Sunday Herald: ‘Never back a campaign unless you know it’s going to win’. One of the golden rules of journalism. But editor Richard Walker and his team took the bold decision to back the underdog. Some said it was for commercial gain only. A stunt. But what it did do was ensure democracy and education had a forum to be played out in public between rival supporters.
Sunday Times: One poll, during the entire two year campaign, sounded a clarion call to the rest of the UK that they had just days to pay attention and stop Scotland leaving. If the Sunday Times hadn’t published a story of Yes being in the lead so close to voting, would the big guns have jumped on the train North? It was a crucial intervention.
The Scotsman: A national paper but one with a strong Edinburgh constituency, many of them working in the financial sector, who if they were sitting on the fence would be left in no uncertain terms about what the referendum could mean for their lives when the paper set out what it saw as the common sense road ahead.
Daily Record: For my money the most decisive front page of all in helping shore up a stranded Labour support that had been looking for direction and once again reclaiming its crown as the people’s champion and nation’s moral compass. The combination of editor Murray Foote and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown may well have saved the flagging No campaign.
Scottish Sun: By not backing either side, it may very well have still been the Sun wot won it. Political nous and a degree of publisher uncertainty combined to keep the paper unusually non-partisan and balanced, while Andrew Nicoll had the freedom to enjoy a fine campaign as Scottish political editor. Could the nation’s best selling daily have tipped the balance? And if so, what effect would that have had on their core readership of the rUK editions?