Devolution and Independence: The Future of Media in Scotland

  • Yolande Stolte (Organiser)

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference


The University of Edinburgh held a workshop on 7 January 2013 on the future of the media in Scotland. The workshop considered the issues that arise from operating media in a devolved country, as well as possible consequences for the media should Scotland vote in favour of independence in the upcoming referendum in 2014. The workshop brought together academics, students, policy makers and politicians. The workshop was opened by Dr Rachael Craufurd Smith, senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, who set out the three main themes for discussion: looking forward to independence; the scope for further devolution; and language and culture policies in devolved nations. She also presented the policy suggestions for the development of free and independent media in the UK drafted by the UK MEDIADEM team. A keynote speech was then provided by Ms Birgitta Jónsdóttir, member of the Icelandic Parliament and chairperson of the International Modern Media Institute (IMMI), discussing the implementation of Iceland’s Modern Media Initiative, a catch-all freedom of expression law-based project that aims to make Iceland a global safe haven for investigative journalism, and the impact the Initiative has made on EU policy. After lunch, a panel consisting of Dr Sebastian Müller of the University of Bielefeld and Mr Bart van Besien of the Université Libre de Bruxelles considered ‘The reflection of regional and cultural diversity in devolved powers: lessons from abroad’. Dr Sebastian Müller provided insights into the balance of power in relation to the media between the 16 states (Länder) and the federal state in Germany. Mr van Besien discussed the differences between the Dutch and the French media systems in Belgium. The panel was followed by a presentation from Dr Daithi Mac Sithigh from the University of Edinburgh titled ‘Four tongues worthy – devolution and language in the UK’. Dr Mac Sithigh considered the inconsistencies in language law and policy in the UK, and discussed how the distribution of regulatory competences can affect the realisation of language rights. Professor Philip Schlessinger of the University of Glasgow concluded the workshop by setting out some of the questions and issues surrounding the media in Scotland that will need to be discussed in the upcoming debates on independence. The agenda of the workshop is available here.
Period7 Jan 2013
Event typeWorkshop
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map