In our 200th year, it is worth reminding ourselves again of these words from the Prospectus of The Scotsman, written in November 1816.
As our political parties finalise their manifestos for the snap election on 8 June here is the pledge from The Scotsman to our readers.
It’s Your Vote
Our first and most important pledge is The Scotsman will not tell you how to vote. Not at the council elections. Not at the General Election. And not at any future independence referendum.
This title is politically independent and we believe that a quality newspaper should strive to present the facts without this being coloured by a political rosette.
And let’s face it, there are many other newspapers who will do this.
In the past we have followed convention and chosen to support a party. But this is an anachronism which must be buried.
At this time, when the country is split over how we approach key issues, such as Brexit and independence, this newspaper will strive to present all sides of the debate and let you make up your own mind.
This does not mean bland neutrality, or that every issue or page will be balanced to the point of tedium. It means we will approach stories and people fairly.
We have no axe to grind. We want the best for Scotland, but it’s you, the voter, who will decide that.
A Scottish Perspective
There is only one edition of The Scotsman. You will not find a London version with a different editorial stance, or different stories on the front page.
We are based in Scotland, with reporters across our key regions and the rest of the UK. Our journalists and editors live and work here, raise their families here and care deeply about the future of this great country.
We pledge to write in-depth – not from afar, but as citizens and residents.
Our political editor Tom Peterkin is originally from Angus and now works from our office in Holyrood. Political correspondent Scott Macnab – originally from Glasgow – works alongside him.
Westminster Correspondent Paris Gourtsoyannis, based in the House of Commons, is a Greek Canadian who was raised in Brussels, and then made Scotland his home after moving here to study.
Ross McCafferty, from Gourock, works from our Glasgow office alongside Chris McCall, who is originally from Fife. Both will be reporting on the election from a truly digital perspective.
All this helps us to cover the turf with true insight into what matters to different communities.
Bursting the filter bubble
Many readers have told us that interactions with others who hold different political viewpoints have dwindled, both personally and on social media.
Yet, understanding and respecting these opposing views is a vital part of how we challenge our own opinions and come to a more rounded picture of how we believe Scotland should move forward.
In our Scottish Perspective section there will be strong polemic from all sides.
From Joyce McMillan to Brian Wilson, and Lesley Riddoch to Brian Monteith, our daily columnists will give you their take on events from differing viewpoints across the political spectrum.
Spiky comment fires intelligent debate and witty columnists who make you think again are the hallmark of any quality title.
Since our inception 200 years ago, The Scotsman has always been led by its readers. When we fall short, or you’re inspired to suggest new directions for our coverage, you know where to find us.
Keeping up-to-date with every twist and turn of the election campaign is a full-time job.
We recognise our readers are too busy for that. Less is more. We read all the manifestos, speeches and listen to hustings so you don’t have to.
We cut through the noise and explain the important elements in a concise, informative and useful way.
With the rise of fake news and misinformation on social media, facts matter. We will weigh evidence, scrutinise bold claims and unravel spin. So, that you are armed with the facts.
As part of the build up to any election there will be a spike in advertising for political parties.
The Scotsman will accept political advertising provided it is clearly marked as an advertisement and creates no confusion in the minds of readers with regular editorial copy.
Accepting advertising does not indicate support for any political party.