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By Newsnet Scotland reporter

The credibility of the Better Together parties on Scottish constitutional change faces severe questioning, as the deadline for change draws ever-closer.

After a week of let-downs in Westminster, including calls for the work of the Smith Commission to be kicked into touch until after the UK general election, there are signs of a deeming divide between the three No parties, and even within Labour itself.

By a Newsnet Reporter
 
UK broadcasting laws on election coverage are in chaos following a decision to include UKIP leader Nigel Farage within a series of planned "leadership debates" involving BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4 before next year's UK General Election.
 
The broadcasters' apparent decision to include the leader of a party with just one MP has already attracted widespread criticism outside Westminster, as larger parties in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland protest the move.

  By a Newsnet reporter
 
First Minister Alex Salmond has demanded a formal investigation into the RBS affair involving BBC News at the height of the Scottish referendum campaign last month.
 
Mr Salmond wants a probe into allegations that the Treasury disclosed market-sensitive information about the bank's position on independence.

  By Newsnet Scotland Reporter

 

Lord Smith of Kelvin, the unelected peer with the task of delivering greater democracy to Scotland, has delayed all-party talks on the devolution settlement until October 22.

 

His decision emerged as the Scottish National Party lodged its proposals for "Devo Max", alongside the five other main parties and a welter of submissions from civic organisations and members of the public.

By Alex Mooney

Delivering a knockout blow to the dreams of independence for 1.6 million people could become a nightmare for the Daily Record.

As the referendum campaign reached its climax with both sides too close to call, the Record unleashed a thundering howitzer. Just two days before the vote the title ran its 'vow' front page with the three party leaders promising extra powers if we stayed in the Union.

By Mark McNaught

I’m not one that easily gives in to conspiracy theories, but there are too many questions regarding the validity of the ‘no’ vote for it to be accepted at face value.

While this article goes into the allegations with more forensic accuracy than I will, the integrity of the vote and the process is paramount to Scots accepting their status within the UK, especially in light of the implosion of the promises made before the vote, going back to war in Iraq, and announcing fracking in Scotland’s central belt immediately after the vote.


Newsnet Scotland has played a critical role in the independence debate, as one of the first leading alternative media sites and one which has built a significant audience.


The founders should be proud of their work, and many people will remember when theirs was one quiet but insistent voice in the media crowd in Scotland.


This week we take over as editors, and we hope to refresh and build upon that effort, following a referendum campaign that was both exhilarating and exhausting.


The referendum is done. But Scottish politics has changed forever. New opportunities have arisen in the way that politics is reported on and analysed. These have been driven by new and freely-available digital technology, and by a growing dissatisfaction with the so-called “mainstream media”.


In future, Newsnet Scotland will concentrate on news analysis, bringing in new voices (alongside some old ones), and introducing podcasts and video content.


We are not arrogant enough to suggest that we will replace the existing media, but we do intend to complement the news, to find new ways of covering things, and to provide a voice to the ignored.


In the world of the instant sound-bite, we want to provide a deeper and more meaningful experience.


Our popular podcast, Bateman Broadcasting will merge with Newsnet Scotland. Derek’s existing blog will also be available here, as well as new blogs from across Scottish opinion.


We shall retain “citizen journalism”, and build on the contributions of our readers online. We plan to re-design the site in order to present new editorial features. News and opinion will be presented in a distinctive way.


We have already had contact with a range of enthusiastic people – journalists, writers, artists, film-makers, designers, photographers and cartoonists. In time we hope to provide a great site and a riveting read.


All of this will take some time, and we shall also need to raise money. We are currently examining the options, which will include donations and subscription.


We hope that some of that income will go to good causes so that Newsnet Scotland can make a positive contribution to Scottish society.


Meanwhile we wish to thank everyone who has followed Newsnet Scotland and hope that you will stay with us as we plan the future.


Derek Bateman

Maurice Smith

Editors.

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