As of today, 1320Radio will be changing its editorial position from the simple and straightforward coverage of new music. In future, the station will work towards creation of features and programming that describe Scotland as it is now and the kind of Scotland we want.
It is fair to say that most Scots, regardless of political persuasion want a Scotland that is just, equal, fair, prosperous, inclusive and internationalist. Neither, is it contentious to propose that great ideas have come from Scotland; they still do and no doubt the country will continue to produce more than its share of creative thinkers.
Artistic expression is certainly an important way of communicating ideas about Scotland to a world in which the nation is already connected. But, the lively arts need far greater support domestically if the country as a whole is to benefit from the high-profile status of our international arts festivals and events.
That domestic support is key to our future development, growth and credibility, because new ideas, fresh thinking and scalable innovation more often than not spring from the grass-roots. Indeed, Scotland is already in danger of becoming a top-down administrative region, and that means the stifling of potential and a (further) hemorrhaging of talent from our shores.
We don’t have to make a case for plugging into new networks at home and abroad, but we do have to work hard to make sure that we are a nation that produces workable ideas, and does not rest on the cushion of its own rhetoric. That overview of the arts applies equally to all our endeavours and relationships, and that is why 1320Radio will now broaden its editorial scope.
Our first ‘non-music’ feature offers an opinion on the downgrading of maternity provision in Caithness. It’s worth talking about that story here and now because it speaks to the future and the kind of Scotland we want. If we buck that larger question then there is nothing further to discuss. We will, as a region get what we get given, as opposed to offering ourselves in the service of humanity as a fully functioning, modern nation-state.
If that is our collective aim, then Scotland is in a very good position to demonstrate working examples of creative governance and social cohesion in an enterprise culture that values its human, cultural and environmental resources.
If you think this sounds Utopian then do not forget that size does not matter when it comes to thinking bigger. Scotland has previous form as an innovative society that understands its own shortcomings, but is at least prepared to recognize them. Those are the first steps along the road to the kind of creative governance suggested by the Declaration of Arbroath and imagined in the American Constitution.
Creative governance remains an aspiration as long as territorial advantage and the greed-grab of resources hold sway in a world forever lurching towards chaos. New thinking has to be found from somewhere, and we won’t find it on Wikipedia. Why then, of all places, should it come from Scotland? The answer to that is easy to guess. Why not? If we can enlighten ourselves, then we can enlighten others. If can do that, then we can begin to dismantle the political and administrative barriers to meaningful progress.
Now, 1320Radio is not a news channel or a mouthpiece for one political party or another. But we’re not interested in false balance either. Some things are right and some things are wrong. Some things are of wider interest or concern, while many things are simply trivial. There is an empty space in the media landscape for reportage that sits in the middle and observes, without institutional directives or agitating agencies in play.
The aim now is to produce occasional features for the website and/or broadcast, that are diverse, intuitive and informative, looking at people, things, places and issues that it could be argued have been overlooked or taken for granted. Look out for new features that say something about the Scotland we know today, and where in the world it wants to be tomorrow.