Scottish Media Viewpoint

MediaGuardian 100: Let’s all move to London
August 4, 2009, 5:56 pm
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Just read Stephen Maxwell’s blog discussing the lack of Scots in this year’s MediaGuardian 100 – only 2 have made the list and neither are currently in Scotland.  Maxwell suggests that the “weakened state” of  the Scottish media is the source of the problem, and rightly points out there has been a drastic reduction of readership in several national newspapers over the last few years.  This however, is not a problem that is limited to Scotland, and is also somewhat beside the point.

Quite frankly, it’s not remotely surprising that all the movers and shakers in the British media are in London – of course they are, we’d be naïve and unreasonable to expect anything else.  What is an issue is how few of these people have come from Scotland.  Why is Scottish talent not penetrating the illustrious London circle?

Do you have to start a career in London to progress to the top there?  Nobody seems to move across the border after establishing themselves.  Perhaps those running shop in London assume that our career experience in Scotland in limited due to the teeny tiny size of our national media.  Are they right?  Is that fair?  I worry that there may be an element of truth in this accusation.  You wouldn’t let someone run Cadbury’s just because they can turn a profit at the local sweet shop.

So, if this is the case, what does it mean for those of us still anxiously trying to climb the ladder?  Should we abandon ship and move now?  No matter how one performs in the Scottish media, is it ever going to be good enough?  I honestly don’t know, and it makes me nervous.

Stephen Maxwell’s original blog is available at