SNP Independence Magazine editor explains how publication flourished in declining industry

CREATING a successful print magazine is no easy task in the 21st century, but Jack Paterson has found a way to make it work.

Founding editor-in-chief of SNP Independence Magazine, Paterson has seen the magazine grow for more than a decade.

Although this is the official magazine of the SNP, readers do not need to be party members.

Readers will regularly find columns by Nicola Sturgeon, Michael Russell and others, including readers who are also encouraged to participate.

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“It’s almost like family within a family,” Paterson told the National.

“The magazine was successful from day one. And he grows and grows and grows.

“It’s very people-driven. It is not moralizing, it is not dry politics.

“This is really the human side of the independence movement and this is where our strength lies.”

Paterson said it had taken decades for independence to become a dominant opinion in Scotland – a far cry from the early days of the party when it joined.

He said: “I’ve been in the SNP since I was a child, since I was 15 or 16 and now in my sixties.

“So there are people older than me who have gone through the whole process and are now gone and their stories are never told. We’re trying to fix this and shine some light on some of these people.

Jack Paterson is the founding editor of Independence magazine

“We’ve tried to reflect the problems and efforts of the people since the SNP became the SNP in 1934, so it’s a constant learning process for all of us.

“And that’s what we’re trying to do. We try to educate, inform and entertain. And there is no doubt that it does because we get great feedback from our readers. We are very lucky.

The magazine is not available in digital form, but continues to thrive and is likely to continue on the path to success in print only.

“It’s the tactile sensation, the smell of the ink,” Paterson said. “It’s coffee table reading but it’s also uncompromising.”

It’s been a busy time for the media in general, but with independence and the SNP leading the polls, it would seem like a particularly exciting time to edit an independent magazine – but Paterson says it’s still an exciting time for the publication.

“I think at all times it is exciting to subscribe,” he said.

“When I started in the SNP they had something like 9,000 or 11,000 members and we got spit on our doorstep and called anti this, anti that.

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“I was called a Communist and a Nazi on two successive doors, and I just thought I couldn’t really be both.

“This is the platform that was built by the people I’m talking about who lived and died with the SNP campaign and left this brilliant platform where you can phone me up and say hello, we’re at 50%, 55% in the polls.

“When I was doing that, we were 9%, 6% and 1%. In the polls”

Paterson said the SNP acted as a magnet for the independence movement at large and attributed the party’s rise in independence support.

Those interested in taking out a subscription are invited to call 0131 525 8904.

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