The magazine is read by the country’s key legislators, all Scottish parliamentarians, civil servants, Scottish Government agencies, political parties, all 32 local authority chief executives as well as individual departments within the councils, trade unions, health boards and trusts, educational organisations, voluntary organisations and non-governmental bodies.
Holyrood is frequently quoted within the Scottish Parliament as a source of reliable information and political debate and is the most widely read publication amongst MSPs according to MORI and throughout the commercial, academic and third sectors.
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The Scottish Parliament election in May 2011 fundamentally changed the UK political landscape. The SNP was re-elected, forming the first majority administration and gaining 23 seats while Labour lost seven.
The SNP intends to build on its established “team, record and vision” strategy. First Minister Alex Salmond has laid out six areas of policy change where he believes there is agreement across the Parliament “to a greater or lesser extent”: increased borrowing powers, devolution of corporation tax, control over the Crown Estate in Scotland, receipt of excise duties, minimum pricing of alcohol, digital broadcasting and a stronger say in European policy.
Holyrood magazine is focused on what our readers require; journalism that reports on the business of Parliament, insightful features which provoke debate and inform policy makers, in-depth political interviews which offer a unique insight into the person behind the politics.
The quality of our award-winning content is widely recognised within the world of journalism and is quoted regularly in the Scottish press and broadcast media.
Recent awards include Mandy Rhodes, PPA Columnist of the Year 2010; Katie Mackintosh, PPA Business & Professional Feature Writer of the Year 2008 and 2009.
Mandy’s fortnightly ‘Editor’s Notes’ column has become essential reading for the body politic and is regularly quoted by politicians within the Scottish Parliament and beyond.
Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, has described her column as insightful and provocative.
The Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron, has given her plaudits for being ahead of the game on both responding to the financial crisis but for also recognizing the benefits of coalition at Westminster.
He recently said: “Co-operation across the political divide may be new to Westminster, but for Scots it is not. Which brings me to another conclusion that Holyrood’s editor reached in May.
“Maybe,” she wrote, “this new politics could really work.” And I agree with her sentiments because it’s in all our interests to make sure it does.”
An in-depth feature which tends to stem from current legislation or consultation.
Holyrood magazine consistently breaks exclusive news stories that are frequently picked up by other media and it is often used as a vehicle by politicians to ‘float’ blue-sky thinking.
Holyrood’s letters pages reflect our high-level readership and frequently play host to letters from well known political figures and key decision makers. The content reflects the current political debates.
Holyrood’s tongue-in-cheek diary pages have become one of the first and most well read of the magazine, with irreverent pokes at key political personalities and the ‘Spotted’ feature, which basically just lists who has been seen where but it has become something of a cult feature.
While Holyrood magazine has a broad appeal for anyone interested in politics and current affairs, it also has a core audience of public affairs professionals and parliamentary officers who require more detailed legislative tracking. Holyrood magazine dedicates at least ten pages per issue to the business of the Parliament, covering business in the Chamber as well as individual committees and cross-party groups. The content for this section is compiled by the editorial team.
Henry McLeish is a former First Minister of Scotland and writes an erudite column every issue, mainly on justice matters.
Professor John Curtice is Scotland’s foremost political commentator and he writes about political trends.
Jim Sillars, a former trade unionist, Labour defector and high-profile SNP MP, writes about everything from the Middle East to Middle England.
Rab McNeil is a well-known satirical political commentator who takes a regular swipe at our respected elected members.
Health has been a defining issue for the Scottish Parliament in its first ten years – from the very first Act of Parliament, the Mental Health (Public Safety and Appeals) (Scotland) Act, to flagship policies such as the introduction of the smoking ban and free personal care, and even the recent brouhaha over proposals to introduce a minimum price for alcohol.
Scotland’s young Parliament has shown it is not afraid to court controversy when striving to improve the health and wellbeing of the Scottish population.
The NHS in Scotland faces a number of health challenges: Scotland has been dubbed, ‘the sick man of Europe’, and Holyrood’s parliamentarians recognise that shaking off the moniker will be a hard task.
The education pages of Holyrood are an integral part of the magazine.
Since devolution, education has been one of the most dominant issues in the Scottish Parliament.
Flagship policies, like the abolition of upfront tuition fees in 2000, the scrapping of the graduate contribution in 2007, and the introduction of a new curriculum in 2010 have set Scotland apart from the rest of the UK.
Commanding around 8 per cent of all public spending and, according to an Ipsos Mori survey, featuring amongst the top three issues of concern to Scots, it is hardly surprising that from class sizes to university funding, education is a key topic for analysis in Holyrood.
Justice is one of the most emotive areas in politics and in Scotland it has been the source of some of the biggest controversies since the devolved Parliament was established.
The last administration’s decision to release Abdelbaset Al Megrahi – the only man ever convicted of the Lockerbie bombing – put the Scottish legal system and values under the international spotlight.
Since the creation of the Scottish Parliament, a number of landmark decisions have been made – including a revamp of rape laws, drives to cut anti-social behaviour and a move away from short-term prison sentences in favour of restorative justice.
Holyrood’s business pages track the changing fortunes of Scotland’s economy and profile the people and businesses that are making an impact.
In-depth analysis combined with interviews with key players in the private and public sectors, as well as budding entrepreneurs, keep readers informed of important trends and highlight exciting developments.
Scotland’s annual average GDP growth has been well below that of comparable small European countries and significantly below the UK average over the last 30 years.
Growing the economy was the last Scottish SNP Government’s principal…
Scotland’s 32 local authorities are at the heart of Scottish public life – and the political landscape, post-devolution.
As well as providing vital services like education, social work, housing and roads, councils lead, represent and influence the wellbeing of local communities.
They’re also big business: councils spend around £20bn each year, employ around 250,000 full-time staff and deploy assets worth about £32bn.
The last four years have seen a complete transformation in the relationship between national and local government, with a new parity of esteem…
Once the concerns of the few, environmental issues have now broken through into mainstream politics, bringing with them green opportunities for Scotland that were unimaginable just a few years ago.
As Scotland strives to lead the way on the green economy, Holyrood is at the forefront of in-depth coverage with our environment portfolio pages.
Reflecting the increasing demand for information about the sector, the environment pages are the magazine’s newest portfolio section.
Since September 2010, features covering everything from biodiversity to green entrepreneurship have become a regular fixture and portfolio…