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Media of Scotland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are several types of mass media in Scotland: television, cinema, radio, newspapers, magazines, game design and websites. The majority of Scotland's media is located in Glasgow, the countries largest city, which serves as the HQ for much of the countries major media employers such as broadcasters BBC Scotland and STV, radio services including BBC Radio Scotland, Clyde 1 and Pure Radio Scotland. Game design and production company, Rockstar North, has its international offices in the countries capital city, Edinburgh.

Scotland has a number of production companies which produce films and television programmes for Scottish, British and international audiences. Production companies are mostly located in Scotland's cities including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, as well as production facilities in areas such as North Lanarkshire, Fife and Dumfrieshire. Wardpark Studios in Cumbernauld is one of Scotland's television and film production studios where the television programme Outlander is produced.[1] Dumbarton Studios, located in Dumbarton is largely used for BBC Scotland programming, used for the filming and production of television programmes such as Still Game, River City, Two Doors Down, and Shetland.[2]

Popular films associated with Scotland through Scottish production or being filmed in Scotland include Braveheart (1995),[3] Highlander (1986),[3] Trainspotting (1996),[3] Red Road (2006), Neds (2010),[3] The Angel's Share (2012), Brave (2012)[4] and Outlaw King (2018).[5] Popular television programmes associated with Scotland include the long running BBC Scotland soap opera River City which has been broadcast since 2002,[6] Still Game, a popular Scottish sitcom broadcast throughout the United Kingdom (2002–2007, revived in 2016),[7] Rab C. Nesbitt, Two Doors Down[8] and Take the High Road.[9] The Rig (2023) was the first Amazon Prime Video production to be filmed and produced entirely in Scotland.[10]

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The HQ and production studios of STV is located in Glasgow

BBC Scotland runs two national television stations. Much of the output of BBC Scotland Television, such as local news, current affairs and sport programmes are intended for broadcast within Scotland, whilst others, for example many drama and comedy programmes, aim at audiences throughout the United Kingdom and worldwide markets.

Three ITV stations also broadcast in Scotland. STV broadcasts to the majority of the Scottish population. Although branded as one channel, it is composed of two stations: STV Central and STV North, both of which are both owned by STV Group plc. ITV Border broadcasts in the South of Scotland.

BBC Alba is the only Gaelic language television service available in Scotland, broadcasting digital terrestrial platform Freeview, as well as Sky, Virgin Media and Freesat.

In 2014, STV Group plc launched two super-local TV services, STV Glasgow in 2014 and STV Edinburgh in 2015. Following the awarding of local broadcasting licences for Aberdeen, Ayr and Dundee in 2015 to STV Group, it combined its two existing stations with the new licences and relaunched the new stations as a single network, branded STV2 in April 2017.


Preparations for recording Newsnight Scotland at Pacific Quay, Glasgow


First Minister Alex Salmond being interviewed by BBC Scotland for Newsnight Scotland, 2012

A number of programmes are broadcast in Scotland focusing on all aspects of Scottish life; news and current affairs, sports and entertainment. The majority of television programming is produced and broadcast by the two main broadcasters in Scotland – BBC Scotland and STV. Distinct programming of BBC Scotland include Reporting Scotland, Newsnight Scotland, Sportscene, BBC Scotland Investigates, BBC Scotland's Hogmanay, The Nine, A View from the Terrace, The Sunday Show and Sport Nation.

The BBC is required to spend at least 8% of its budget on programming and production in Scotland. A review in 2021 found that the BBC had failed to comply with this target, with OFCOM claiming that the cooperation only had spent 6.5% of its budget in Scotland during 2020–2021.[11]

STV programming includes a variety of current affairs, news, entertainment and drama productions; Scotland Tonight, STV News, Scotsport, The Five Thirty Show, The Hour, The Late Show with Ewen Cameron, The Nightshift, Live at Five, Debate Night, Talking Scotland and STV Children's Appeal.

Both BBC Scotland and STV (as part of STV Studios) also produce a number of television programming and series for broadcast both across the United Kingdom and internationally such as Mrs. Brown's Boys, The Link, This Is Your Life, Antiques Road Trip, Art Attack, Beechgrove, A Question of Genius, The National Lottery: In It to Win It, The Weakest Link and Who Dares Wins.


Scotland has its own BBC services which include the national radio stations, BBC Radio Scotland and Scottish Gaelic language service, BBC Radio nan Gaidheal, which is available in the North of Scotland. There are also a number of BBC and independent local radio stations throughout the country.



HQ of the Daily Record in Glasgow

There are four national daily newspapers in Scotland:

Sunday newspapers include the tabloid Sunday Mail (published by the Daily Record's parent company, Trinity Mirror) and the Sunday Post (D.C. Thomson & Co.), while the Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday have associations with The Herald and The Scotsman respectively.

National UK-wide newspapers such as The Times, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Daily Mail, Daily Star, Daily Mirror & The Sun publish Scottish editions of their paper.

Regional dailies include The Courier and Advertiser in Dundee and the east, and The Press and Journal serving Aberdeen and the north.


There are over 700 magazines published in Scotland, by nearly 200 organisations, with an estimated total turnover of £157m per annum.[14]


Print publications and journalists in Scotland are recognised for their quality at the Scottish Press Awards.


Pipers at the premiere of Brave, a Pixar film set in Scotland during the medieval ages

Scotland has produced many award winning and high-grossing films produced and filmed in the country, such as Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, Braveheart, Local Hero, Gregory's Girl, Outlaw King, and Red Road. It has also produced many award winning actors, directors and producers, such as Billy Connolly, Craig Ferguson, David Tennant, Ewan McGregor, Kelly Macdonald, Kate Dickie, Martin Compston, Sean Connery, Karen Gillan, Peter Capaldi, Robert Carlyle and Lewis MacDougall to name a few.

Scotland has played set to a number of high grossing movies and film franchises, with a number of James Bond films being set there including; Casino Royale (1967), The World Is Not Enough (1999) and Skyfall (2012). The majority of the Harry Potter films were set in Scotland, with Hogwarts said to be based on the University of Glasgow.[15] Other major and notable films set in Scotland include The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, Sweet Sixteen, Victoria & Abdul, The Young Victoria, The Wicker Man, Brave, A Castle for Christmas, The Da Vinci Code, The Day After Tomorrow, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, The King's Speech, The Last King of Scotland, Highlander and The Queen.

BAFTA Scotland recognises and awards Scottish talent in film annually.

Television series

Scotland produces a number of television shows and series, mostly soap operas and sitcoms. Notable soap operas include Take the High Road (1980–2003) and River City (2002–present). Popular Scottish produced sitcoms include Still Game (2002–2007; 2016–2019), Rab C. Nesbitt (1988–1999, 2008–2014), Burnistoun (2009–2019), Two Doors Down (2013–present), Chewin' the Fat (1999–2005), Gary: Tank Commander (2009–2012) and Scot Squad (2014–present).

A variety of critically acclaimed television series have been filmed and set in Scotland including Outlander, Katie Morag, Shetland, Taggart, Vigil (TV series) and Waterloo Road.

As well as recognising and celebrating achievement in Scottish film and video games, BAFTA Scotland also recognises Scottish talent in television and broadcasting annually.


Television broadcasters BBC Scotland, STV, ITV and most newspapers in Scotland (like The Herald and The Scotsman) also provide online content and blogs.

Other notable Scottish online news and commentary sites include: Bella Caledonia, and The Ferret.

Dàna is the only Scottish Gaelic news source independent of the BBC at present; it is an online magazine.

See also


  1. ^ "wpstudio". wpstudio.
  2. ^ "BBC Dumbarton Studios". Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Great Scottish Movies – Scotland is Now". Scotland. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Disney Pixar's Brave – Locations & Setting". Retrieved 15 July 2023.
  5. ^ McKenna, Kevin (10 November 2018). "Scotland braces for 'Netflix effect' as TV film about Robert the Bruce is launched". Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  6. ^ "BBC Studios – Scripted – Continuing Drama – River City".
  7. ^ "Still Game makes stage comeback". 23 October 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  8. ^ "BBC – Two Doors Down comes calling again with series four – Media Centre".
  9. ^ "Lesley Fitz-Simons: Scottish actress known for her role in Take the High Road". The Independent. 11 April 2013.
  10. ^ "Amazon Commissions UK Supernatural Thriller Series 'The Rig' with 'Bodyguard' Director John Strickland & Wild Mercury". 3 November 2020.
  11. ^ "BBC 'failed to comply' with requirement to spend in Scotland, Ofcom report shows". 25 November 2021.
  12. ^ Timms, Dominic (18 August 2004). "Scotsman reaps tabloid benefits". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 15 March 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  13. ^ Preston, Peter (30 November 2014). "All hail Scotland's National treasure". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  14. ^ Report – The Magazine Industry in Scotland Archived 14 June 2006 at the Wayback Machine, Periodical Publishers Association Scotland
  15. ^ "10 Scottish Locations for Harry Potter Fans to Visit | Inspiring Travel Scotland". 28 June 2021.
This page was last edited on 4 March 2024, at 21:43
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