sh10APROPOS the Scottish press: I took in the 10th birthday bash for the Sunday Herald last night. Given that I was closely involved in helping to set up the newspaper, and still act as its angling correspondent, there was more than a little sentimentality involved.

Editor Richard Walker delivered a carefully-worded and witty speech. But the mood of friends and former colleagues in the audience at Glasgow’s Fruitmarket was sombre.

Even the entertainment by some of Celtic Connections’ brightest performers didn’t really lift the proceedings. And I thought the choice of the Treacherous Orchestra for one of the headline sets was particularly wry.

The Herald & Times group, like so many others in the mainstream press, faces a desperately bleak future and it’s hard to see where recovery lies.

Around 40 journalists, including some of the most experienced and authoritative in the business, are set for imminent redundancy in yet another cycle of cost-driven amputations with nary a whiff of anaesthetic.

Few at the outset expected the Sunday title to last five years, never mind ten. Yet despite suffocating financial constraints, it has consistently delivered journalism that would stand scrutiny anywhere in the world.  Sadly even fewer today would bet on its chances of surviving its teenage years.

The time for the investment medicine is long gone. Old cynics like me fear the ills of the Scottish press are terminal.

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