days and the new name of our trade association reflects the multi-platform reality of the modern newsroom.”
Industry research [TGI, December 2022] shows that nine out of ten adults in Scotland engage with print or digital newsbrands at least once a week and are seven per cent more likely to rely on newspapers to stay informed than UK adults. And according to the latest JICREG analysis, 96 per cent of Scots read a local brand once a month.
Mark added: “Ever since the advent of the internet, Scottish news publishers have been evolving and innovating to keep their audiences well-served with up-to-the-minute, trusted information and analysis, and the audience figures speak for themselves.
“Scottish newsbrands keep communities across the country well-informed and connected, have a vital role to play in holding national and local politicians to account for the decisions they make, and are an essential means for services, businesses and charities to communicate with their users and customers.”
Further research from the news industry marketing body Newsworks reveals people are 2.4 times more likely to find news brands reliable than social media, and three-quarters believe it is important their news comes from a respected and recognised news provider.
Newsbrands Scotland director John McLellan said “Our titles continue to provide a depth and breadth of coverage that few, if any, networks can match, and the fact that all our members are independently regulated is also vital for maintaining public trust.
“Readers want to know they are being provided with professionally produced news, and our commercial partners benefit because readers recognise they are in a trusted environment.
“News publishers also continue to support and train the journalists of the future, and it’s important for our name to reflect an industry that is always looking forward.”
The rebranding project was a collaborative effort across member companies, with the branding design produced by DC Thomson and the marketing campaign devised by National World, with input from News UK and Newsquest Scotland.
“This was a very good example of publishers working together for the benefit of the whole sector in Scotland, whether society members or not,” added John McLellan.