Today Bylines Scotland mark its first anniversary and its worthwhile to remember why Bylines Scotland was launched as one of the publications from Bylines Network. Our citizens represent the millions of voices wanting to express their needs, their passions and their hopes – they have the right to be heard and listened to. We are here to facilitate this and unmute such voices. Scotland has been dominated by media that do not represent its citizens and Bylines Scotland gives Scottish communities a much-needed media platform.
The Bylines Network were constantly asked when Bylines Scotland would join the group of its publications, and when we finally did so, the Network gave us full support. They have provided the platform, the know-how, and when we comes to content they stand back and give us autonomy. As they stated last year, “it’s about Scottish citizens being nurtured by the Bylines Scotland community to find the journalists, the commentators and analysts within themselves. On their own terms.”
Our writers come from all corners of our society representing the broad socio-political spectrum. They come from the islands, mainland and some from Europe. They have written about our NHS, the impact of fish farms in our environment, the state of our politics, the science, the arts, Scottish literature, days out and about in Scotland, and even recipes. As our first editor-in-chief, Ian Kinsey, said when we launched, “Bylines Scotland is here to stay. Our voice, your voice, will be heard.”
My name is Patricia dos Santos Paton and last summer, I had the chance to write for Bylines Scotland and not long after, I was given the opportunity to become the editor-in-chief. I embraced this new role with passion. Being part of a citizen journal, over the past year, I, with the team, would give a fresh voice to Scottish people, and Scotland!
I remember well when I arrived in Scotland 25 years ago, from Brazil – I was amazed with people on the streets smiling and saying ‘Hi!’. I felt at home. I was received with open arms by officials, colleagues, doctors, nurses and all Scottish people.
Personally, I feel deep gratitude to the Scottish people and my contribution to Bylines Scotland as a volunteer writer and editor is my way of saying sincere thanks for all they’ve done for me. I also feel immense gratitude for all the past and present volunteers and followers, including previous editors-in-chief – Ian Kinsey and George Allison – who have helped make Bylines Scotland what it is and helped it grow. I have made new friends and learned so much from everyone. Taking from the famous words “People make Glasgow”, I would extend it to “People make Scotland”.
We are now in a moment of our lives that Scotland is being undervalued as a devolved nation. Our democracy is in danger. Our young citizens’ voices are silenced and their near future is deeply jeopardised in terms of opportunities. Scotland’s environment is also at risk. Younger writers are of fundamental importance to us. We need them! They will be the ones moving Scotland forward with fresh innovative ideas! If you’d like to get involved and/or have something to share, get in touch us!
These are good existential reasons for Bylines Scotland to grow. Of course, we cannot do this without your support, by reading and appreciating our content. Please consider supporting us further by subscribing or donating to Bylines Scotland and Bylines network, as without your help, we cannot represent you and hold our representatives to account ensuring a strong democracy.
Our team needs to continue to grow, so we can keep the diversity of the topics and the quality of our copies provided by writers and editors respectively. We would love to introduce a photography gallery showing your submissions depicting your Scottish lifestyle and love about Scotland, and we would like more creative writing, and poetry too. Our social media gurus need more creatives with an interest in Scotland so we can reach more people. We are on TwiiterX, Facebook, Instagram and Threads.
This first year we have published 371 articles. We have had approximately 225,000 views and 142,000 visitors to our website.
On our first anniversary, I’d like to warmly say how thankful I am to every single person who made Bylines Scotland possible and who helps it to thrive. To our writers, our unique Scottish voice, you will never be forgotten. To our new incomers – writers, editors, proofreaders, social media gurus – you will be received with wide open and welcoming doors. Join us by getting in touch with us, email [email protected]
Last but not the least, throughout August we will be publishing some reviews of the political change that Scotland has undergone this year. We hope you enjoy reading them.