The UK’s only employee-owned newspaper is this week celebrating its 2000th edition, almost 40 years on from first going to press.
The West Highland Free Press – owned by the West Highland Publishing Company, following a buyout last year – marked the milestone with a complete copy of the first edition, dated April 6, 1972, included as a supplement inside this week’s paper.
And the achievement was the focus of a segment on BBC Radio’s Good Morning Scotland today, with founding editor, Brian Wilson, among others, paying tribute to the title.
Said Wilson – one of the paper’s five founders back in 1972 and a former Labour MP and UK Government minister: “The module of the Free Press, which we borrowed shamelessly from the Land League of the 1880s, is ‘An Tir, an Canan ‘sna Daoine – The Land, the Language, the People'. And this is the trinity which the Free Press has lived by.”
Added Paul Wood, managing director of the West Highland Publishing Company Ltd: “Some of the news stories that we covered in the very first edition – transportation, crofting, land reform – are as relevant today as they were almost 40 years ago.”
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