NEWSPAPERS matter. Despite obvious challenges, they remain as crucial and central as ever to a pluralistic, healthy, functioning democracy.

I’m sure even my anti-independence counterparts in the Scottish Parliament would not deny that support for an independent Scotland characterises a very sizeable proportion of Scottish society. Accordingly, as the only pro-independence Sunday, the success of the Sunday National should be important to all who value diversity in our print media.

On my end, I am delighted to play a part with this column, through which I will seek to keep people updated on the campaign for independence, as I see it.

Sunday National editor Richard Walker is an accomplished and respected figure in the industry. I’m sure that he and the talented and experienced team that he has assembled will strive to get the tricky balance between online and offline focus just right, in order to deliver a lasting and valuable fixture in Scotland’s media landscape.

That balance – between a digital and physical presence – is critical too for political parties. On being elected depute leader of the SNP, one of the earliest discussions I had was with the digital team at SNP HQ. They were researching best practice from across the globe in their work in creating a new website. This will better inform and engage supporters, members and the wider public.

It’s been designed and built here in Scotland through collaboration between the SNP’s digital team and one of the country’s top creative agencies, Stance.

The Take Action section will offer a regularly updated feast of possibilities which will inform, inspire and drive our already active mass membership.

Non-party members should take note too. It’s an easily navigable wealth of information that political anoraks and voters can explore. These tools will help to power our ground campaigns and expand our party’s reach as we engage more and more people on the possibilities of independence.

Work has also been done on an @theSNPmedia fact checking service. This has caused something of a stir amongst our political opponents. It is early days, and I expect you’ll be seeing it getting used more and more.

The most rewarding part of my new role has been the opportunity to meet and listen to members from across the country at the SNP’s National Assemblies in Ayr and Aviemore. Wide ranging and vibrant debates on the Sustainable Growth Commission, and a great deal besides, will be followed by the biggest event yet, today in Edinburgh.

These events, the innumerable branch and constituency meetings I have attended and the engagement with a resilient and re-energised Yes movement suggest a promising future for Scotland, and its political destiny.