According to this, the circulation of the Scotsman, once the unionist quality Scottish newspaper, is significantly lower than the Herald, the Press and Journal and the Courier!
It has been reclassified from national to regional, which is surely a kick in the teeth for hte 20 year old scheme to be a national, British newspaper. Certainly a circulation of 29,452 a day isn't much, considering it used to boast of selling over 50k a few years ago, and not so long ago, when I was a little younger, sold over 100k a day.
Now I stopped reading it years ago because the internet gave more, better quality news, but it had begun to go downhill in the 90's when run by Andrew Neil under the control of the Barclay brothers, who are unpleasant tax exiles with feudalistic tendencies living in the channel islands.
The decline appeared part of a plan to modernise it along fleet street lines, with more opinion, culture, lifestyle gubbins, and less of that old fashioned stuff like reports on Scottish farming or the goings on in the outer Hebridees. Certainly some of the articles I have seen online the last few years are basically press releases re-written by illiterate school-leavers, or so one gathers from the style. The last 20 years has seen a continuous jettisoning of the journalistic talent, and that would explain some of that. I'm sure the comparatively new owners, Johnson press, have a different story to tell, but that's the way it looks to someone who grew up reading it every morning before going to school.
It would be a shame to lose it. Stridently unionist and conservative minded it might be, it does have a great deal of history behind it. http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/in-brief/6040-scottish-newspaper-circulation-continues-its-decline
Shows the SCotsman in 2012 was managing 33,535.
THis graph suggests it was 62k even in 2006:http://www.statista.com/statistics/288432/the-scotsman-newspaper-circulation-trend-in-the-uk/
This article by Alan Massie mentions the lack of money and blames that for a lot of cuts, but doesn't go into proper details:http://www.thinkscotland.org/todays-thinking/articles.html?read_full=12024
I've read elsewhere that there has been a massive collapse in newspaper advertising, as it all shifts online, but people dislike the adverts and you can't get as much money for them as in a print version. Which explains a lot of the negative feedback - you lose money, so cut journalists etc, quality of newspaper falls (i'm sure many would dispute this but it's laid out clearly in Nick Davies book "Flat earth news") due to too few journalists trying to write too many stories. So fewer people read the paper, leading to fewer copies sold, so less money etc etc.
One commenter on the Massie article says:Would SNP supporters flock to a title that is behind independence? If that was the case presumably a Labour-supporting tabloid like the Record would still be selling 700,000 rather than half of that. History shows us that newspaper consumers rarely follow up with either promises or threats. What really concerns me is that all the editors I talk to say that the more politics they put in their papers the more the readership decreases.In other words politics bores them. Now the editors face a terrible dilemma - 500 plus days of Yes-No turge and a readership fed up to the back teeth wiht the same old pap they're been hearing for the past 30 years - coincidentally the period of dramatic media decline.
Which certainly fits with what I've seen/ heard. One answer would be to stop being so opinionated and actually give the readers as much evidence and information as you possible can. But that would involve a serious capital injection to hire the workers necessary with no gamble that it would pay off. And also points to the other important point that politics is boring, because many similar policies get enacted no matter who gets in, and individual people just don't feel that they have the influence on politics so what's the point? An informed electorate is necessary, but you have to recall that the newspapers retreated from the informing bit before the internet, in the pursuit of lifestyle and other fancy sections to titillate the consumer. Which worked okay when there was no other source, and all the advertising came to them.
But a future with only the approved official news sources and a plethora of blogs would be a lot more messy and dangerous. We need some centralised news sources so as to help create a commonality of opinion and ideas, if, that is, you want this to remain as a country with it's own identity.