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Weekly covering Scottish island closes after circulation drops below 550

A weekly newspaper covering a Scottish island will close this month after its circulation dropped by 80 per cent in six years.

The Buteman, founded in 1854, will publish its final edition on 21 June.

ABC figures for July to December 2012, the last available, show the newspaper then had a circulation of 2,627.

Press Gazette understands that when the title was most recently audited by JPI it had a circulation of 730 which has now dropped below 550. Bute had an estimated population of 6,140 according to the 2017 census.

JPI Media declined to comment but it is understood the decision was made to close the newspaper as the fall in circulation was seen as unsustainable.

No redundancies will be made as staff working on The Buteman, including news editor Janet Bee and reporter Kevin Quinn, have been based at JPI Media’s hub in Edinburgh for about 18 months.

Last month the newspaper put a call out to readers to help Quinn, who also works on the Midlothian Advertiser, fill its pages with local stories.

“The Buteman no longer has a reporter on the island. So to help Kevin fill your local newspaper with your local stories please get in touch with him,” it said.

“We want to focus on local content, bringing you the stories that are important to you and the island, but to do that we need the community’s support.”

Bute was in national news headlines last year when Aaron Campbell, 16, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for raping and murdering six-year-old Alesha MacPhail. The judge allowed press to identify the teen.

Comments

3 thoughts on “Weekly covering Scottish island closes after circulation drops below 550”

  1. Maybe if JPI put a reporter based in the area where the paper circulates this wouldn’t happen. Hardly rocket science for the bean counters. Another nail in death of local journalism so easily avoided

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