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The Media in Scotland

Edited by Neil Blain, David Hutchison

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This book brings together academics, writers and politicians to explore the range and nature of the media in Scotland. The book includes chapters on the separate histories of the press, broadcasting and cinema, on the representation and construction of Scotland, the contemporary communications environment, and the languages used in the media. Other chapters consider television drama, soap opera, broadcast comedy, gender, the media and politics, race and ethnicity, gender, popular music, sport and new technology, the place of Gaelic, and current issues in screen fiction. Among the contributors are David Bruce, Myra Macdonald, Brian McNair, Hugh O'Donnell, Mike Russell, Philip Schlesinger and Brian Wilson.

Key Features

  • The first comprehensive picture of the media in Scotland
  • Raises a number of important questions about how Scotland presents itself at home and abroad
  • Analyzes questions of politics, economics and governance.


1 Neil Blain and Kathryn Burnett: An unwon cause: the struggle to represent Scotland
2 John Corbett: Scots, English and Community languages in the media
3 Philip Schlesinger: Communications policy
4 David Hutchison: The history of the press
5 David Bruce: The history of film and cinema
6 Maggie Sweeney: Broadcasting: from birth to devolution and beyond
7 John R. Cook: Three ring circus: television drama and for Scotland
8 Hugh O’Donnell: ‘Nae bevvying, nae skiving’: language and
community in the Scottish soap opera
9 Ian Mowatt: Broadcast comedy
10 Sarah Neely: Contemporary Scottish cinema
11 Ken Garner: Radio and popular music
12 Jane Sillars and Myra Macdonald: Gender, spaces, changes:
emergent identities in a Scotland in transition
13 Anthea Irwin: Race and ethnicity in the media
14 Mike Cormack: Gaelic, the media and Scotland
15 Brian McNair: The Scottish media and politics
16 Brian Wilson: A view from Westminster
17 Michael Russell: A view from Holyrood
18 Richard Haynes and Raymond Boyle: Media sport
Select Bibliography
Notes on Contributors

About the Author

Neil Blain is Professor Emeritus of Communications at the University of Stirling. His publications include Media, Monarchy and Power (with Hugh O’Donnell), Sport, Media, Culture: Local and Global Dimensions and The Media in Scotland (co-edited with David Hutchison).

David Hutchison has published in the fields of theatre, media policy and journalism. From 2010-2014 he was chair of Regional Screen Scotland. He is Honorary Professor of Media Policy at Glasgow Caledonian University.


Individually, the chapters provide an informed and interesting account of media histories, representations and institutions. Taken together, the volume charts crucial differences and illuminating comparisons in media practices, audiences and regulation... The scope of the volume is also its greatest strength, ensuring that the work makes for a lively, accessible and often humorous narrative. The book sets out to engage a wide variety of readers and is likely to do just that.
- Lynne Hibberd, University of Glasgow, Media, Culture and Society
The book brings together a broad range of expertise… and overall is a very useful collection, filling a gap that has been evident now for quite some time. Neil Blain and David Hutchison are to be congratulated on assembling such a rich array of contributions and producing such an enjoyable, wide-ranging overview of the media north of the border.
- European Journal of Communication
Telling it like we see it - a unique and invaluable resource.
- Professor David McCrone, University of Edinburgh
A well-signposted and accessible collection of essays complete with select bibliography and comprehensive index.
- Tim Luckhurst, Times Higher Education Supplement
The book successfully manages to highlight the challenges faced by all historical communities that lack a consolidated communicative space of their own. Such communities are in dire need of publications like this, in which academic thinking displaces the perspective of the mass media.
- Carme Ferré Pavia, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Catalan Journal of Communication and Cultural Studies
Like its subject, The Media in Scotland is sprawling, erudite, and opinionated: a lucky-bag of history, statistics, insider opinion, and social analysis of the original 'pinning jelly to a wall' phenomenon. A useful toolbox for the public servant, and fun to read.
- Christopher Harvie, MSP
A very welcome addition to the literature on the Scottish Media... The book is of importance to all who study the Scottish media, whether teachers at any level or just people with an interest in Scottish culture. Despite parts of it dating rapidly, there is plenty which will provide a source of references for many years to come.
- Robert Preece, Media Education Journal