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50 years on, any news or scandal?

When Scottie Press’ first issue was published back in early 1971, the Vietnam War was still in full flow, Britain had yet to join the Common Market, and Eastern Europe was dominated by the Soviet Union.


Now, in COVID-19 hit 2021, Britain is out of the EU, countries like Poland and Hungary are full members of what is the world’s largest single market, and China is set to overtake the U.S.A as the world’s biggest economy.


Nothing amazingly controversial about these statements you might think.


However, the way we access information about the world around us has changed beyond all recognition, especially when compared to how those contributing to the first issue of Scottie Press would have got their news.


Yes, back at the end of the last century, the dawn of a new millennium,  we began to enter the digital age.


With it has come ongoing controversy about media ownership, anonymity online and personal privacy, mass manipulation of data to influence elections. We just seen a mixed crowd of conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and Neo Nazis whipped up into a frenzy by a sitting U.S President to the extent they stormed one of their nation’s key democratic institutions in the mistaken belief the election had been stolen by the other side.


You and I can sit back and consume all of these events in real time through technology that in 1971 would have looked like something out of Star Trek.  No need to interrupt regular programming, it’s being covered 24/7 and you can add your insights at the press of a button.


So, a lot has changed in the last 50 years.


What hasn’t changed are the battles ahead for ordinary people. Cleaner, greener communities and better housing? Still an issue. Employers looking to make you work harder for longer less safely for less pay? Of course, we’ve had 11 years of Tory rule. Healthcare a right, not a privilege? It remains to be seen in the U.K. A decent, fulfilling standard of education for all children? Increasingly a lottery.


Scottie Press represents a community that has weathered many storms over the years. With more and more of the archives of articles and photographs coming online for people to see, it’s clear the sense of pride and community that “Scottie” is famous for still runs through its former and current inhabitants.


One thing is for sure: with local papers across the country going out of print or migrating to an online-only model that chases quick clicks for advertising revenue, real local journalism is needed now more than ever to act as a counterbalance to the mainstream media, and to allow people a voice.


Here’s to the next 50 years.