TODAY we launch our new website,

We have been working on it since launching The National last November and we let readers see a trial version last week.

On the site you’ll find The National’s news stories, updated every day, all our columnists, feature articles, international coverage and sport reports. We hope to post stories which have not yet appeared in print whenever we can.

And we hope the website can become a forum for instant debate, particularly but not exclusively on matters related to the constitution, enhanced devolution and the case for Scottish independence at some point in the future.

You can comment on each article, hosted by Facebook. Apologies to those readers who may find that restrictive but it’s the best way we currently have available to allow instant comment and debate. We’ll monitor how it works and if we need to make changes, we will. And National staff will be keeping an eye on the postings and will join in when time allows.

The website WILL be behind a paywall because we don’t believe that journalism should be routinely given away free. Good journalism – and good journalists – needs financial support. But you can access five articles a month at completely free and another five free if you register, at no cost.

If you already have a subscription for The National’s digital edition you can register for free access to the website. Simply email and we’ll set that up for you. If not, there are a range of subscription packages available at

We recognise that people want to share stories through social media and we want to encourage The National readers to get in on the act. To that end stories and articles can be shared on social media absolutely free, outside the website paywall.

We hope you’ll check out as soon as you can. If you like it – or if anything about it really bugs you – please get in touch at and we’ll do what we can to react to your comments.

You’ll also find some changes to The National print version today. In response to reader feedback we are introducing daily TV listings, along with Julie McDowall’s picks of the day, and a daily puzzle page. Our photograph of the day will become photograph of the week every Friday. We are also introducing a few design changes, including a new typeface for headlines.

This follows the introduction of a new Monday column by respected commentator George Kerevan and a major new series, Toward Democracy?, by Alasdair Gray.

Finally, we’d like to thank the thousands of readers who support The National every day. We don’t take that support for granted, nor the responsibility to provide an alternative take on the big stories - political and otherwise - which affect the lives of those who live in Scotland. We hope you continue to enjoy the paper ... and continue to let us know when you feel we have not lived up to your expectations.