Magazine folds

Scottish Review falls victim to social media trend

Kenneth Roy founded the Scottish Review

Scottish Review, an independently-run journal of commentary on Scottish affairs, is to be wound up after conceding defeat to social media.

Established in January 1995 as a quarterly publication by the late journalist and commentator Kenneth Roy, it was acquired by the charity, Institute of Contemporary Scotland (ICS), in 2001 and went online as a weekly in February 2008.

It was noted for its campaigning on such issues as the defective fatal accident inquiry system, the policy of detaining mentally disturbed young women in prison, and the need for greater transparency in public life.

Mr Roy established the non-political ICS in 2000, persuading 800 prominent Scots to bankroll the venture.  After ­editing the magazine for almost 24 years, he retired in the autumn of 2018 because of terminal illness and died that year.

The editor for the last five years, Islay McLeod, said “times have changed immensely” in recent years. She added that the rise of social media had seen the journal suffer an “inevitable decline”.

“Given the circumstances, the board of ICS has come to the decision that it is no longer financially viable. I cannot afford to pay a full-time member of staff,” she said.

“Perhaps someone, somewhere, will have the impulse to start a similar publication.” 

The ICS has sought the permission of Scottish charity regulator, OSCR, and is now going through the process of winding up. The aim is to be completely dissolved early in 2024.

The website will remain online until the end of the year. After that its anthology series “The Best 25 years of the Scottish Review”, will be available to download on Amazon and Kindle.

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