Scotsman marks 200 years since founding fathers set out plans for 'independent' newspaper

The Scotsman

The Scotsman is celebrating 200 years since the publication of its prospectus that set out plans for a newspaper that is “honest”, “useful” and “independent”.

Current editor Ian Stewart described today as a “very significant milestone in the history of The Scotsman newspaper” ahead of the anniversary of its first edition printed on 25 January 1817.

To mark the occasion, the daily title has produced an eight-page supplement that includes the original prospectus article written by founding fathers William Ritchie and Charles Maclaren.

They wrote of the paper they were to create: “No promise… is given to gratify fastidiousness of taste; no pretensions are made to fine writing or profound speculation; but the Conductors pledge themselves for impartiality, firmness, and independence.

“As the name implies, Scottish affairs and interests will meet with peculiar attention; but no principle of exclusion will be allowed to operate; and the pages of The Scotsman will be open to all who shall, without personal abuse or libellous matter, bring forward a case which, politically, morally, or religiously, is deserving of general consideration.”

Stewart said: “Marking the occasion with this special supplement is the perfect way to kick off celebrations, as we look forward to showcasing the best of The Scotsman’s past editions, and also begin the search for 200 new voices to bring to our pages to better reflect the vibrancy of modern Scotland.”

During its bicentenary year, The Scotsman will be showcasing snippets of its history in a series of special editions as well as hosting events. A BBC television documentary will also chart its story.

Last year The Scotsman’s print edition and website, were relaunched to be fully responsive with a new look and layout.

The Scotsman has a total average print circulation of 20,304 copies, according to ABC figures to June.

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