Scope: reborn, refreshed and renewed

21 Oct 2014 Nick Garbutt    Last updated: 28 Oct 2014

Scope Reborn Illustration by Patrick Sanders
Scope Reborn Illustration by Patrick Sanders

The true purpose of the media is to inform and to interpret, to help us better understand our society and the opportunities and challenges that we face.

Sadly that brief is no longer adequately met.

There are very few places you can turn to in Northern Ireland for objective and authoritative news, analysis and insights into the big policy issues. The traditional media tends to cover politics not policy.This is inevitable given the kind of society we live in and the nature of the political debate. 

This is very bad news because it means many issues go unreported, or are at least not properly analysed and debated, leading to a lack of general understanding of issues that affect all our lives and of the work of organisations in the voluntary sector that deal with these matters. This is not good news for civil society.

This ever-widening gap between many things that matter and what actually gets reported is nobody’s fault. The quiet voice of the policy maker is drowned out by the political din and to compound matters,traditional media are in a state of transition as they grapple with the challenges of a digital age. Revenues have fallen and that affects resources. On the other hand, many specialist publications are so focused on shoring up income that to all intents and purposes their news pages are for sale. Much of the content may be valid, but it is not journalism as the public understands the term, and it’s not independent or objective either.

Scope is being revived to help fill some of that gap.Scope Reborn Illustration by Patrick Saunders

The original Scope folded because production costs made publication prohibitive. That has all changed. Digital technology means that it can be published online, updated in real time, display video as well as text and pictures and join the conversation on social media.

Our pledge is to be thorough, authoritative, as objective and balanced as it is possible to be, and to help shed light and understanding on matters that need to be discussed and debated but somehow slip under the radar of existing news sources.

We are funded by NICVA but have editorial independence, so if there is anything we are doing that you don’t like please raise it with us, not them. We will correct and acknowledge any errors we make and offer a platform to those who disagree with opinions expressed.

Like any publication we are only as good as our sources, so if you have an issue you believe needs to be raised, or information and insights you would like to pass on, get in touch with us. And if you like what you see, please subscribe.

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