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Modern Times: 1950s to The Present Day

Culture and Leisure


By David Hutchison

SMG HQ Newspapers faced an increasingly competitive environment in the post-Second World War period. The arrival of television marked a permanent shift which saw the printed press yield its role as prime source of news to the electronic media. The principal casualty was the evening newspaper. Glasgow had three evening newspapers in the 1950s, but by 1974 it had only one, the Evening Times (1876). The city had already lost the mid-market morning title, The Bulletin, which ceased publication in 1960.

Advertisement The city's daily and Sunday titles all aspire to be pan-Scottish, but, like their Edinburgh counterparts, their place of origin has always been clear from their news agendas. The longest established, the Herald (1783), which dropped "Glasgow" from its masthead in 1992, remains a "must read" for the professional classes in the west of Scotland, something which its recently established sister, the Sunday Herald (1999), has struggled to become. That paper and the Edinburgh-based Scotland on Sunday (1988) represent a significant extension of broadsheet provision in the country.

Daily Record Building It is in Glasgow too that the market's leading tabloids, the Daily Record (1895) and the Sunday Mail (1919) are produced. Like all Scottish titles, they have faced intense competition in the 1990s from Scottish editions of English titles, a phenomenon which marks the reversion to a trend common in the immediate post-war period, but largely abandoned in the seventies. An attempt to launch a new paper, the Scottish Daily News, initially as a workers' co-operative when the Daily Express ceased publication of its Scottish edition in the mid-1970s, very quickly foundered.

Glasgow's newspapers have ceased to be Glasgow owned, the controlling companies being either English or American. There have been noteworthy political changes too: most remarkably, the Herald, a highly reliable supporter of the Conservative cause until the 1980s, became an independent left of centre title by the nineties.

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