Here, at the launch of Bylines Scotland the purpose expressed here by Michell Henry resonates strongly with us.
Welcome to Bylines Scotland: Ian Kinsey, editor-in-chief
Scotland is rich in culture, natural resources and breathtaking beauty, from the borders to Shetland, Aberdeen to Skye and along the breadth of Na h-eileanan Siar. Our unique nation is increasingly powered by the wind and tides as a rich and environmentally sound alternative to our bounty of North Sea oil. We are also rich in human resources with a long history of pioneering education, science and innovation. Over five million people call Scotland home – including millions of voices looking for a way to communicate their ideas, or a soap box to stand on and voice their hopes and desires for themselves, their families, communities and country. They, the people of Scotland, must be heard and, above all, listened to.
Bylines Scotland will be that soap box and give audience to your voice. Our writers will represent all colours of the socio-political spectrum. We are diverse, we celebrate Scotland, but we also will be shedding light on injustice, inequality and deprivations within our country. In a vibrant democracy, power must be held to account from the local levels to the national levels and the citizen voices of Bylines Scotland are needed to do that.
Finally, Bylines Scotland is here to stay. Our voice, your voice, will be heard. You hopefully will not agree with every article that is published, but you will know it represents the diversity of people of our nation, checked by an editorial team dedicated to scrutinising for truth. And you will know that it is “an honest aim to serve the people’s interest” by bringing forward the voices of our citizens.
As editor-in-chief of Bylines Scotland I will channel Mitchell Henry and offer my own pledge; that Bylines Scotland will adhere to a prime directive; print only what we can verify and can defend in a court of law and the court of public opinion.
Welcome from directors Dr Mike Galsworthy and Louise Houghton
Bylines Scotland is go! It is Bylines’ first venture into a new nation, but our fundamental principle as Bylines Network directors remains the same: we provide the tech platform and know how, but on content we stand back and facilitate citizen voices being brought to the fore. That means that the Bylines Scotland editorial team are Scottish residents and nationals taking up the task of bringing forward Scottish voices for a Scottish publication. And it’s not about Scottish journalists either – it’s about Scottish citizens being nurtured by the Bylines Scotland community to find the journalists, commentators and analysts within themselves. On their own terms. That’s the public good angle. We believe that the real richness comes from empowering citizens to present their diversity of knowledge – on politics, industry, culture etc. – back to the community itself, in a publication that they can feel shared ownership of.
For many months now, if not a year or more, we’ve been asked constantly when the Bylines Network would be launching a Scottish title. Well here it is! We were good for our word on it. We needed to ensure that we had enough core capacity to take on another publication and the right editor-in-chief and cast of players capable of taking up the job of the publication’s own team. Once that was all in place everything has moved incredibly fast and, under the excellent leadership of the new editor-in-chief Ian Kinsey, it has all come together beautifully. So, as Bylines Network directors, we raise a glass to Bylines Scotland and the Scottish people, and excitedly look forward to reading what myriad new Scottish voices have to say.