Scottish independence: world’s media arrive

Journalists work in the referendum media centre. Pic Julie Bull
Journalists work in the referendum media centre. Pic Julie Bull
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AS the world turns its gaze upon the nation for Thursday’s referendum vote, journalists from across the globe are flocking to the Capital.

More than 240 reporters representing a dozen countries have poured into Edinburgh, representing media outlets from countries as far afield as Turkey to the United States.

The city council has teamed up with Marketing Edinburgh to provide a 24/7 media hub at the Apex Hotel in the Grassmarket.

Interest has ramped up since the first poll putting Yes ahead was published last week.

Pedro Coelho, a reporter for Portugal’s SIC Television, pictured above with camera man Jose Silva, said he hadn’t been planning to come to Edinburgh until last week’s poll.

“I’ve been to Scotland once before for a family holiday, but this is the first time I’ve ever been here for work,” he said.

“I think we are a bit afraid, because we are neighbours with Catalonia, which has been pushing for its own independence from Spain for a while now.

“That will be bad for Portugal, because we are quite similar regions and it will mean another small country competing with us within the EU. The same can be said in Scotland.”

Christian Zaschke, pictured above, a journalist for Germany’s biggest national broadsheet, Süddeutsche Zeitung, reckons a vast majority of international readers will need all the help they can get to understand the referendum and its ramifications.

“Everybody in Germany knows there is a decision being made in Scotland this week,” he said. “But I don’t think there’s a lot of in-depth analysis happening – which I think is quite normal, in that no-one in Scotland would follow a debate in Germany really deeply.”

He added that, whilst Europe’s political elite fret over how independence might alter the continental landscape, many Germans romanticise about the prospect of an independent Scotland.

“Most political elites in Europe are against a Yes vote because it upsets stability. But I think quite a few Germans think of Scotland in a more symbolic sense – the bagpipes, the kilts, the ancient warriors – and they support the independence movement.”