It’s an interesting time to be living in Scotland. Politics is the talk at the dinner table, in the pub, even at work – and everybody is getting involved, children and adults. And interestingly, so far about 70% of the people I talk to about it are positive about prospective independence for lots of different reasons and at this stage would vote yes.
I find this fascinating, because out of the 37 papers in the UK not one is pro-independence. That means that all these people are finding out information, debate and resolve from other sources. And then I noticed this. Wings over Scotland, a pro-independence newspaper crowdfunded over £30,000 on Indiegogo in 2013. With still 16 hours to go for their second annual fundraiser they sit at £89,370 exceeding their target by £36,370.
A recent poll by STV has found that WOS is the single most-relied-on named source for independence facts in Scotland. Their monthly readership has gone up by 783%. Since then, a poster campaign to promote Wings over Scotland has been pulled by SPT from the Glasgow underground, possibly the best publicity the newspaper could have hoped for. The news has gone viral in the last week.
So, whatever your thoughts about independence, what crowdfunding has done is enabled WOS to find and engage a readership that is now double the online monthly readership of the Scotsman. This model could be the way forward to fund the media in future; those who value it will pay for its services and continue to support it. In terms of WOS, what will be interesting is to see what happens after the referendum – and will people feel the need to campaign anymore, whatever the outcome. This is one to watch.